Archive for March, 2013

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The Place Beyond the Pines

March 26, 2013

directed by Derek Cianfrance, 2012

PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

On paper, The Place Beyond the Pines is an intriguing prospect — an updated riff on the story of sins passed through the generations from fathers to sons. What is all the more arousing is the idea of writer/director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) spearheading the material. In short, Cianfrance fails to thoroughly deliver in his second feature as much of the emotional heft of Blue Valentine is stripped away in Pines. The ambient mood of such a world is intact as Pines pivots between a grizzled Greek tragedy and a kinetic thriller. Though in the end, the director’s pursuit of the next great American epic eventually falls short as it mistakes commonplace familial quarreling for hardship and pathos.

Read full review at Sound on Sight

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The Unspeakable Act

March 16, 2013

directed by Dan Sallitt, 2012

the-unspeakable-act

There are countless moments in Dan Sallitt’s The Unspeakable Act that resonate far deeper than most things you’ve seen on screen; this is a precise and assured work that revels in silence and bruises the viewer with its spoken and unspoken intimacy. The film is the third entry in writer/director Dan Sallitt’s modest filmography thus far, representing some sort of miraculous watershed moment for independent cinema and for Sallitt himself. Though the director tends to deal in taboo subjects, his approach at unearthing brutal truths and honesty within the medium shines brightest in his latest. While on the surface it’s a film about incest, reducing the film and Sallitt’s intentions to a singular portrait of said taboo would prove to be a rather faulty endeavor.

Read full review at Sound on Sight

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Beyond the Hills

March 6, 2013

directed by Cristian Mungiu, 2012

Beyond the Hills image

A thick air of mystery hangs over the proceedings of Beyond the Hills, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s highly anticipated follow-up to the excellent 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a film which earned him the coveted Golden Palm at Cannes back in 2007.  The focus this time shifts from the highly oppressive streets of 80’s Romania to a present day convent where faith and friendship are harshly tested between two friends. While most of Beyond the Hills registers as another formal wonder in the recent lineup of Romanian New Wave entries, Mungiu’s latest fails to live up to expectation as its thematic repetition overstays its welcome.

Read full review at Sound on Sight