IO CAPITANO – Review by Jennifer Green

There is cinema that is entertaining, cinema that is educational, cinema that is emotional. And there is cinema that is necessary. Io Capitano falls into the latter category. It’s all those other things as well, but this is a story that takes the collective experiences of many migrants and boils them into one harrowing tale that viewers can’t turn away from, following the odyssey of two teens from Senegal to Italy

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CANNES REMAKES: The Fast Fashion of Film? – Jennifer Green comments

Cannes kicks off its inaugural one-day movie remakes market on Monday, with the intention of meeting media streamers’ ever-increasing demand for quick and disposable content. What seems like a juicy business opportunity for local talents also feels somewhat like cultural decimation, especially in this globalized day and age when massive numbers of consumers are used to carelessly discarding whatever trending fashion claims the moment. Why not revisit the originals, many of which are classics? Are remakes the fast fashion of film?

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CHALLENGERS: Love from the Tennis Movie Playbook – Jennifer Green comments

The final climactic scenes of Luca Guadagnino’s new film Challengers track an epic court battle between two professional tennis players, Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor). The story follows them as childhood best friends coming up in the world of pro tennis whose relationship is complicated by their love for the same woman, frustrated tennis star Tashi (Zendaya). Their own obvious mutual attraction adds another level of homoerotic friction. You’d expect nothing less from the director of Call Me by My Name. But that doesn’t mean Challengers is entirely new as far as tennis movies go. In fact, the film pulls quite a few ideas from the existing tennis movie playbook.

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SLOW – Review by Jennifer Green

This excellent character study from Lithuania is a promising second feature from director Marija Kavtaradze who weaves an emotional story in which visual imagery is as important as dialogue. The film is full of small moments of human connection and bursts of unspoken emotion. What we are watching is two people falling in love but unable to make love. The film serves as an exploration of relationships. How important is sex to two people in love? Can partners who need very different things ultimately be happy together?

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IN FLAMES – Review by Jennifer Green

In the Pakistani psychological thriller In Flames, women are eternally vigilant for men looking to take advantage of them – physically, emotionally and financially. The film, Pakistani-Canadian director Zarrar Kahn’s feature debut, blends genres and employs supernatural elements to convey the relentless stress of their world. In Flames premiered last year in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and was Pakistan’s entry to the International Oscar, a bold choice considering the condemning portrayal of inequality and violence against women in Karachi.

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SOCIETY OF THE SNOW – Review by Jennifer Green

Society of the Snow, Spain’s entry to the International Feature Film Oscar, is based on real events involving a 1972 chartered plane crash that killed upwards of two dozen people, among them members of a Uruguayan rugby team, and left others to fend for themselves for months in the freezing reaches of the Andes Mountains. Director J.A. Bayona focuses more acutely on the physical challenges the men faced during the two and a half months they were stranded in the Andes. The result is that you can finish this film and still feel you don’t know a lot about any one of the characters. The story is about the group – the society – more than its individuals.

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PERFECT DAYS – Review by Jennifer Green

German director Wim Wenders’ deceptively simple, meditative, Tokyo-set Perfect Days demonstrates a masterful use of what the medium of cinema can offer. By pairing minimalist storytelling with modern settings, ambient sound with a nostalgic soundtrack, and moving images with unobtrusive dialogue and action, Wenders constructs a portrait of one man’s seemingly ordinary life that manages to both scratch away at what it means to be human and ask quintessential questions about what constitutes a life well-lived.

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SPOTLIGHT December 2023: SUSANNE BIER, Award-Winning, Pond-Hopping, Genre-Diverse Director

Susanne Bier is among Europe’s most prolific and honored female film and television writer-directors. Her career filmography spans formats, genres and countries. Originally from Denmark, some of Bier’s best-known works, at least for international audiences, include Hollywood productions like Bird Box and In A Better World, and the Hollywood remakes of her original films, like Brothers and After the Wedding. Bier is said to be the first female director to win a Golden Globe (Best Picture, In A Better World), a Primetime Emmy (Directing, The Night Manager), a European Film Award (many, including Achievement in World Cinema in 2021) and an Oscar (Foreign Language Film, In a Better World). She currently co-chairs the Academy’s International Feature Film Executive Committee.

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Greta Lee and Celine Song talk PAST LIVES – Jennifer Green reports

For a film about the deep connections we have with others and how destiny shapes which relationships come and go in our lives, it would seem appropriate that the talents behind the film also share deep bonds. In fact, Past Lives writer-director Celine Song says she’s convinced she was married to actress Greta Lee in a past life. That’s the kind of connection the two forged working on one of this year’s standout films, now widely considered a top contender for recognition this awards season. Song and Lee shared details of their work, and the meaningful on- and off-camera relationships behind their poignant film.

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