Voice Of Silence

Voice of Silence (Sorido Eopsi) (2020)

“Thank you, have a good day!”, are the opening lines of limping Chang-bok (Yoo Jae-myung) as he sells eggs in a marketplace with his mute sidekick Tae-in (Yoo Ah-in, Burning, 2018) – and indeed, the friendliness of his words is complemented by the all-round sunniness of writer/director Hong Eui-jeong feature debut Voice of Silence (Sorido…

Limbo

Limbo (2020)

Limbo begins with a smile, and with a cautionary tale about the mixed signals that a smile can send. Its first image is a large, crudely chalked smiley-face on a blackboard, as Helga (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Boris (Kenneth Collard) rôle-play a scenario in which a man on the dance floor misconstrues a woman’s smile…

Parallel

Parallel Minds (2020)

At the centre of Parallel Minds is a classic locked-room mystery. Some time not far into the future, Elise Perrott (Michelle Thrush) and her research assistant Margo Elson (Tommie-Amber Pirie) are racing to complete a pioneering technology called Red Eye – special contact lenses which enable people both to download their memories into a Universal…

Toll

The Toll (2021)

“This had better be fucking good,” says police officer Catrin (Annes Elwy) at the beginning of Ryan Andrew Hooper’s feature debut The Toll, as she steps into the portable cabin where the Toll Booth Man (Michael Smiley) conducts his business. The latter – a dry, taciturn anonym – has been leading an equally anonymous life,…

Wicked

The Dark and the Wicked (2020)

On a desolate goat farm out in rural Thurber, Texas, the Straker family’s elderly patriarch David (Michael Zagst) lies in bed, ill and dying. Yet it is not just death that stalks this property in Bryan Bertino’s The Dark and the Wicked. For something is spooking the goats in their barn at night, and between…

Shorta

Shorta (2020)

“I can’t breathe,” 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi (Jack Pedersen) shouts repeatedly, as police officers hold him down in a cell. With those three words right at the beginning of Shorta, writer/directors’ Frederik Louis Hviid and Anders Ølholm evoke the phrase used by Eric Garner and many other African-Americans before they died at the hands of…

Black Bear

Black Bear (2020)

“Do you remember what it was like in the beginning, before all of this?”, Allison (Aubrey Plaza, Life After Beth) will ask near the end of Black Bear written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine whose previous feature, Wild Canaries (2014), also boasted a bestial title. “We were so happy,” Allison continues, “I just want…

Keane

Keane (2004)

Keane first published by musicOMH Two people sit on a bench at a train station, in what will probably be the last few moments they share before parting company forever. “It’s okay, I love you”, she says. “I love you too”, he replies, a single tear rolling down his cheek. This might be the closing…

Wildland

Wildland (Kød og blod) (2020)

“Are you sure you want to keep it?”, 17-year-old Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) asks Anna (Carla Philip Røder), the pregnant girlfriend of her cousin David (Elliott Crosset Hove), in Jeanette Nordahl’s feature debut Wildland. “Maybe he doesn’t even want to be a dad.”  It is a peculiarly inappropriate thing to ask a young, excitedly expectant…

Gagarine

Gagarine (2020)

Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh’s feature debut opens with actual black-and-white newsreel footage of pioneering Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin arriving in Ivry-sur-Seine, a southeastern suburb of Paris, before a cheering crowd of Caucasian locals. There, in 1963, he ceremonially inaugurated a housing project that bore his name, the Cité Gagarine – a groundbreaking socialist hero…