Boris Nelepo

Zoology (Ivan Tverdovsky, Russia) — Contemporary World Cinema

By Boris Nelepo / September 8, 2016

By Boris Nelepo Kids engage in erotic asphyxiation. Students with special needs gang-rape a girl in a wheelchair. A lonely, middle-aged woman suddenly sprouts a tail. These are, respectively, synopses for the short documentary Space Dog (2013), the first feature Corrections Class (2014), and now Zoology (2016) by Ivan Tverdovsky, a 27-year-old rising star of…

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TIFF 2015 | Yakuza Apocalypse (Miike Takashi, Japan)—Midnight Madness

By Boris Nelepo / September 16, 2015

By Boris Nelepo Yakuza, martial arts, vampires, romance, and a devious villain dressed up as a frog. This cursory summary might just be the most accurate one, seeing that in Yakuza Apocalypse, Miike Takashi reaches new heights of disregard for narrative coherence, even for him. Changing its course throughout, this ebullient mess of a movie…

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TIFF 2015 | Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, US)—TIFF Docs

By Boris Nelepo / September 14, 2015

By Boris Nelepo After being approached by Arte three years ago, renowned musician Laurie Anderson started developing a personal film essay in memory of her beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, who died in 2011. Though the pet had gone blind not long before death, Anderson still managed to teach her painting, sculpture, and music. Initially conceived…

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TIFF 2015 | Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, US)—Special Presentations

By Boris Nelepo / September 13, 2015

By Boris Nelepo Charlie Kaufman has been sorely missed. It’s hard to believe that following his series of screenwriting smashes in the early 2000s, and his underrated directorial debut Synecdoche, New York (2008), he slipped under the radar for a good seven years. His comeback feature Anomalisa has grown out of the eponymous play he…

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TIFF 2015 | Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (Evgeniy Afineevsky, Ukraine/US/UK)—TIFF Docs

By Boris Nelepo / September 10, 2015

By Boris Nelepo The Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity by now has been the subject matter of a slew of movies, each dramatically different from the other. There was Sergei Loznitsa’s auteur project Maidan; the reportage Kiev/Moscow by Alexander Rastorguev and Pavel Kostomarov; and the chronicle Stronger Than Arms by the #BABYLON’13 collective. Winter on Fire:…

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TIFF 2015 | In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, US)—TIFF Docs

By Boris Nelepo / September 10, 2015

By Boris Nelepo Frederick Wiseman’s modus operandi was perhaps best described by German film critic Olaf Möller: “[His] work is about civilization and its creation, the work it takes.” In Jackson Heights adds another chapter to Wiseman’s monumental ongoing treatise while also offering another installment in a separate cycle devoted to various isolated communities (a…

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Quest for Happiness: A Conversation with Peter von Bagh

By Boris Nelepo / September 16, 2014

By Boris Nelepo and Celluloid Liberation Front 9/22/2014: We were saddened to hear of Peter von Bagh’s death on September 17, 2014. In Citizen Peter, last year’s book on Peter von Bagh (edited by Antti Alanen and Olaf Möller) published in his native Finland, the object of study is dubbed “a Renaissance man,” which is…

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Cannes 2014 | Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, France)

By Boris Nelepo / June 25, 2014

By Boris Nelepo “Names, no doubt, are whimsical draughtsmen, giving us of people as well as of places sketches so unlike the reality that we often experience a kind of stupour when we have before our eyes in place of the imagined, the visible world (which, for that matter, is not the real world, our…

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TIFF 2013 | Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz, Philippines)—Masters

By Boris Nelepo / August 30, 2013

From Cinema Scope #55, Summer 2013 By Boris Nelepo Nothing is true. Morals are dead. There are no more laws. The end of history is nigh. So says Fabian (Sid Lucero), a law-school dropout who sees no point in legislation in a world devoid of reason. Permanently in debt, he whiles away the hours gabbing…

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Cannes 2013 | Norte, the End of History (Lav Diaz, Philippines)

By Boris Nelepo / June 24, 2013

By Boris Nelepo Nothing is true. Morals are dead. There are no more laws. The end of history is nigh. So says Fabian (Sid Lucero), a law-school dropout who sees no point in legislation in a world devoid of reason. Permanently in debt, he whiles away the hours gabbing and griping about the humiliation his…

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Opening the Gates of Night: Jean-Claude Brisseau’s La fille du nulle part

By Boris Nelepo / December 16, 2012

By Boris Nelepo “I love to watch the stars. It’s one of those simple things that give me at least a remote idea of infinity along with some great poetry,” the ghost philosopher says in Jean-Claude Brisseau’s À l’aventure (2008), and Brisseau shares with his characters that same longing for the ineffable, as well as…

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