HAPPY END

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Michael Haneke Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Franz Rogowski, Fantine Harduin, Toby Jones. Another typically downbeat, disturbing and grim drama from the misanthropic Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon, Funny Games, Amour, etc). Set in the coastal town of Calais, the film follows the affluent but dysfunctional Laurent family, who live in luxury and seem unaware of the refugee crisis on their doorstep. The film works in heavy themes of matricide, suicide, power, corruption, Continue reading

MENASHE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Joshua Z Weinstein Stars: Menashe Lustig, Ruben Niborski. Yoel Weisshaus, Yoel Falkowitz, Meyer Schwartz. The opening night attraction for the 2017 Jewish International Film Festival, Menashe has finally gained a limited cinema release. Menashe (played by popular web comic and Youtube star Menashe Lustig) is a widowed Hasidic Jew living and working in Brooklyn. He works in a local convenience store where he stacks shelves, sweeps the sidewalks and occasionally mans the check out counter. He also loves his young Continue reading

THE WOUND

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: John Trengrove Stars: Nakhane Toure, Niza Jay Ncoyini Bongile Mantsai. From South African filmmaker John Trengrove comes this controversial coming of age film about a group of adolescent boys of Xhosa background who are taken to a remote bushland for their traditional manhood initiation ceremony of ulwaluka – i.e.: a circumcision. It is a dangerous ritual, and indeed many young men have died as a result. Mentors, who have previously undergone the secret ritual, are on hand to help the boys through the Continue reading

FACES PLACES

Reviewed by GREG KING Documentary Directors: Agnes Varda, JR. Diminutive 88-year old filmmaker Agnes Varda (The Gleaners And I, etc) returns to the screen with this whimsical road journey documentary, her first feature film in nine years. Here she teams up with 33-year old French visual artist and film director known simply as JR, known for his large scale photographic murals, and the results are a delight to watch. JR continually sports his signature dark glasses, which he never takes off much to Varda’s frustration, and trilby hat. Continue reading

JUST TO BE SURE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Carina Tardieu Stars: Francoise Damiens, Cecile de France, Alice de Lencquesaing, Guy Marchand, Andre Wilms, Esteban. Erman Gourmelon (played by Francois Damiens, from the entertaining comedy The Family Belier, etc) is a widower in his mid-forties. He works as a bomb disposal expert, helping to clear mines and building sites of unexploded munitions from WWII. But little does he know that his personal life is about to become a minefield. His 22-year-old daughter Juliette (Alice de Lencquesaing, from the Continue reading