Film reviews

MELODRAMA-RAMA: ABSORBING DELIGHT

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The Telugu film RRR is an incredible mixture of genres, influences, and ideas: a historical epic with obvious ahistorical qualities, a combat-heavy actioner with exuberant song-and-dance numbers, a homosocial friendship drama with recognizably romantic montages. Strong notes of melodrama accent its potent blend.

From Tasteful Rude
On September 20, 2022
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Hope Is The Anthem That Runs Through No U-Turn

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In 1997, a young Ike Nnaebue, along with free of his friends, left Lagos, Nigeria for a journey across West Africa, hoping to get into Europe by road (and ultimately) by sea, but a fortuitous encounter at Mali’s capital city caused him to make a detour, one that would change the trajectory of his life forever.

From Olongo Africa
On September 13, 2022
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“Demigod: The Legend Begins” Breathes New Life Into Taiwanese Puppetry

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Pili Puppetry is a well-known Taiwanese glove puppet series, which transposes wuxia tales of martial arts chivalry to a fantasy setting.

From No Man Is an Island
On August 22, 2022
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“Before Next Spring” Humanizes the Lives of Chinese Students in Japan

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Part of coverage of the 2022 New York Asian Film Festival.

From No Man Is an Island
On July 16, 2022
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The Spectacle and Politics of Nudity in “Blood Sisters”

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If we think of film as “visual storytelling”, Blood Sisters certainly gives us the “visual” even if it sometimes leaves us wondering about the “storytelling.”

From Olongo Africa
On May 27, 2022
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The Many Repetitions of Hong Kong History

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There are few words fit to describe Blue Island (憂鬱之島), apart from “masterpiece.” The film stands out as an example of its genre, while also managing to be highly powerful and personal.

From No Man Is an Island
On April 22, 2022
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A Miao Church Choir Thrust into the Spotlight

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A Review of "Singing in the Wilderness" written in collaboration with Cinema Escapist, as part of coverage of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Keep an eye out for more!

From No Man Is an Island
On April 16, 2022
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A Glance into the Everyday of COVID

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This is a No Man is an Island film review written in collaboration with Cinema Escapist, as part of coverage of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Keep an eye out for more!

From No Man Is an Island
On April 12, 2022
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Gold Leaf Succeeds Where SEQALU and Island Nation Did Not

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A Review of Episodes One and Two of Gold Leaf (茶金)

From No Man Is an Island
On November 23, 2021
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A Powerful Look into the Struggles of Two Generations in China

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FATHER (爺爺和父親) is a standout documentary, whose strengths primarily derive from the revealing moments it manages to capture on camera. This is due to the fact that director Deng Wei is filming his father and grandfather as the documentary’s subjects.

From No Man Is an Island
On August 20, 2021
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FUNCTION AT THE JUNCTION: NOTES ON SUMMER OF SOUL

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I’m getting ready for the function at the junction And baby you’d better come on right now Because everybody’s gonna be there We got people comin’ from everywhere – “Function At The Junction,” Shorty Long, 1966 There’s a long, long legacy of Black folks gathering around food and funk, bbq sauce and song.

From Tasteful Rude
On August 20, 2021
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A Cross-Genre Thriller About Life After Death

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THE SOUL (緝魂) stands out among recent Taiwanese film as an effective and well-executed commercial thriller.

From No Man Is an Island
On July 27, 2021
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Review: “Born to Be Human” Interrogates Medical Violence Against Intersex Individuals

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Building off of Taiwan’s complex relationship with intersex issues stemming from the 1950s, 2021’s "Born to Be Human" brings light to contemporary misunderstandings of intersex people and the continued medical violence they face. The film proves an emotionally harrowing look at the medicalization of the gender binary through the lens of intersex rights.

From No Man Is an Island
On July 16, 2021
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