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Zettel Film Reviews » Europe/World cinema

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3 – Iron: a series of visual haikus threaded into a perfect circle

Tweet 3-Iron – Director KIM Ki-Duk (BBC Prize-winning review) Of all the words a film critic needs least, ‘exquisite’ must be near the top of the list. Yet this is precisely the word for this hauntingly beautiful film which celebrates with a rare delicacy and sensitivity – love, life and our freedom just to be. […]

Pan’s Labyrinth – Del Torro’s stunning allegorical tale

Tweet Pan’s Labyrinth – Guillermo del Torro How shall innocence respond to evil? How can the dominance of power be resisted or even defeated? Timeless questions del Torro explores in his stunning allegorical tale. But be warned, this is a dark, at times brutally explicit vision. Historically human beings have responded to these fundamental questions […]

Cache (Hidden) – my story, your story, history

Tweet Caché (Hidden) – Michael Haneke (contains spoilers – plot elements revealed) Few recent films reward a second viewing more than Haneke’s justly praised Caché (Hidden). I caught it again at one of the Curzon (Mayfair and Soho) excellent midday Sunday bills. Its current release on video makes it even more widely available. Highly recommended, […]

5 x 2 – beginning at the end – how not where.

Tweet “5 x 2” – Director Francois Ozon Sexually, more Catch-22 than 5 x 2: in this film you can have sex when you want it – but not with the person you want; or you can have sex with the person you want – but not when you want it. I’m not quite sure […]

2 Days In Paris – delectable Julie delights

Tweet 2 Days In Paris – Julie Delpy Confession: I love Julie Delpy. My wife knows. We are on a fantasy quid pro quo with Julie for me and Luvly Lee Mead (the sickeningly handsome, sickeningly talented, sickeningly nice Joseph) for her. I only share this embarrassing revelation with you dear reader as a warning […]

Notre Musique – Language image and logic

Tweet Notre Musique – Director Jean-Luc Godard If you love film – see this. If ideas engage you – see this. If you believe language and poetry embrace more than words – don’t miss this. Notre Musique shows a master film-maker on top of his game. Most people who know film, have a Godard movie […]

A Very Long Engagement – Magical realism, love in war

Tweet A Very Long Engagement – Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet A Very Long Engagement is a great read. The film I mean, I haven’t read the book. It is not so much a film of a book as what one might call a ‘book-film’. I have never seen a film which more recalled the experience of […]

Babel – simply a masterpiece

Tweet Babel – Alejandro Gonzalez Inárritu (BBC Prize Review) Simply a masterpiece: of conception and writing, direction, performance and technical accomplishment integrating the whole. If not already, Inárritu will be one of the great directors. This is a work of consummate warmth and humanity – beyond language, beyond religion, beyond politics. In a world bedevilled […]

Saraband – Bergman’s existential farewell. Deeply moving

Tweet Saraband – Ingmar Bergman (BBC Prize Review) Saraband is like a cup of very hot, black, excellent tea on a bitter Winter’s day. Not everyone’s brew. A drink that must be sipped, taking in its satisfying heat little by little. No sweetness here, just a few hints of tenderness and compassion like single grains […]

Vers Le Sud (Heading South) – sexual colonialism

Tweet Vers Le Sud (Heading South) – Laurent Cantet (BBC Prize Review) Is sex the paradigm human experience? A pool of thought for ever poisoned by Freud. Presidents, kings and queens, tycoons and politicians – all seem willing to risk everything for it. It sells everything from spanners to hot dogs; politicians to flatulence pills. […]