LFF review: David Lynch – The Art Life

David Lynch – The Art Life (dirs. Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm, 2016) ★★★★

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Before David Lynch was a filmmaker, he was a struggling painter, whose lifeblood was to “drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and paint.” That’s what he dubbed “the art life,” and what an image – as featured in the many contemporary photos seen in this new documentary – it is, the bequiffed 20-something Lynch sitting back in his Philadelphia studio, composing transgressive abstract artwork. Bookmarked by footage of Lynch working on his latest paintings in his Hollywood Hills penthouse, the wonderful new documentary David Lynch: The Art Life showcases the artistic developments of one of America’s most singular directors.

The review continues at The Film Stage

LFF review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (dir. André Øvredal, 2016) ★★★

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André Øvredal’s last feature, the monster mockumentary Trollhunter, was thrillingly irreverent — a cruelly funny movie that turned Norwegian mythology into a riotous adventure. That subversive streak heralds his English-language debut, a high-concept horror thriller set in a morgue where not all is as it seems. “Every body has a secret” says Brian Cox’s Austin as he digs into the mysterious new cadaver they’ve just been delivered.

Read more of this review at The Film Stage

LFF review: Porto

Porto (dir. Gabe Klinger, 2016) ★★

porto

One of Anton Yelchin’s final screen performances lifts this melancholic ode to one night’s lost passion in Porto, a messy, scattered drama that, for all its visual resplendence, is too narratively slippery to reach much in the way of profundity. Set in the picturesque Portuguese city of the title, the film demonstrates first-time fiction director Gabe Klinger’s eye for visual storytelling, but his script, co-written by Larry Gross, feels undeveloped for anything further than glib, Instagram-like testaments to cherished moments in time.

To read on, head to The Film Stage

LFF review: My Life as a Courgette

My Life as a Courgette (dir. Claude Barras, 2016) ★★★★

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Orphanages conjure up images of the hard-knock life and servings of gruel. This tough, deeply moving, Céline Sciamma-penned, 66-minute stop-motion gem from France shows the flipside. Sure, harsh realities are inevitably encountered — sometimes in a more uncompromising fashion than you’ll ever see in what is ostensibly a children’s film — but Claude Barras’ feature-directing debut has heart enough.

Review continues at The Film Stage

Cannes review: Divines

Divines

Two years after Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood, another girls-in-the-hood drama has become the talk of Cannes. This a more rowdy, boisterous banlieue-set film, with a more youthful edge, and a dynamite central performance that’ll make up for inevitable quibbles about its narrative flaws.

Review continues at Little White Lies

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