SXSW Online 2021 Review: “Recovery”

Year: 2021Duration: 1h 20mDirectors: Mallory Everton, Stephen MeekWriters: Whitney Call, Mallory EvertonStarring: Whitney Call, Mallory Everton, Julia Jolley By Caz Armstrong This pandemic-based roadtrip comedy sees two sisters racing across the country to free their grandma from a covid-infested nursing home. With comic vibes and palpable chemistry reminiscent of “Booksmart” directors Mallory Everton and Stephen Meek have a very funny, very timely film. Sisters Jamie and Blake (co-writers Whitney … Continue reading SXSW Online 2021 Review: “Recovery”

Fantasia Festival Review: Cosmic Candy

You may be forgiven if your first impression of Rinio Dragasaki’s directorial debut, “Cosmic Candy” (2019) looks like a Day-glo fairy tale adventure or a surrealistic drug trip. But the film itself does not veer into whimsicality as much as you think; as it is at heart a comedy/drama about holding onto emotional baggage and learning to let go of said baggage. Continue reading Fantasia Festival Review: Cosmic Candy

Review: Summerland

While it’s nice to have films like “Vivarium” and “Da 5 Bloods” perfectly reflect the tone and time of the present, it’s sometimes even better to have films that give an outlook of a more hopeful future – and “Summerland” does that in a nutshell. Swale truly creates a heart-warming debut filled with a powerful romance, a building connection that tears down barriers, and showcases Arterton giving an absolutely immaculate performance. Continue reading Review: Summerland

Don’t Shut the Door.

(Photograph owned by Rachel Feldman. Photograph of Feldman and cinematographer Nancy Schreiber shot by Erin Brown.) By Special Guest Writer Rachel Feldman I have grey hair, no longer menstruate, and am a Hollywood director. For 35 years I endured employment discrimination and exclusion in my industry. Luckier than most, I managed to carve out a decent career, with some great jobs albeit in fits and … Continue reading Don’t Shut the Door.

Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Tell It to the Bees

Have you ever encountered a film in which its ending spoils everything about the viewing experience for you? Well, this was my experience watching “Tell It to the Bees” a film which I enjoyed a good proportion of the first and second act, only to have my investment and enjoyment of the film be completely ruined by its final act. Matters were made worse when I read up on the book and how drastically the film’s end differs compared to the actual book’s ending. Continue reading Pride Month, Retrospective Review: Tell It to the Bees

Mental Health Awareness Month, Retrospective Review: The Virgin Suicides

You wouldn’t imagine a film titled “The Virgin Suicides” (1999) would be beautifully atmospheric and dreamlike. Or maybe you would if you knew it was written and directed by Sofia Coppola who is known for brilliantly capturing an atmosphere with her films whether it’s the 1990s in Los Angeles with “The Bling Ring” (2013) or our collective memory of a lavish queen with “Marie Antoinette” (2006). Coppola’s directorial debut is a tale about five young girls who commit suicide and perhaps more poignantly, the neighborhood boys who are obsessed with them. For as much as it’s a film about mental health and girlhood, it’s also about collective memory and the impact that a few people can have on a community.  Continue reading Mental Health Awareness Month, Retrospective Review: The Virgin Suicides

Social Isolation Review: “Obvious Child”

Year: 2014 Runtime: 84 Minutes Director: Gillian Robespierre Writer: Gillian Robespierre (screenplay by), Karen Maine (story) Stars: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann By Morgan Roberts Is there such a thing as a perfect film?  No.  But there are many films that come close.  Gillian Robespierre’s feature film debut, “Obvious Child” (2014), is one of those films.  With a runtime of 84 minutes, Robespierre ensures … Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Obvious Child”

Retrospective Review: American Psycho

“American Psycho” is now twenty years old, and yet this psychological thriller, bathed in hilarity and chock full of underlying societal context, is still as effective as it was then. This is primarily due to the amazingly spot-on performance from Christian Bale, and the confident direction of Mary Harron.

With a screenplay adapted by Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, the movie is an exercise in control as much as it is about the loss of it. Our main character is all about his routines, his ability to keep everything in check, but there’s something festering beneath that he can’t quite keep contained. Continue reading Retrospective Review: American Psycho

Social Isolation Review: “Russian Doll”

What would you do if you had to relive the same night, over and over again, dying in a new way each time? Oh, and what if that day is your 36th birthday?

That is where Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) finds herself.  This existentially dark, “Groundhog’s Day”-esque show takes us down a path of self-discovery, alternate timelines, and redemption.  I won’t give too much away. “Russian Doll” is a particularly special show, and to ruin the magic of a first time watch would be criminal.  So, you’re just going to have to trust me that it is worth going down the rabbit hole for this one.

“Russian Doll” hinges upon Lyonne’s performance.  She does not disappoint. Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Russian Doll”