Currently Browsing: March 2016

CATCHING THE SUN

Filled with meaningful interviews and beautiful landscape shots, Catching the Sun is a powerful documentary about the international movement towards using “green energy,” and the benefits that will come with using clean energy, both financial and health-related. Why is America falling behind other world powers China and Germany in this industry? Why should we care? […]

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H.

Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia  tell a tale of two Helens of Troy set in present day. With meteor showers, fake babies and floating statues, this film is too artsy to engage cinephiles let alone average viewers. (BKP: 2.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky “Everything is more beautiful because we are doomed. You […]

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I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE

Akerman says in one of her interviews, “I always say that a good fiction film includes some documentary and vice versa. Just by the framing. As soon as you frame something it’s fiction.” Chantal Akerman’s films belong to six decades and at least three transatlantic cities. They capture the incredible range of Akerman’s own experience […]

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MEET THE BLACKS

A comedic spoof on The Purge films premise, Meet the Blacks follows “Carl Black” (Mike Epps) as he moves his family out of Chicago and into Beverly Hills. Hoping to give his family a better life, and thinking the Purge can’t touch them in this upscale neighborhood, Carl Black has many skeletons in his closet […]

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STANDING TALL

Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall (La Tete Haute) is an emotionally laden account of a disturbed youth’s progression through the French judicial and social services systems. “Malony”—beautifully and powerfully played by young actor Rod Paradot— was raised by a struggling mother with substance abuse issues, and as a result, became a juvenile delinquent. The film follows […]

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SWAN Day ’16 Wrap-Up

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BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ

Official Title = BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez Seen on March 25th at the 9th annual International SWAN Day sponsored by NYWIFT & partners at Manhattan’s SVA Theater 🙂 ******************** Directed by Sabrina Gordon, Janet Goldwater, and Barbara Attie, BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez focuses on the life and work of the 81-year-old African-American poet. Sonia Sanchez, regarded as […]

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Crawlin’ The Met

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MISS INDIA AMERICA

Miss India America, written by Meera Simhan and Ravi Kapoor, delivers a whole lot of laughs in a coming of age story about accepting the curveballs life can throw at you. “Lily Prasad” (Tiya Sircar) has her life all planned out. But when a wrench gets thrown into her perfect plan, Lily decides to enter […]

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MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2

Ditzy, delightful new sequel to Nia Vardalos’ 2002 surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Way back in the day Toula married her non-Greek dream boat Ian… then the years few by. Now their daughter Paris is getting ready to start college, prompting Toula to wonder what to do with the rest of her life. But not to […]

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RON AND LAURA TAKE BACK AMERICA

Like a home video version of Saturday Night Live, this political mockumentary takes many jabs at the conservative right side of politics. The film follows middle-aged married couple Ron and Laura as they try to “take back America” from the evils of liberalism. Although the satire has its humorous moments, the over-the-top depiction of the […]

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RADICAL GRACE

Editor’s Note: Seen at the 2016 Athena Film Festival. Follow this link for additional screening information. No theatrical release date has been announced yet for Radical Grace, but hopefully that will happen soon! ************************* Written and directed by debut documentary filmmaker Rebecca Parrish, Radical Grace tells the story of the US nuns who have been […]

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THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD

Filmmaker Jen Senko’s documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad shows the transformation of her father’s political views from a Kennedy-loving Democrat to a crazed, right-wing extremist. Although the film only points out the problems – and suggests little solutions – Senko succeeds in highlighting one of America’s ever-growing problems: “the media.” (BKP: 3/5) Review by […]

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THE BRONZE

Screenwriter and star of The Bronze, Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) brings us a quirky comedy about a retired Olympic gymnast “Hope Ann Greggory” (Rauch) who is desperately clinging to her fifteen minutes of fame years after winning her bronze medal. Approached with a deal including a whole lot of cash, Greggory must decide […]

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HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Written by director Joan Carr-Wiggin and Savitri Gordian, Happily ever After is a story about friendship, family, and coming home. “Heather” (Janet Montgomery) had successfully escaped her small town. But when her father’s health-scare calls her back into town, Heather reflects back on all she’s missed and friendships she’s lost. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing […]

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KAPOOR AND SONS

Written by Ayesha DeVitre and director Shakun Batra, Kapoor and Sons is an entertaining Indian drama about family, love, and loss…with a good few laughs thrown in for good measure of course! Two estranged brothers, who are opposites in almost every way, find themselves both back home again when a family health scare demands their […]

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MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN

From The 33 director Patricia Riggen, Miracles From Heaven tells the true story of a family facing a potentially unthinkable tragedy and the faith that brings them through it. You’ll leave the theater thinking about the miraculous little things in your own life – no matter where you believe they come from. (4/5) Review by […]

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MY GOLDEN DAYS

Returning home after many years abroad, a French intellectual–now in middle age–finds himself bombarded by memories (with precious few actual face-to-face encounters). Unfortunately,  director Arnaud Desplechin’s film (which he co-wrote with screenwriter Julie Peyr) is solipsistic in the extreme, and since “Paul” (Mathieu Amalric) doesn’t really seem to care about anyone but himself, it becomes very hard […]

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THE PREPPIE CONNECTION

The Preppie Connection, written by Ashley Rudden and Joseph Castelo, is a thought-provoking drama based on the incredible true story about one teen’s desire to fit in. And how that desire led him to smuggle three hundred thousand dollars worth of cocaine across the U.S. border in 1984. (JEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica […]

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SWEET BEAN

Directed and adapted by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase, Sweet Bean tells the story of a pancake shop, its caretaker “Sentaro” (Masatoshi Nagase), and of the people who find refuge there. When elderly “Tokue” (the absolutely charming Kirin Kiki) offers her expertise at making the bean paste for Sentaro’s pancake confections, the caretaker realizes what her […]

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ABOUT SCOUT

Resourceful teenager tries her best to care for self and sister in the absence of reliable adults, but there is only so much she can do… Until a young man–with personal problems and family problems all his own–arrives in town just in time to save the day. Wonderful characters are played by first-rate actors. Now […]

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CITY OF GOLD

Laura Gabbert documents the life and career of a longtime Los Angeles food critic in her new film, City of Gold. Its subject, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Gold, entertains audiences by driving the streets of Los Angeles, meeting people from all walks of life and documenting the vast array of rich, flavorful and authentic […]

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HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS

Filmmakers Laura Terruso and Michael Showalter bring us a wonderfully crafted romantic comedy about a 60-something year old woman who falls for her much younger coworker. Hello, My Name is Doris is clever, moving, and wonderfully acted. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this film! (JEP: 4.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry […]

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HERE COME THE VIDEOFREEX

In 1968, when Sony made the first portable video camera available to the public, a number of ambitious young artists and journalists came together to see what they could make of this new medium. David Cort and Parry Teasdale founded a group of filmmakers who pioneered the genre of broadcast journalism, obtaining grants from television […]

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LOLO

Ditzy comedy about a toxic mother/son relationship refreshingly told from the Mom’s POV. Written and directed by Julie Delpy (in collaboration with co-screenwriter Eugénie Grandval) who casts herself in a lead role that makes the most of all her considerable strengths. Violette is beautiful! Violette is smart!! Violette tries so hard!!! Violette is a mess 🙂 (JLH: 4/5) […]

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MARGUERITE

“Marguerite Dumont” (Catherine Frot) has one dream—to be an opera singer. The only problem? She has a horrendous voice and is incredibly tone deaf. But her status within upper class Parisian society has allowed her to perform to applause for some time, as no one wants to be the one to break the news to […]

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THE PERFECT MATCH

From screenwriters Dana Verde, Brandon Broussard, and Gary Hardwick comes The Perfect Match, a haphazard attempt at a watchable romantic comedy. “Charlie” (Terrence Jenkins) is your typical playboy who insists that love just isn’t for him. That is, until he meets the beautiful “Eva” (Cassie Ventura). But even for a playboy, love is never easy. […]

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RISE OF THE LEGEND

Rise of the Legend tells an origin story that has been told many times before. When a young boy’s father dies after a gang attack, he grows up to exact revenge on their evil leader. This film may be somewhat entertaining to martial arts enthusiasts, but for the average moviegoer, this Hong Kong action flick […]

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THE YOUNG MESSIAH

The Young Messiah, based off of Anne Rice’s novel “Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt,” has already stirred controversy from many Christian and Catholic moviegoers. Why would someone fictionalize the story of a young Jesus when there are only select few Bible stories written about Him? Despite all the hullabaloo, the Messiah film only suffers […]

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NAKOM

NYC Shout-Out: Nakom is featured in this year’s prestigious New Director/New Films series co-sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center & the Museum of Modern Art. The North American Premiere is March 18 at FilmLinc, followed by a second screening on March 19 at MoMA. ************************* Director Kelly Daniela Norris and Writer/Director TW (Trav) […]

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