It is difficult to discuss Evolution without giving away a lot of its surprises. Needless-to-say, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s masterful film (only her second in a decade) is disturbing, beautiful and restrained. Mysterious from beginning to end, the film challenges and intrigues, reaching down inside to grab hold of something within us all that is ancient and primordial, engaging on a level that exists within not only a collective imagination but our collective biology
London Film Festival
One often wonders what they would be capable of if their life depended on it. Would you take charge, delegate responsibility but do your part, or would you completely break down and cower in the corner? Would you be able to think clearly enough to find a solution to the problem or would your emotions be too overpowering?
Director Pablo Larraín is known for his extremely fascinating social commentaries about his native Chile. Most famously, he tackled the Pinochet regime and its legacy with his trilogy comprising Tony Manero, Post-Mortem and No. With The Club, Larraín looks at Catholicism, another major Chilean institution, and the abuses of power that can occur within the priesthood.
Following the brilliant A Touch of Sin, auteur and Chinese master Jia Zhangke returns with a similarly structured, yet more narratively linked, portrait of China in the new millennium. Mountains May Depart is two-thirds of a gripping relationship drama that captures not only a China in constant flux, but also the universality of human experience.
To describe Bone Tomahawk as a “horror-Western” is good shorthand, but could be a little misleading. The film indeed has horror elements but novelist turned screenwriter/director S. Craig Zahler seems more interested in spending time with his four main protagonists as they travel across country, letting their different personalities and world views, and the harshness of the terrain, challenge them on their journey
Assassination is pure entertainment. Director Choi Dong-hoon pulls together an astonishing group of talent both in front and behind the camera to portray a story close to South Korea’s heart with humour, pathos, gorgeous cinematography and a series of impressively bombastic action scenes to create one of the most exciting adventure films in recent years.
The Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky has been well served by cinema, especially his major works Crime & Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot, all of which have received numerous adaptations throughout the decades. The latter was lavished with a recent Estonian take, after receiving a Japanese decoding by Kurosawa no less, as well as Indian and (naturally) Soviet versions. It has taken until 2013 for a filmmaker brave enough to approach Dostoyevsky’s binary second novel; there is a certain numerical sense of doubling, since Richard Ayoade has decided to allocate his second film as The Double, an ambitiously promising plea following Submarine back in 2010.
Venerable Woody Grant (a grizzled Bruce Dern) has a singular purpose in mind, to get from his adopted Montana home to neighbouring Nebraska to collect a million-dollar cheque that a suspiciously speculative postal disclaimer has promised to honour. Elderly and suffering with decaying mental functions, Woody clearly can’t see through the marketing scam, and his wife Kate (June Squibb) and son David (Will Forte) grow increasingly exasperated at his dangerous footbound expeditions before arriving at a mutual solution: