Alexander

Alexander (2023)

September 11th is the date of the key events from which Ardit Sadiku’s documentary portrait Alexander reverberates, as New York migrant Alexander Gruda and his wife Marjana retrace the steps of a loss that has helped define who they are today. Yet Alexander’s 9/11 was not in 2001, but rather back in 1990, when he…

Control

Control (2022)

Control first published by VODzilla.co Control opens on a beach. “Life is but a dream,” sings little Eve (Evie Loiselle), playing in the sand – and the bright light and narrow, slightly woozy focus seem to validate her words. As Eileen (Sara Mitich) watches her daughter in this hyperreal space, the idyll is repeatedly shattered…

Til Death Do Us Part

Til Death Do Us Part (2023)

Although the chronology of Til Death Us Do Part is not quite as straightforward as it first seems, the film begins with two sequences of apparent marital bliss in the present that also offer glimpses of the future.  In the first, as the Best Man (Cam Gigandet, in hilarious form), seated in a pew, struggles…

Peninsula

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Bando) (2020)

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Bando) first published by VODzilla.co A virus has leaked out of a bio-factory in South Korea, spreading so rapidly (via the rabid bites of the infected) that the government effectively loses control of the state in a single day. We already know this, because in 2016 director Yeon Sang-ho (here…

Iron Mask

The Iron Mask (Viy 2: Journey To China) (2019)

The Iron Mask first published by VODzilla.co The paradox of tea is that it is both a basic household item, and also an ancient commodity whose sale has formed connections between nations across the globe. In other words, tea is an everyday beverage that comes with a strong aroma of geopolitical history. To declare Oleg…

Penultimate

The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) (2020)

A man traverses a barren field in the mist, and tethers his donkey to a leafless, lifeless tree before advancing until he reaches the towering exterior of a brutalist building. Shot (by DP Jacob Sofussen) very wide, this opening to writer/director Jonas Kærup Hjort’s feature debut The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) is a single take, tracking…

Precarious

Precarious (2020)

Precarious is a film of tight spots. When we first meet its hero Henry (Andrey Pfening), he is injured, unconscious and handcuffed, in a small bedroom crammed with police officers watching closely over his bed. Thereafter his mysterious escapades will take him from secret crawlspace to locked supply room to phone booth to mobile library…

Transmission

Transmission (2017)

In keeping with its title, Transmission opens with a televisual nightmare: a disturbingly hypermanic barrage of images on a flickering screen, as though channels were being surfed by a madman. That television sits in an arched cellar, where Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March pours its incongruously upbeat notes from two speakers. This bricked bunker has been…

Ariel

Ariel (1988)

Ariel first published by EyeforFilm, 16 Oct 2007 Aki Kaurismäki’s first feature, Crime And Punishment (1983), updated and transplanted Dostoyevsky’s novel to present day Finland. Since then, the deadpan auteur has written, directed and edited some 20 films, which is about a fifth of Finland’s cinematic output since the Eighties. His films, however, have always proven…