A film critic for more than 55 years and Screen International’s critic-at-large, Dan has written for the title since 2001. Honorary vice-president of Fipresci, he is editor of Israeli film magazine Cinematheque.
Dir Cristi Puiu
A three-hour-long minimalist saga shot almost entirely in a cramped Bucharest flat, crowded with members of one family, 40 days after the death of its paterfamilias. No one is particularly concerned with the deceased — they’re just waiting for the priest to show up for the traditional ceremony, before they can attack the food on the table. Deeply rooted in Romanian soil, this is a stunning portrait of the contemporary middle class, its preoccupations, worries and frazzled relationships.Profoundly human and universally valid, it is masterfully directed by Puiu and boasts vibrantly true performances.
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- I Am Not Madame Bovary
Dir Feng Xiaogang
Precise, brilliantly shot and meticulously planned, with wonderfully shaped round frames, this is a biting social satire of today’s Chinese society and its egalitarian presumptions.
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Dir Jim Jarmusch
Poetry of everyday life, tongue-in-cheek, tender, gentle and whimsical; a delightful antidote to the routine multiplex drudge.
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Dir Cristian Mungiu
Paternal devotion and moral standards are put to the most severe test in a drama that never cries, but whispers the uncomfortable truths we’d all rather ignore.
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- Hell Or High Water
Dir David Mackenzie
Despite the scenery, not a western but a witty morality tale with bank robbers for heroes and banks for villains. Cast, written and directed to perfection.
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A Journey Through French Cinema
Dir Bertrand Tavernier
Tavernier’s affection for the cinema of his country resonates in this 190-minute voyage through acknowledged classics and forgotten masterpieces. Less like a lesson, more like a guided tour, and always keeping in mind that behind every director there are actors, musicians and set designers who should never be ignored.
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Dir William Oldroyd
Nothing to do with Shakespeare, rather this is furious Russian passion chilled down into an austere, scrupulously directed 19th-century British tragedy. Every frame, every set and every look painted on the faces of the actors is carefully shaped by a master hand. As Katherine, lead performer Florence Pugh’s transition from innocent Victorian bride to ruthless murderer is unique.
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