The Sight & Sound festival blog

Cannes Film Festival 2012

After LuciaA history of violence: After Lucia

Demetrios Matheou on this year’s Un Certain Regard winner, a powerful study of grief and abuse

In the FogMuddy waters run deep

Geoff Andrew sees Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols close out this year’s Competition with an impressive Southern river adventure that owes a debt to Mark Twain

In the FogSlow war cinema and Bollysploitation

Jonathan Romney hails the Tolstoy-esque simplicity of Sergei Loznitsa’s possibly bleak, certainly slow In the Fog – and the meta-Troma invention of Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely

Holy MotorsCinema-chewing:
Leos Carax’s Holy Motors

Demetrios Matheou wonders at the French former wunderkind’s madly eclectic meta-movie – and, less happily, at a directorial feature debut from actress Sandrine Bonnaire

Me and YouStill dreaming wild things:
Bernardo Bertolucci goes underground

Geoff Andrew sees the veteran master make his long-awaited return with a modest, subterranean two-hander

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ YetLast works and wakes:
Alain Resnais in the underworld

Amy Taubin hopes death succeeds patriarchy as the flavour of this year’s festival

AmourLove by Michael Haneke

Nick James checks his notes: the festival’s most tender as well as telling film so far comes from the Austrian disciplinarian

Beyond the HillsMortal mischief:
Raúl Ruiz’s La Noche de Enfrente

Jonathan Romney on the late Chilean master’s fond farewell to a life of artistic delinquency

Beyond the HillsSex on tap: Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love

The Austrian director’s sex-tourism drama could be his richest film yet, says Pamela Jahn

Beyond the HillsNuns on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills

Geoff Andrew on the Palme d’Or alumnus’s return to the Competition

No‘No’ for a lighter, nicer Chile

Demetrios Matheou sees Pablo Larraín close out his trilogy about Chile’s years of dictatorship with wit and verve

ImposterThe wrong earlobes: The Imposter

Tom Charity on a smart doc fresh from Toronto’s HotDocs and Sundance – and Bernard Rose revisit Tolstoy in Hollywood

StudentCrime and punishment in Kazakhstan

With the festival’s slow start continuing, Geoff Andrew singles out a quietly resonant new riff on Dostoevsky in the festival’s Un Certain Regard sidebar

After the BattleSimple versus simple: After the Battle

Yousry Nasrallah’s instantly derided melodrama of Egypt’s 25 January Revolution may simplify, says Nick Roddck – but at least it does so differently…

Moonrise KingdomFleeting pleasures: Moonrise Kingdom

Day one, and Nick James is in two minds about Wes Anderson’s scout-island fantasia

Like Someone in LoveGreat expectations

Cannes is where all the best directors are, says Geoff Andrew

Cannes Marilyn posterIntroduction: Hello boys

Nick James is on the plane to a man’s man’s man’s man’s Cannes

Berlinale 2012

Caesar Must DieGreek to me: mafia Shakespeareans win the Golden Bear

Nick James considers the worthy awardees for best film, best director and innovation, and a couple of notable disappointments

TabuO masterpiece, where art thou?

Geoff Andrew tries to master festival hype around the M-word

Just the WindBuilding unease: Bence Fliegauf’s Just the Wind (without subtitles)

Jonathan Romney reflects on his hits, misses and near-misses – including a sombre response to Hungary’s rising spate of Gypsy murders

TabuSilver valentine: Miguel Gomes’s audacious movie medley Tabu

Nick James on the Portuguese former critic’s intricate, near-transcendental homage to film history

IndignadosTime for outrage:
Tony Gatlif’s Indignados

Demetrios Matheou on cinema-burning in Athens, and Tony Gatlif’s powerful and creative “dramatised account of a Europe in revolt”

The Great White SilenceTwo small gems from Jordan and Austria

Geoff Andrew blows cool on the official competition so far, but hotter on two Forum finds, Yahya Alabdallah’s The Last Friday and Ruth Mader’s What Is Love

Iron SkyStarship stormtroopers: Iron Sky

Demetrios Matheou makes a beeline for Timo Vuorensola’s lo-fi Nazis-in-space sci-fi comedy, this year’s quite pleasurable guilty pleasure

The Great White SilenceDistribute these!
Watching and workshopping

Suzy Gillett on the film attractions set to distract her from her day gig at the festival

The Great White SilenceThe grim Werner:
Herzog does Death Row

Jonathan Romney spends his first festival night watching Werner Herzog’s three-hour, four-part TV project about American prisoners condemned to death

The Great White SilenceIntroduction: I am just going outside…

Nick James gears up for the unknown quantity that is this year’s edition of the Berlin film festival

London Film Festival 2011

Lawrence of BelgraviaIt’s a wrap

Our writers tally their best discoveries, on- and off-screen moments and personal encounters of the festival

MedianerasThe new new Argentine cinema

Mar Diestro-Dópido on six new films that suggest the rise of a new generation of Argentine filmmakers forging their own identity

HereThey live! Treasures from the archive

James Bell’s festival journey through the restored cinematic past, from Georges Méliès and ‘Wonderful London’ to Barbara Loden’s “anti-Bonnie and Clyde” and a masterfully edited archival exposé of Joseph McCarthy

HereAcross the universe: Braden King’s HERE

Davina Quinlivan on an experimental exploration of Armenia’s countryside, the romance of travel, the art of map-making and the path of love

My Back PageThe lost Left: My Back Page

Japan’s late-60s political turmoil is explored in a gripping – and properly messy – story of ethics, betrayal and idealism, says Frances Morgan

Albert SerraAlbert Serra: “I am the best one”

The director of Honour of the Knights and self-proclaimed “greatest director in Spain” talks to Kieron Corless

Artificial ParadiseMystic Mathieu: The Screen Illusion

Davina Quinlivan probes actor-director Mathieu Amalric’s rich screen-age transplant of Pierre Corneille’s meta-theatrical play L’illusion comique

Artificial ParadiseFive (not) by Ben Rivers

The British artist filmmaker talks Kieron Corless through his London Film Festival highlights

VolcanoAround the world in 14 films

Nick Hasted visits new films from Iceland and Italy via Norway, California, Belgravia and Stratford

The Texas Chain Saw MassacreThe book of cult

Jane Giles explores the world of cult movies with the panellists at a launch of BFI Palgrave’s new 100 Cult Films book

FootnotesWelcome guests

Geoff Andrew on this year’s filmmaker visitors to the LFF, including Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Dardenne brothers, Terence Davies and Footnote’s Joseph Cedar

The First BornRich and strange: The First Born

Thirza Wakefield on a gala screening of the BFI’s new restoration of Miles Mander’s 1928 infidelity drama, a “violent and libidinous affair” co-written by Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville

CorrespondenceCorrespondences: Jonas Mekas, José Luis Guerín, Jafar Panahi

Mar Diestro-Dópido finds unexpected dialogue and moving kinship between Mekas and Guerín’s visual ‘letter’ exchanges Correspondence and Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s defiant diary This Is Not a Film

Chicken with PlumsChicken with Plums: over-plummed?

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s follow-up to their hit comic-book adaptation Persepolis is not quite Amélie, finds Sophie Mayer

A Cat in ParisToons for all

Dylan Cave and Nick Bradshaw survey the festival’s short animations for kids and adults

360Let’s start giving: early ups and downs

Nick James on 360 and ‘We Are the World’ movies, 17 Girls, Alps, She Monkeys, Rampart, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia… and an undercover festival sub-theme

PariahWhose waste?
Mercedes Álvarez’s Futures Market

Sophie Mayer on a documentary that contrasts the flimsy dreams of the postmodern economy with the world of flea markets and junk wares

PariahShe’s gotta have it: Pariah

Dee Rees’s story of a young Brooklyn lesbian’s trials of self-definition sports the energy and attitude of Spike Lee’s early movies, says Sophie Mayer

YatastoScraps and gems

Kieron Corless on Hermes Paralluelo’s Argentine refuse-collection documentary Yatasto, and the art of rare-gem hunting

S&S Nov 2011 coverIntroduction: Starter’s orders

Dusting off his penguin suit and dreaming of free chocolate, Nick James notes the boons of the LFF

Venice Film Festival 2011

Damsels in DistressDay ten: Eccentricities of American college life

Gabe Klinger on Whit Stillman’s buoyant, off-kilter youth comedy Damsels in Distress, and the festival prizes

Die Herde des HerrnDay nine: The sacred and profane

Barbara Wurm on reverence and devotion in Romuald Karmakar’s change-of-the-popes documentary The Flock of the Lord, two Biennale exhibitions and Norbert Pfaffenbichler’s movie-Hitlers montage Conference

Hollywood TalkiesDay eight: Exoduses

Kieron Corless on migration and cross-pollination in Ermanno Olmi’s The Cardboard Village, the Spanish documentary Hollywood Talkies and Nicolas Provost’s The Invader

4:44 Last Day on EarthDay seven: Vamps, migrants and apocalypse

Guido Bonsaver on disappointing adaptations of The Moth Diaries and Wuthering Heights, two breakthrough portraits of Italian immigration and Abel Ferrara’s end of the world

Stories That Exist Only When RememberedDay six: The old and the new

Neil Young on Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Ann Hui’s A Simple Life – and two genuine discoveries featuring ancient Brazilian widows in remote and picturesque backwaters

AlpisDay five: Dark nights of the soul

Jonathan Romney on Steve McQueen’s Shame, two striking portraits of female abjection from Russia and France, and Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse

AlpisInterlude: Venice film family values

Inspired by restorations of Roberto Rossellini’s India: Matri Bhumi, Nicholas Ray’s We Can’t Go Home Again and Yorgos Lanthimos’s Alpis, Gabe Klinger muses on the imposing grandparents, rigorous fathers and mothers and disobedient sons and daughters of the cinema

CutDay four: Wreckage and survival

Kieron Corless on Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, Amir Naderi’s Cut, Simon Pummell’s Shock Head Soul and Michael Glawogger’s Whores’ Glory

A Dangerous MethodDay three: Sexual healing

Barbara Wurm on David Cronenberg’s Freud-and-Jung drama A Dangerous Method, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Alps and Michael Glawogger’s Whores’ Glory

The Ides of MarchDay two: American life

Guido Bonsaver on George Clooney’s The Ides of March, Madonna’s W.E. and a documentary portrait of the antipodes of the earth

The ArtistPreview: the Brits are sailing

Kieron Corless hitches a bandwagon with six British filmmakers invited to this year’s festival on the Lido

Cannes Film Festival 2011

The ArtistAwards reaction

Nick James on The Tree of Life’s Palme d’Or, and some serious prizes

The Tree of LifeWow and what next?

Nick James on the wow factor, the usual suspects and the best of the fest

This Must Be the PlaceHigh score draw?

Geoff Andrew on the end of a festival of high standards and few surprises

Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaRound the slow campfire

Nick James on Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ultra-slow-burn of a crime film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

This is Not a FilmMore on This is Not a Film

Gabe Klinger on the ins and outs of Jafar Panahi’s vital festival surprise

Corpo celesteThe moon in May

Agnieszka Gratza on heavenly bodies from Georges Méliès to Alice Rohrwacher’s prize-winning debut Corpo celeste

L’Exercice de l’étatPolitical animals

Geoff Andrew on a late flurry of films about French politics – and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi’s smuggled This Is Not a Film

The Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life: three anecdotes

Gabe Klinger keeps his eye on the red carpet and his ear to the ground

The Usual Suspects illustration by Simon Cooper for <em>Sight & Sound</em>Prediction time

Nick James on Lars von Trier’s provocation too far, and the remaining running for the Palme d’Or

MelancholiaCannes auteurs AOC?

Jonathan Romney on the weight of familiar flavours in this year’s competition, and the shape-shifting Lars von Trier


Nick James on a self-congratulatory satire on French politics, woefully programmed in the Competition

PorfirioNappy days are here again

Nick Roddick’s festival takes a scatological bent

Le HavreEarly morning medicine

Nick James is grateful for the unexpected respite of two 8.30am Competition comedies

The Tree of LifeHallelujah, I’m a cineaste

Geoff Andrew on the spiritual strain in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and Bruno Dumont’s Hors Satan

Chronique d’un étéHappiness is a cinéma verité classic

Agnieszka Gratza finds respite – and considered provocation – in the Cannes Classics screening of Chronique d’un été

We Need to Talk About KevinSexual relations: Oedipus and Elektra cruise the Croisette

Geoff Andrew finds concern about intergenerational intercourse within the family in the most unlikely movies

The Tree of LifeTerrence Malick: To bury or praise?

Nick James on critical lines in the sand at the morning must-see screening of The Tree of Life

Sleeping BeautyFlatliners: affectless sex

Nick James on brutal sexual determinism in Sleeping Beauty, The Slut, Polisse and We Need to Talk About Kevin

London Film Festival 2010

Journals and RemarksIt’s a wrap: we tally our festival experiences

The Sight & Sound team sum up their best discoveries, on- and off-screen moments and personal encounters of the festival

Week two: Black Swan, Mysteries of Lisbon, Dear Doctor – and The Boss

Nick James rounds up a dizzying week of viewing and encounters, from compelling discoveries from Japan and Vietnam to Bruce Springsteen at the South Bank

Fire in Babylon and Boxing Gym

Isabel Stevens enjoys the atmosphere and the art at screenings of two very different sports documentaries

Off the rails: Jamie Thraves’ Treacle Jr. and Peter Mullan’s Neds

Nick Bradshaw sees two new films by slow-working British auteurs on a theme of dropping out

S&S special screening: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives

Kieron Corless reports on the buzz film of the festival, and a jubilant night that spanned monkeys and quantum physics

Errol Morris’s Tabloid

Isabel Stevens on a “very perverse and demented” – and surprisingly funny – portrait of Joyce McKinney and the 1977 furore of the ‘manacled Mormon’

Pandora’s Box, restored

James Bell talks to silent film accompanist Neil Brand about playing to GW Pabst’s amazingly modernist Louise Brooks vehicle

Opening night: Never Let Me Go

Nick James kicks off with encounters with Kazuo Ishiguro and Joanna Hogg

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Last Updated: 28 May 2012