BADLAND (Francesco Lucente, 2007)

I do not much care for Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldrey, 2001), but I have revisited it for the sake of the marvelous acting of Jamie Bell and Julie Walters; the next time, however, I am going to pay closer attention to Jamie Draven, who plays Billy’s older brother. I have just seen Draven give a […]

GANDHI, MY FATHER (Feroz Abbas Khan, 2007)

Massively moving, Gandhi, My Father is a Hindi masterpiece. Its laying bare the self-absorbed, insensitive and, frankly, brutal father that Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi was to his son, Harilal, sparked controversy in India, where Gandhi’s memory has been sanctified; but some viewers have failed to consider what the film is ultimately about. One misguided soul […]

AUTUMN BALL (Veiko Õunpuu, 2007)

Heavily influenced by David Lynch (what Estonian film isn’t?), as well as by Aki Kaurismäki, Veiko Õunpuu’s first feature is largely set in a prefabricated 1970s housing complex whose grounds, a construction mess, resemble an abandoned war field in the African desert in Werner Herzog’s Fata Morgana (1969). A tone poem of frayed or desperate […]