1 – 4 of 4 movies
Denise Ho: Becoming the Song profiles the openly gay Hong Kong singer and human rights activist Denise Ho. Drawing on unprecedented, years-long access, the film explores her remarkable journey from commercial Cantopop superstar to outspoken political activist, an artist who has put her life and career on the line to support the determined struggle of Hong Kong citizens to maintain their identity and freedom.
In post-WWII Leningrad, two women, Iya and Masha (astonishing newcomers Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina), intensely bonded after fighting side by side as anti-aircraft gunners, attempt to readjust to a haunted world. As the film begins, Iya, long and slender and towering over everyone—hence the film’s title—works as a nurse in a shell-shocked hospital, presiding over traumatized soldiers. A shocking accident brings them closer and also seals their fates. The 28-year-old Russian director Kantemir Balagov won Un Certain Regard’s Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for this richly burnished, occasionally harrowing rendering of the persistent scars of war.
Abel Ferrara’s first dramatic feature since 2014’s Pasolini reteams the filmmaker and his frequent lead Willem Dafoe, who delivers a career-best performance as the title character, an older American expat living in Rome with his young wife and their daughter. Disoriented by his past misgivings and subsequent, unexpected blows to his self-esteem, Tommaso wades through this late chapter of his life with an increasingly impaired grasp on reality as he prepares for his next film. Tommaso is easily Ferrara and Dafoe’s most personal and engrossing collaboration to date, a delicately surrealistic work of autofiction marked by the keen sensitivity of two consummate artists.
Set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history yet adapted from a 1909 novel by American author Jack London, Martin Eden is a passionate and enthralling narrative fresco in the tradition of the great Italian classics. Martin (played by the marvelously committed Luca Marinelli) is a self-taught proletarian with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy). The twinned dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political reawakening and destructive anxiety in this enveloping, superbly mounted bildungsroman.