Norwegian safety-first filmmaking is a recipe for mediocrity

Is the Norwegian film establishment playing it too safe? Either way Kerren Lumer-Klabbers’s A Stone Slowly Falls – the only Norwegian film in Karlovy Vary – is a pleasing, self-contained episode, visually arresting, narratively simple but complete.

Polaroid (2017)

Lars Klevberg’s debut feature does not succeed fully as a horror film but is highly impressive in its mise-en-scène and sophisticated, subdued and moody aesthetics.

Split, Part IV: Creativity in cramped quarters

A final look at M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, this time its formal approach with a special emphasis on his inventive use of point-of-view shots, stealthy camera movements, overhead and underhead shots, and many other subtleties.

Maria by Callas by Volf

Tom Volf’s film Maria by Callas is by no means the first documentary about Maria Callas, by many considered to be the twentieth century’s greatest opera singer. Why, then, make yet another film?

The Happening, Part II: Goners with the wind

A guide to the many powerful suicide scenes, including the brilliant, icily electrifying opening where normality turns into nightmare. Plus motifs, visual ideas and references to earlier Shyamalan works.

Pennies from Heaven (1981)

The hero of this brilliant, darkly poetic musical is fantastically arrogant, loutish, self-centred, self-pitying and pathetic, played by Steve Martin as totally captive of his dreams and desires.

Return to Oz (1985)

This Disney production is remarkably dark and sophisticated, made during a brief period of a more adult approach to their live action family films. 11-year-old Fairuza Balk is absolutely enchanting as the resourceful heroine.