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Review: Raw

— by RON WILKINSON —

Writer/director Julia Ducournau’s debut feature “Raw” took home the FIPRESCI international critics’ award at Cannes this year and the it was well-deserved. Building on a small and well-used horror trope, the movie expands the envelope of in-your-face splatter film making while still leaving room for a darkly comic “what’s a cannibal to do?” dialogue.

Garance Marillier does most of the heavy lifting (heavy eating?) as veterinary school freshmen Justine. Like most parents, hers are reticent about just dropping the 16-year-old outside the college and driving away. Nonetheless, the time has come and off they drive. Luckily, Justine has the support of her older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) who is already a student there. (CONTINUED)


Review: The Settlers

— by RON WILKINSON — Even the uninitiated and marginally informed will recognize Shimon Dotan’s documentary as having a decided agenda, but to call it a propaganda film is going too far. It is composed of archival footage of the history of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank […][...]


Review: The Levelling

— by BEV QUESTAD — Set in the scenic Somerset Levels across the misty Bristol Channel of the Atlantic opposite Wales, this poignant film is the master teacher on reunification and redemption. Beginning with a happy revelry in mid-October, the guys get hot and riled up as they dance around a fire. Charlie is celebrating […][...]


Review: Land of Mine

— by RON WILKINSON — In post-World War II Denmark, a group of young German POWs is forced to clear a beach of thousands of land mines under the watch of a Danish sergeant who slowly learns to appreciate their plight. Roland Møller plays Sgt. Carl Rasmussen, a battle-hardened soldier who has seen the worst […][...]


On the Map: Seattle Jewish Film Festival

— by BEV QUESTAD — Laugh, cry, love, gather and celebrate are the words for the 2017 annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF), held March 25 – April 2, 2017. On its final-day, an exceptionally well-made documentary, “On the Map” with legendary Bill Walton narrating, will entertain audiences with a gripping account of the Israeli […][...]


Review: You’re Killing Me Susana

— by BEV QUESTAD — Yeah, Susana (Verónica Echegui) is killing everyone watching this film. She’s Natalie Portman-beautiful and haunting — no match for Eligio (Gael García Bernal), her weak-minded husband. She is the responsible, talented, good-looking writer and he is an irresponsible, intellectually dull, immature soap actor. When a relationship is so unequal, it’s […][...]


2017 PIFF winners announced

— by BEV QUESTAD — The results of the 40th annual Portland International Film Festival Audience Awards are in. With 98 feature films, 66 shorts and an audience of close to 35,000, winning overall for Best Narrative was “Truman,” a poignant story of friendship at the end of life. However, the most touted film and […][...]


I Am Not Madame Bovary: Official Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — The fabulously diversified Portland International Film Festival has been extended to Feb. 27. An example of one of PIFF’s exquisite foreign films is the picturesque Chinese blockbuster by Feng Xiaogang. Known as China’s Steven Spielberg, he uses a unique screen that alternates between a circle and square, but finally becomes […][...]


Starless Dreams: Trailer

— by BEV QUESTAD — Award-winning director Mehrdad Oskouei was given access to an incarceration facility for girls 18 and under in Iran. Gently asking them why they were there and what their hopes for the future were, he discovers a greater societal transgression than the girls’ crimes. The girls wash their own clothes and […][...]