Sundance 2016 Review: NEWTOWN, A Simple Tale Of Universal Grief

The horror of what took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook elementary school captured the world's attention. A young man, armed with an assault rifle, handgun and plenty of ammunition, walked through his old school and butchered... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: DRIFTWOOD, On The Strange Life Of Objects

Against the onslaught of the crashing surf we arise into a world of soft, foaming white. From a distance, we can make out an approaching figure. Soon we see it's a she, a young woman, soaked to the bone, shivering... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: CHRISTINE, A Report On The Art Of Self-Destruction

Performance>Perfection>Breakdown.

No. That's not right. Run the film again. What do we see: A woman in her late twenties, dark hair, big eyes, tall; walking down the halls of a TV station. Take the splicer to the footage. Chop it in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS, A Highly Entertaining Look

It was somewhat startling to me when I lived in Europe several decades ago that the catchy, upbeat tune "Bobby Brown" would be played regularly on radio. Sure, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it,... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: THE GREASY STRANGLER, Absolutely Disgusting, Yet Strangely Funny

The weird and disgusting genre has always had a home in the midnight film lineup. Enter Jim Hosking and his go at taking over the throne as weirdest and most disgusting midnighter with The Greasy Strangler. Well, good work, Mr.... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: SWISS ARMY MAN Is Surprisingly Glorious

What do you want from the world of independent cinema? Well, ideally you'd like a story told without the overt constraints of market, where filmmakers can tell a tale to a wide enough audience that appreciates without sacrificing to... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: OPERATION AVALANCHE, For The Love Of Cinema

There is a lure to the film camera that is almost primal. It draws you in, ever closer, a potent combo of machine and magic. Pressed against your ear, your cheek, the click-whir miracle of celluloid is god calling you... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: DEAD HANDS DIG DEEP Only Scratches The Surface

There is much within Jai Love's Dead Hands Dig Deep (which premiered at Slamdance 2016 tonight) that is meant to shock us --- from footage of genitals and other body parts being pierced with screws and bolts, to a flap of skin... More »
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: MAD Finds The Humor In Sadness

Robert G. Putka has built up a smart and sharp filmography of shorts over the last half decade, emphasizing rich, rude and raw performances, deriving his drama and comedy with character first. MAD, his feature debut, is as charming as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: MARTYRS, A Worthless American Remake

Pascal Laugier's Martyrs is one of the most genuinely disturbing films of the last decade, a peculiar mix of genres from revenge thriller to torture porn that shocks equally for its graphic content and main concept. The inevitable American remake, helmed... More »
  

Review: LOST IN MUNICH, A French Parrot In The Czech Republic

As the year 2015 drew to a conclusion, Czech film critics had to do their homework to round up domestic titles suitable for annual awards bearing their name. (The awards ceremony will be held on January 23). Out of... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, No Better Tribute

Few people have changed popular culture more than Norman Lear. When Television was at its height he provided a much needed jolt, giving audiences not what they asked for but what they required. His comedies were dramatic, crafting more... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: SKY LADDER: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG Enthralls

Ever since I was a kid I was enthralled with fireworks. There's something completely primal about seeing fire at the best of times, but the kinetic, colourful explosions of a firework show tickles me on a deep and fundamental... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: AFERIM!, Angry And Rough, A Must-See Ride In Romania

For over a decade Romanian Cinema has produced many breathtakingly great films, and directors such as Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristian Mungiu and Călin Peter Netzer have gained international recognition, becoming household names in world cinema. The usual term of... More »
  

Review: SYNCHRONICITY, Time Travel Is A Bastard

I never thought it would happen, but I have finally, personally, hit the wall with indie time travel flicks. Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity is not lacking in smarts or clockwork precision, but abjectly fails to convince in its core ideas of love... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: IP MAN 3, The Legendary Teacher Returns In Fine Form

In Ip Man 3, Donnie Yen returns for another outing as legendary martial arts instructor Ip Man. Still under the direction of Wilson Yip, the newest installment trades Sammo Hung for Yuen Wo-ping as action choreographer, ensuring that the extended... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: BLEAK STREET, True Crime Turned Into A Visually Striking Dark Carnival

Bleak Street, the very appropriately named new film from veteran Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, is ripped from the headlines, much like the TV show "Law and Order." Inspired by the double murder of two dwarf men who were popular luchadores... More »
  

Review: TERMINUS Shoots For the Stars, Crashes

Directed and co-written by Marc Furmie, Terminus tells what happens when an alien pod or meteorite fragment falls to Earth. The story focuses on garage owner and mechanic David Chamberlain (Jai Koutrae) and his daughter Annabelle (Kendra Appleton) as they struggle... More »
  

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's GILDA Offers Caged Beauty

Many things have been written by plenty of film historians and critics on the essential film Gilda, the 1946 classic directed by Charles Vidor. Is it a drama or does it rest solely in the genre of film noir? Was... More »
  

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Keeps BURROUGHS: THE MOVIE Alive

For NYU grad student Jim Jarmusch, being consistently presented with scenes like Patti Smith dancing on the tables of Max's Kansas City, while the band Television helmed the stage, was all part of the New York landscape. Meanwhile, his best friend... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  
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