Slamdance 2013 Review: Atmospheric JUG FACE Is Ultimately Half-Baked Horror

The Deep South can be a very strange place for outsiders. Mired in traditions and rituals which may now seem foolish or outdated, it is still a ripe place to cull old legends anew, projecting them up on the silver... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: THE DIRTIES Asks The Question 'Can You Laugh With The Boy Holding The Gun?'

The short answer is, "Yes."The slightly longer answer is, "Quite a lot, but with a hell of a caveat."And the longest answer is the rest of this review.Looking like the freshest-faced 16-year old you could imagine, Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY Is A Riveting Investigation On The Death Of Privacy

A mere click of the mouse is all it takes for you to strike an almost Faustian bargain with one of the mega corporations on the planet. With that click we get access to fantastic email service, genius music players... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: KOHLHAAS Wonderfully Captures The Comedy And Tragedy Of Filmmaking

We all have visions that we hold dear, ideas and ideals that we keep close to our hearts, ready to share in that moment when we absolutely must go forth and claim our stake in the world. As German author... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: HE'S WAY MORE FAMOUS THAN YOU Is Excessive, Obnoxious And Hilarious

He's Way More Famous Than You is a zany bit of fame-whore lambasting, with co-writer and star Halley Feiffer fearlessly taking aim at just about everything under the Hollywood/celebrity sun, most notably herself, and more importantly her appearance in "Noah... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: JOY DE V. - Bright Lights, Big City & The Lost Soul

Nadia Szold's feature debut Joy de V. charts the speed of dreams; the layers and shapes, patterns and cadence of a fever dream. Of a man met with madness that may be of his own doing, by the flick of... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER Ends The World With Classic DIY Spunk

Brea Grant's debut feature Best Friends Forever is essentially a B-movie. And that's a compliment. So then is it an essential B-movie? Imagine if Roger Corman gave a couple of Punky, feminist chicks a bundle of money to make a... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: FYNBOS Is A Brilliantly Anti-Cathartic Piece Of Cinema

A young white woman in high heels walks down a street in a black working-class neighborhood. Though clearly on edge, she walks with a purpose. She pauses at a row of trash cans. Clothes billow in the wind, threaded on... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: DIAMOND ON VINYL Strikes A Provocative Groove

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation and Brian de Palma's Blow Out are two films in the American cinematic canon that present to their audiences worlds of conspiracy and voyeurism through the provocative role of the audiophile. No less important or... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2013 Review: BIBLE QUIZ Is An Enduring Coming-Of-Age Doc

It's fitting that Nicole Teeny's feature documentary debut is my first proper film at Slamdance. Fitting as I knew that its focus on a group of Christian teens who compete in a hard-hitting game of memorizing and then citing Bible... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: The Immediacy of Distance in THE SOUND OF SMALL THINGS

If you will indulge me for a moment, dear reader, let me preface this review with a personal story that directly relates to my first viewing of Peter McLarnan's 2012 Slamdance selected film.In early February I was stricken with Ramsay... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: SUNDOWNING - At The Edge Of Madness & The Forefront Of The Vanguard

A jolt in the night, a rustle of bed sheets; echoes of terrors remembered (or forgotten?); sweat; boiling up; "I'm thirsty"; a fever. An ill young woman is helped out of bed by her caretaker. Arm over arm, they stumble... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Slamdance 2012 Rounded Up

Mountains of thanks to Andy Jurgensen (@theJURG) for visiting the top of Main Street, Park City on multiple occasions last week and filing this awesome roundup! Now in its 18th incarnation, the Slamdance Film Festival is now considered Park City's... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   

SIFF 2011: WITHOUT Review

[With Mark Jackson's Without having its Northwest premiere this weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival, I figured now was a good time to revisit my review from February.] There comes a point in Mark Jackson's debut feature where the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
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