Film Poll Comments: Movies You May Have Missed

“The Mandy Moore shark movie rules”


On The Road to Mandalay:

“A trenchant commentary on the misery of being an undocumented immigrant, it managed to synthesize Ken Loach, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Jia Zhang-ke, and everyone I know who saw it at the New York Asian Film Festival thought it was the festival’s find this year. But it may be too bleak to get U.S. distribution, even if it’s topical in an American context.” —Steve Erickson

On Colo:

“Luckily most of the best films of 2017 ended up getting picked up by heroic distributors like Grasshopper, Cinema Guild, Strand, and Kino Lorber. Still in limbo, however, is Teresa Villaverde’s striking, severe Berlin [Film Festival] entry Colo. A sort of antipode to Marcel Gomes’s Arabian Nights, this is a film about Portuguese austerity that is itself austere, showing how economic hardship can break down families and even identities. Essential viewing.”
Michael Sicinski

On A Dragon Arrives!:

“I’m still not exactly sure what it’s all about (which, I confess, is one reason my mind keeps returning to it) but I love the mystery and the cinematic prism that filmmaker Mani Haghighi puts the story through.” —Sean Axmaker

On What Will People Say:

“Filmmaker Iram Haq’s second feature (after I Am Yours) is a powerful coming-of-age story centered on the clash between a Norwegian teenage girl and her traditional Pakistani parents. In the lead role, newcomer Maria Mozhdah is a revelation.” —Charles Wilson

On A Gentle Creature:

“Suggestion for those who’ve dismissed [Sergei] Loznitsa’s latest as sledgehammer miserabilism: Watch it again and take note of how frequently the gentle creature is gently removed from the frame. Even the film’s most horrific moment turns out to be canny misdirection.” —Mike D’Angelo

On Distant Constellation:

“Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut — which showed in nearly complete form at True/False before officially premiering at Locarno — is real-deal sculpting in time, a documentary portrait of an Istanbul retirement bracingly focused on death, life, and the collapse of the material, finding an entire portrait of the life cycle in the juxtaposition of a construction site and its home base.” —Vadim Rizov

On Anna and the Apocalypse:

“A teen-comedy/holiday musical/zombie horror movie that thrilled out of Fantastic Fest, it was an absolute genre-smashing blast with a charismatic cast, giddy gore, and outstanding song numbers.” —Kristy Puchko

On Where Is Kyra?:

“As far as I can tell, Where Is Kyra? still has no U.S. distributor, which is a terrible shame. It features what might be the best performance of Michelle Pfeiffer’s career, and it’s shatteringly directed by Andrew Dosunmu, who presents — both narratively and formally — the spectacle of an impoverished, troubled woman slowly disappearing from this world.” —Bilge Ebiri

On The Rider:

“It’s bizarre to me that Sony Pictures Classics is holding this treasure till April 2018, considering it’s been winning major festival awards since Cannes last year. Here’s hoping that allows it to build an audience for this fragile but essential portrait of a Native American rodeo rider.” —Peter Debruge

On 47 Meters Down:

“The Mandy Moore shark movie rules.” —Kristen Yoonsoo Kim


To see the winners from this year’s Village Voice Film Poll, click here