Il Cinema Ritrovato 2017 – review – LE MOGLI E LE ARANCE (Luigi Servienti, Lucio D’Ambra, Luigi Sapelli, 1917, Italy)

“Dolce far niente” is an Italian expression that literally means “doing sweet nothing.” It refers to a blissful lazines that, in Italy, is particularly attached to the South. Lucio D’Ambra’s Le Mogli e le Arance may be the best cinematic representation of this phrase to date. Though the film is often credited as directed by…

Locarno 2017 – review – TOMORROW AND THEREAFTER (“Demain et tous les autres jours,” Noémie Lvovsky, 2017, France)

Mathilde (Luce Rodriguez) is a nine-year-old girl whose parents have recently separated. She lives with her mother (Noémie Lvovski), a fragile lady who has a tendency to lose touch with reality; though she is a loving mother, this disposition prevents her from taking care of her daughter properly. It is, in fact, Mathilde, who often…

Venezia 73 – review – THE UNTAMED (“La región salvaje,” Amat Escalante, 2016, Mexico / Denmark / France / Germany / Norway / Switzerland)

Heli (2013), director Amat Escalante’s previous feature, was a slice-of-life realist drama set in a narco-terrorist part of Mexico. The Untamed, his 2016 follow-up (and fourth feature), is something quite different: it is a slow-burn drama about romantic entanglement and sexual desires, most memorable for its psychological connotations and surrealist influences. Veronica (Simone Bucio), the…

Review – HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! (“Houston, imamo problem!,” Žiga Virc, 2016, Slovenia / Croatia / Germany / Czech Republic / Qatar)

A film about a conspiracy to question the validity of all conspiracy theories. Houston, We Have a Problem! tells the untold story of the intricate, tense, and dangerous Cold War event where Yugoslavia sold its space program to the United States. Director Ziga Virc constructs his film like a straight-up investigative documentary. He makes extensive use…