Posts Tagged ‘world cinema’

Best World Cinema DVDs 2016

Posted on November 24th, 2016 in News, Recent posts, Reviews by .

Songlines World Cinema

Songlines World Cinema editor John Atkinson selects his five favourite DVD releases from this year


A Bigger Splash (Studiocanal)
Ralph Fiennes’ post-Voldemort career catch-up rolls on with his fabulous turn as a record producer invading his ex-wife’s (Tilda Swinton) island paradise. Adult entertainment in the best sense. Reviewed in #120.


High Rise (Studiocanal)
This JG Ballard adaptation split the critics, but Ben Wheatley’s film successfully captures the Ballardian spirit of (sub)urban breakdown and class warfare in a 1970s setting that is recognisable but subtly sci-fi. It’s also surprisingly funny.


Napoleon (BFI)
When every Nicholas Cage straight-to-video release is marketed as ‘an event’, Napoleon is the real deal – the culmination of a restoration project 50 years in development. See Abel Gance’s masterpiece on the big screen if you can; otherwise, this four-disc DVD is the essential Christmas present for the cinephile in your life.


Things to Come (Curzon/Artificial Eye)
The ubiquitous Isabelle Huppert stars as a woman whose identity as a mother, wife, daughter and professional is shaken by mid-life events. The film is as fragile but resilient as Huppert herself. Reviewed in #121. (Reviewed in issue #121).


Rams (Soda Pictures)
Marketed as a Scandi-comedy, Rams is laughter in the dark – Icelandic sheep-farming brothers deal with an outbreak of disease that threatens their whole way of life. Weird and touching in equal measure. Reviewed in #115.


Pick up the next issue of Songlines (January/February 2017, #124), which goes on sale December 9, for more world cinema reviews.

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Best World Cinema DVDs 2015

Posted on November 19th, 2015 in Recent posts by .

Songlines Best of 2015 World Cinema

World Cinema editor Yoram Allon selects his five favourite DVD releases from this year

Leviathan (Artificial Eye)
Zvyaginstev’s powerful indictment of corruption and cynicism in Putin’s Russia.
Reviewed in #106.


Silent Youth (Peccadillo Pictures)
Brave and challenging portrayal of homosexual desire in contemporary Berlin.
Reviewed in #107.


Pelo Malo (Axiom Films)
Fantastic performances in this smart interrogation of Latin American gender politics.
Reviewed in #107.


Timbuktu (Artificial Eye)
A cry from the heart that beautifully captures the current threat to Malian cultural identity.
Reviewed in #108.


Force Majuere (Artificial Eye)
A masterful family melodrama that expertly explores the nature of responsibility and sacrifice.
Reviewed in #109.


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Songlines World Cinema | Aug/Sept (#110)

Posted on July 30th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Marshland, The Salt of the Earth and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence are all reviewed

We’ve collected trailers from all the film reviews in the current issue (Aug/Sept #110), written by world cinema editor, Yoram Allon.

In Cinemas

Dir: Alberto Rodríguez; UK release August 7 (Altitude)
Winner of ten Goya Awards, this engrossing murder mystery set in the marshlands of Andalucía presents an effective sense of specific location as the intricate pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

The Salt of the Earth
Dirs: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado & Wim Wenders; UK release July 17 (Artificial Eye)
A truly captivating film, and a remarkable testimony to one man’s enduring empathy for the human condition, told with pathos, humility and cinematic precision.

Home Entertainment 

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Dir: Roy Andersson; UK release July 13 (Artificial Eye)
Andersson’s final analysis of modern Swedish ennui may be fixated on death, but its more salient points are about the full span of human existence, the almost invisible connections that unite places and people, granting even the most trivial moments a perverse sense of importance.

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Songlines World Cinema | July (#109)

Posted on July 3rd, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


West, Force Majeure, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter are all reviewed in the current issue.

We’ve collected trailers from all the film reviews in the current issue (July #109), written by our world cinema editor, Yoram Allon.

In Cinemas

Dir: Christian Schwochow; UK release June 12 (New Wave Films)
This highly perceptive film succeeds in expressing the subtle and enigmatic mysteries of not knowing the true nature of anything, or anyone.


In Home Entertainment 

Force Majeure
Dir: Ruben Östlund; UK release June 29 (Artificial Eye)
An unsettling reality explored with a merciless lens in Ruben Östlund’s fourth feature film, Force Majeure. Yet this brilliant, viciously amusing indictment of bourgeois complacency, gender stereotypes and the illusion of security still manages to evoke a disturbing empathy as it exposes human frailty.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Dir: David Zellner; UK release June 29 (Soda Pictures)
The result is a genuinely moving, enchanting tale, beautifully shot with empathy and warmth. Strangely, it also arrives at an unexpected place of great joy. In short, a wonderful work of cinematic art.

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