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…

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…