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  • The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

    The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

    ★★★½

    A young Indian man adventurously travels to Europe in the attempt to reach the father he has never met. Adapted from Romain Puertolas's novel and powered by the luminous and lively performance of Bollywood star Dhanush - brilliantly supported by Bejo in a rousing dance number - this is a captivating fairytale that finds a way to weigh in on the plight of immigrants without ever oversimplifying or preaching to the converted.

  • Secret in Their Eyes

    Secret in Their Eyes

    ★★★

    Three detectives obsess over a rapist/murderer who was able to get away by exploiting the US' counter-terrorism strategies following 9/11. Lambasted by most critics as if guilty of lèse-majesté, Billy Ray's remake of J.J. Campanella's 2009 foreign Oscar winner is in fact as far from a disaster as the original film was from a masterpiece: similarly awkward in its winding flashback structure, equally powerful in its pulp, melodramatic revenge plot, and trying to sell its historical background as something more…

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  • We All Loved Each Other So Much

    We All Loved Each Other So Much

    ★★★★★

    Three war-time friends, and the girl they all fall for, live through 30 years of Italian history. Originally designed as a homage to Neorealism, a film that grew into a masterful compendium of Italian Comedy. Scola and co-writers Age and Scarpelli pack more ideas into it than most filmmakers produce in a lifetime and yet the film unfolds naturally combining sheer emotion with an accurate (and, to this day, unsurpassed) map of the way the social texture of Italy evolved after WWII. Stellar cast has never been greater. A cornerstone.

  • Hard to Be a God

    Hard to Be a God

    ★★★★½

    Hardly fathomable adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's philosophical Sci-Fi novel lures viewers into a watching tour de force of constant, ever-changing, chaos in motion. A 3-hours, black and white exploration of decay taking place in a muddy, rainy, alien medieval planet where characters wander aimlessly, expel body fluids, and invariably get interrupted even in the most menial tasks. An extraordinary, irritatingly challenging, film experience that requires some radical film-watching commitment in order to be enjoyed.

    Previously filmed by Peter Fleischmann in 1990: letterboxd.com/albertofarina/film/es-ist-nicht-leicht-ein-gott-zu-sein/