Moka, a Film by Frédéric Mermoud

Moka, a Film by Frédéric Mermoud

Films about obsession usually start in the before, the halcyon days of family and friends and home. A little background that helps explain the protagonist’s turn once it’s all shattered. Not in Moka, the new film by Frédéric Mermoud and adapted from the eponymous novel by Tatiana de Rosnay. We enter this one at full tilt with Diane Kramer (Emmanuelle Devos), a woman already consumed.

Clash by Mohammed Diab

Clash by Mohammed Diab

Mohammed Diab is a revelation of a filmmaker, maturing into his art in almost ballet-like synchronicity with the revolutionary upheavals that have marked the last 7 years in his native Egypt.

Bar Bahar – Everything but In Between

Bar Bahar – Everything but In Between

In a recent interview in the Spanish press, Maysaloun Hamoud sighs with exasperation – “Why would anybody think the characters, who are out partying and having a good time, are trying to escape -just because they drink and take drugs”. She protests. “The protagonists are young, that’s life, life in Tel Aviv.”

Moonlight: A Film by Barry Jenkins

Moonlight: A Film by Barry Jenkins

There really couldn’t be any simpler film than Moonlight – a young man named Chiron comes of age in a poor section of Miami. Yet, to signal just how perceptive and multilayered this film will be, director Barry Jenkins opens with a power move: an extended long take in which the camera never sits still, circling the actors like an anxious lion. It’s an amazing display of bravura directing, made even more potent when echoed later in the film at a crucial plot point. But it’s also Jenkins’s wake-up clap to the audience. For despite the film’s low-key tone, aided by such impressive, just downright beautiful camerawork, Moonlight is a revelation of nuanced characters and plot and exposition.

Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven

Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven

  For those that find cliché an imposition on their patience, Elle directed by Paul Verhoeven is two-edged. Yes, the film seems to find some conventions of the thriller indispensable, like the loud, sudden noise that turns out to mean nothing. And is it a spoiler...
Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story

Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story

  Question: Can a film delve into the topical yet timeless issues of free-will, social conformity, and malevolent authority, and still remain a fun, genuine entertainment? I answer in the affirmative and as Exhibit A give you Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter...