Author Ronan Doyle

Ronan Doyle is an Irish freelance film critic, whose work has appeared on Indiewire, FilmLinc, Film Ireland, FRED Film Radio, and otherwhere. He recently contributed a chapter on Arab cinema to the book Celluloid Ceiling, and is currently entangled in an all-encompassing volume on the work of Woody Allen. When not watching movies, reading about movies, writing about movies, or thinking about movies, he can be found talking about movies on Twitter. He is fuelled by tea and has heard of sleep, but finds the idea frightfully silly.

Film Festival plansenexal_1-1

It’s easy to spend a great deal of the running time of Six-Year Plan imagining how fine a horror film its director Santiago Candejas might make before realising that he has. Cannily crafted with minimum resources and maximum effect, this is as attention-grabbing a debut as any filmmaker could hope to make, stunningly singling out its multi-hyphenate helmer—he…

Film Festival paris_1-1

“We only have one fucking life to live” goes the oft-repeated mantra in Paris of the North, a knowingly sham sentiment that’s emblematic of the film’s quietly revolutionary marriage of cloying carpe diem conceit and subtly stark nihilism. This is a film that will be brushed off time and again as cutely contrived, and understandably so: Hafsteinn Gunnar…

Film Festival Bucuresti-NonStop_1-1

While the more internationally-heralded heavyweights of Romania cinema have together forged a clear aesthetic and thematic trajectory under which the nation’s much-discussed new wave has come to be contextualised, back home there are just as many talented types at work on projects whose residence outside the purview of this arguably-exclusive…

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.45.37 PM

Far be it from me to perpetuate that gloomy trend of click-bait criticism dubiously dubbed the “expert review”, but it’s my combined duty as honest critic and sleep paralysis veteran to let you know that Rodney Ascher’s The Nightmare is a well-mounted load of old bollocks. It ought to be noted that that’s not necessarily analogous to it being a bad film, rather that the questionable content Ascher expertly …

Film Festival bondoc_1-1

We would hardly need to think twice about taking to task a narrative film which conceives a compelling character only to craft it unconvincingly. Yet in the realm of documentary, there emerges that peculiar brand of film whose central figure is commanding enough in its own right to overcome the limitations of the means of representation. Perhaps it’s the sense…

Film Festival selfportrait_1-1

We needn’t see the special thanks afforded Cristi Puiu in Self-Portrait of a Dutiful Daughter to feel the influence of that titan of Romanian cinema on this ambitious early effort. Wilfully casting itself in the mould of the Romanian New Wave, capital letters and all, this is the kind of film—for all its earnest achievements—that demonstrates categorically the…

Reviews sftts1

Though it would take a purist pedant to legitimately lament the evolution of colour stock as a negative turning point in film history, there’s no doubt something was lost in Technicolor’s takeover as monochrome movies moved from mainstream to niche, and the basic joy of black and…

Film Festival tab-hunter_1-1

The long-lamented lack of an Academy Award for casting may come from the misgiving that the job’s all about booking big talent, but any aware audience appreciates the additions and ironies brought about by the tensions between player and played. That’s the tangential takeaway of Tab Hunter Confidential, a movie whose inability to entirely achieve its…

Film Festival zomer_1-1

“In the name of the father, the son, and almighty electricity” murmurs the petty paterfamilias of Summer from the head of his table, clumsily consolidating the movie’s key ideas in a way typical of this terribly erratic effort. Proposing a cultural context forged of vague religious heritage and emergent industrialisation, Danish director Colette Bothof’s…

Reviews ejecta_2014_1

No movie that includes an accreditation for “taxidermy wrangler” has the right to be anything near as interminably unexciting as is Ejecta, whose implementation of that original credit is the sole shred of intrigue it manages to awaken. This—that resume-topping title…

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