• Cinephilia

    Review: The Whistlers

    Though he’s been a productive filmmaker for the last twenty years or so, I wasn’t familiar with writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s work until The Whistlers, a heist film that manages to entertain with plenty of originality even if it gets itself tied up in a few narrative knots here and there. Ostensibly about Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), a Romanian police investigator who’s a double agent for Spanish organized crime based in the Canary Islands, Porumboiu takes more than a few liberties with how the story is pieced together as well as who exactly we’re supposed to be rooting for. Structured as a series of vignettes introduced with placards naming the character at the…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: The Other Lamb

    Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska’s dramatic feature In the Name Of… won the award for Best Feature Film at 2013’s Berlin Film Festival and received a sufficiently warm welcome when it was release in the US later that year. Since then, she’s directed a couple of other Polish-language titles and now returns with an English-language feature that sees her as a more confident storyteller than ever. Written by C.S. McMullen (a first-time feature writer), The Other Lamb centers on Selah (Raffey Cassidy, Vox Lux), a teenager who’s been raised in a cult of women (mothers in red, daughters like her in blue) following the man they call the Shepherd (Michiel Huisman, perhaps best…