Paul Risker

While technically an English-based film critic and interviewer, PopMatters Contributing Editor Paul Risker shows his political disgruntlement towards his homeland by identifying instead as a European writer. You’ll often find him agreeing with the late great French filmmaker, François Truffaut, preferring the reflection of life to life itself – he’ll even tell you that the cinema is more important than life. Often mistaken for a cynic, he prefers to think of himself as a disappointed idealist. Unsurprisingly he likes skulking in the sanctuary of the dark confines of the cinema. Described as "philosophically inclined", he has a broad taste in cinema. His film writing has been published by academic and non-academic publications, including amongst others: PopMatters, Little White Lies, Cineaste, DMovies, VideoScope, Eye For Film, Film International, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Filmmaker Magazine. He’s also on the advisory board of Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film & Visual Narration (MSJ), the official film studies journal of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and serves as interview editor. He regularly contributes to the Arrow Films blog, the FrightFest festival programmes and online blog.
Thriller ‘The White Rabbit’  Ensnares Viewers in Hitchcockian Fashion

Thriller ‘The White Rabbit’ Ensnares Viewers in Hitchcockian Fashion

Thriller short film The White Rabbit ensnares viewers with a joke, a nightmare, and an illusion in a sly interplay that evokes Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

A Mind-Opening Preview of Fantasia Film Festival 2024

A Mind-Opening Preview of Fantasia Film Festival 2024

Our preview of Fantasia Festival 2024 highlights ten films that stimulate viewers’ emotional, cultural, and social intellect.

‘Bad Shabbos’ Revels in Its Black Comedic Soul 

‘Bad Shabbos’ Revels in Its Black Comedic Soul 

A dead body adds to the lively mix of family dysfunction and the pressure of making a good impression in Dan Robbins’ affable black comedy, Bad Shabbos.

Is ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ An Act of Surrender?

Is ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ An Act of Surrender?

After her psychological-horror debut Saint Maud, cinema took Rose Glass’ bright new voice in genre filmmaking and, with Love Lies Bleeding, clipped her wings.

Debut Drama ‘Mabel’ Rejects the ‘Matilda’-Like Dream of Childhood

Debut Drama ‘Mabel’ Rejects the ‘Matilda’-Like Dream of Childhood

Nicholas Ma’s humorous, warm and sensitive directorial feature debut, Mabel, embraces the messy uncertainty of life, for children and adults.

‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ Keeps the Popcorn in the Bucket

‘Sometimes I Think About Dying’ Keeps the Popcorn in the Bucket

Rachel Lambert’s sensitive and observant comedy drama Sometimes I Think About Dying isn’t a film that will turn popcorn into projectiles.

The Jungian Shadow Looms over Indigenous Drama ‘We Were Dangerous’

The Jungian Shadow Looms over Indigenous Drama ‘We Were Dangerous’

The Jungian shadow looms over We Were Dangerous, a dramatic and rebellious drama about moral panic and juvenile and sexual delinquency in 1950s New Zealand.

Hell and Limbo Are Reimagined in Sci-Fi Horror ‘Desert Road’

Hell and Limbo Are Reimagined in Sci-Fi Horror ‘Desert Road’

The same lack of control and uncertainty that hounds Kafka’s Josef. K haunts the lost protagonist in Shannon Triplett’s sci-fi horror Desert Road.

‘Robot Dreams’ Quietly Encourages You Not to Be Afraid

‘Robot Dreams’ Quietly Encourages You Not to Be Afraid

Pablo Berger’s animated Robot Dreams is a near-perfect marvel of silent cinema nearly a century after talkies ended the silent era.

Kore-eda Hirokazu’s ‘Monster’ Falls Short of Its Literary Ambitions 

Kore-eda Hirokazu’s ‘Monster’ Falls Short of Its Literary Ambitions 

Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Monster has striking moments, but casually skips over details, reducing its characters to incomplete fragments.

The Repression of Truth in Michel Franco’s ‘Memory’

The Repression of Truth in Michel Franco’s ‘Memory’

Michel Franco’s Memory explores the premise of entrapment in the context of trauma and dementia and, in its repression of truth, builds to a chilling moment.

‘Good One’ Challenges Adulthood’s Naïve Appropriation of Wisdom 

‘Good One’ Challenges Adulthood’s Naïve Appropriation of Wisdom 

India Donaldson’s directorial debut Good One leans into gender distinctions, but goes beyond them to offer incisive and observant critique of human nature.