Frantz by François Ozon

Frantz Hoffmeister, a soldier, fiancé, son, and friend, is dead and thus physically absent, but you know from the first five minutes of the film that he will continue to be unnervingly present. Like memories of World War I and the resentment between Germans and French at that time, Frantz is kept alive. His young…

CAAMFest 35: Bachelor Girls

The “Bachelor Girls” interviewed in Shikha Makan’s brisk documentary are professional women in their 20s and 30s, educated and gainfully employed in the large, cosmopolitan Indian city of Mumbai. For some landlords, these women would be ideal tenants: white-collar, responsible, educated, capable of paying rent regularly, stellar character references from heads of banks and human…

CAAMFest 35: The Lockpicker

Canadian filmmaker Randall Lloyd Okita (featured at CAAMFest 34) is known and admired for his oblique yet powerful narratives, even in his more abstract, short works such as Machine with Wishbone (2008) and Portrait as a Random Act of Violence (2012). His stories emerge slowly and completely from the depths of sophisticated and startling imagery,…

CAAMFest 35: Leonine Films Picks

The intelligent, capable, and unmarried working women of Mumbai struggle to find decent housing in Bachelor Girls…all the world’s a Center Stage in this riveting collection of shorts (one of many in the festival)…LF favorite Randall Okita returns to CAAMFest with The Lockpicker, a visually-stunning meditation on high school and its traumas…Tearepa Kahi’s documentary on…

The Salesman (Forushande) by Asghar Farhadi

I was already tense during the opening titles of Asghar Farhadi’s latest, The Salesman. Having seen several of his films, I was prepared for something akin to a thriller, or even a pastoral murder mystery, where ordinary domestic mishaps are the catalysts for (or symptoms of) some hefty emotional icebergs about to crack. Farhadi’s narratives,…