Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM 2017. PARALLAX VIEWS: BIGGER THAN SHINING BY MARK COUSINS

By Tara Judah

Building on last year’s audio-visual essay provocation – Whose Cinema: the video-essay on the big screen of the International Film Festival Rotterdam – critic and filmmaker Mark Cousins returned to screen his 2016 contribution Bigger than The Shining one last time before destroying it (the DCP) with an axe.

ROTTERDAM 2017: SUPER DARK TIMES BY KEVIN PHILLIPS

By Tara Judah

First time feature filmmaker, Kevin Phillips, captures the sweet mundanity of suburbia well; the meaninglessness of the boys’ conversations as they discuss wanking, set against beautiful sunsets, are the kinds of motifs that form the backbone for nostalgia and evoke the notion of ‘formative’ experiences. But, and let’s be clear that the male characters are all unrepentant and abhorrent, Phillips’ film is no Stand By Me (Rob Reiner, 1986); the boys have no future. Instead, this dramatic horror is characterised by absent fathers, failed morals, self-interest and extreme violence.

ROTTERDAM 2017. THE MOLE SONG: HONG KONG CAPRICCIO BY TAKASHI MIIKE

By Tara Judah

The prolific Miike Takashi directed five other films in the two years (2014 and 2015) since the first instalment of his live action adaptation, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (2013). Returning now to the titular bat-shit cray undercover cop character, created as a manga series by Noboru Takahashi, Takashi has created something exhilarating and messy.

ROTTERDAM 2017: MANIFESTO BY JULIAN ROSEFELDT

By Tara Judah

In each segment, Cate Blanchett is re-invented as a human incarnation of each movement’s manifesto. The hair, make-up, wardrobe and mise-en-scene that mark each transition are supreme. But beyond that, and beyond even the careful composition of each striking establishing shot, or the brilliantly rhythmic score, is a belly full of passionate anger.