Pordenone Silent 2016 – review – MONTE-CRISTO (Henri Fescourt, 1929, France)

A perfect combination of the experimentation of the French impressionist directors of the time, and the requirements of the structures of mainstream adventure films, Henri Fescourt’s Monte-Cristo is a remarkable achievement. Adapted, of course, from Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Montecristo (completed in 1844), it was cinema’s final super-production; the last of the silent historical…

Transilvania 2017 – review – DOLPHINS GO EAST (“Las toninas van al Este,” Gonzalo Delgado, Verónica Perrota, 2016, Uruguay / Argentina / Germany)

Gonzalo Delgado and Verónica Perrota co-direct, co-write and act in Dolphins Go East, a dysfunctional family comedy-drama from Uruguay presented in the main competition of the 16th Transilvania International Film Festival. Virginia (Perrota), the quasi-estranged daughter of an outrageously gay and pathetically fading show-biz personality, Miguel Angel Garcia Mazziotti (Jorge Denevi), shows up at his…

Venezia 73 – review – QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE (“Ne gledaj mi u pijat,” Hana Jušić, 2016, Croatia / Denmark)

An awkward dinner scene introduces the heavily repressed family unit of Quit Staring at My Plate, Hana Jušić’s feature screened at the Venice Days section of the 73rd Venice Film Festival. Father (Niksa Butijer) is an authoritarian and unappealing patriarch. He shouts, threatens, and bullies everyone, including his mentally disabled son for not being able…