Currently Browsing: April 2017

BELOW HER MOUTH (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Below Her Mouth is a lazily plotted but consistently erotic lesbian film that, while poorly written, features some great performances and excellent camerawork. I was unable to find reference to director April Mullen’s sexual orientation, but I would place a large bet that she is not LGBT due to her total failure to portray a […]

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BUSTER’S MAL HEART (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, Buster’s Mal Heart is an Indie mystery thriller tracing three parallel storylines that intertwine in the most unexpected, surprising, and unusual ways. Rami Malek takes on the role of “Buster”, a character of many dimensions, whose life we try to piece together scene by scene like an intricate puzzle. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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CASTING JONBENET (2017): Sneak Peek by Jan Lisa Huttner

In 1996, the body of a charismatic 6 year old girl was found in the basement of her parent’s elegant mini-mansion… one day after Christmas! The nation was transfixed by the investigation. Everyone had a theory. Nothing ever came of it. Twenty years later, the death of JonBenet Ramsey — an elfin blonde beauty queen on the […]

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NISE: THE HEART OF MADNESS

Based on a true story, this film follows one woman who refuses to allow the mistreatment of patients in a psychiatric hospital. Nise: O Coração da Loucura, also known as Nise: The Heart of Madness, or just Nise, is written by Flávia Castro, Mauricio Lissovski, Maria Camargo, Chris Alcazar, Patrícia Andrade, Leonardo Rocha, and Roberto […]

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OBIT (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Vanessa Gould’s Obit is a thoroughly captivating documentary about the New York Times obituary department. Its writers and their work capture the nuance and beauty of people’s lives in 800 words or less. Gould masterfully tells the story of how they tell stories, and it’s a fascinating tribute to writing, reporting and the incredible lives […]

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FREE FIRE (2016): Rant by Jan Lisa Huttner

Rant by FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner Wanna know what happens when a terrific actress like Jennifer Jason Leigh gets her one and only Oscar nomination for playing a punching bag in Quentin Tarantino’s execrable film The Hateful Eight? Garbage like this! Free Fire supposedly stars Brie Larson — who received a Best Actress Oscar in […]

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JEREMIAH TOWER: THE LAST MAGNIFICENT

Lydia Tenaglia’s Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent is an absorbing documentary about the life of a once well-known chef who returned to the culinary world after nearly 20 years spent off the grid. Tower’s own testimony to his life and choice is what sets Tenaglia’s film apart from the tired documentary format—his first-person account is […]

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THE PENGUIN COUNTERS (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Antarctica is known as the continent most hostile to human life, second only to Australia and so uninhabitable that most people forget that it is a continent at all. It is to this frozen tundra that has claimed so many lives that Ron Naveen travels with his crew to track the health of Antarctica’s most […]

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THE PROMISE (2016): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

When an ambitious medical student has his entire life torn apart, he must unite his fellow Armenians in hopes that they will all survive the genocide. The Promise, written by Terry George and Robin Swicord and directed by George, is set in the early 20th century at the beginning of the Ottoman Empire’s destruction of […]

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TOMORROW

The world is not coming to an end. With news like the budget cut at the Environmental Protection Agency and the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Tomorrow (Demain), directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, is a welcomed feel-good documentary. Instead of dwelling on the gravity of eco problems, the film takes a rare […]

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UNFORGETTABLE (2017): Review by Elyse Thaler

Unforgettable, directed and produced by Denise Di Novi, is a dramatic thriller about a woman, “Julia Banks” (Rosario Dawson), who relocates to Southern California only to be tormented by her fiancée’s ex-wife, “Tessa Connover” (Katherine Heigl). Tessa digs into Julia’s past to find the one thing that could potentially destroy her: an abusive ex-boyfriend that […]

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BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK (2016): Sneak Peek by Jan Lisa Huttner

True Confessions: I went into the Francesca Beale Theater at Lincoln Center wanting so much to love this film, but I must confess that when the credits finally started to roll, I packed up and left feeling baffled, confused and disappointed. By The Time It Gets Dark purports to be about a young Thai woman […]

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GLORY (2016): Review by Malin Jornvi

Glory sets its teeth in a capitalist society with increasing income gaps and leaves a biting remark. Co-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov portray a promising clash of an eloquent and cunning unfortunately, the moral lesson defaults. (MJJ: 3.5/5)

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HEAL THE LIVING (2016): Review by Rachel Kastner

I was fortunate enough to see Katell Quillevere’s third feature film, Heal The Living at this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival in New York City. It is an incredibly moving medical drama surrounding the issue of organ donation: how difficult of a decision it is to decide to donate organs, and how it changes the lives of those […]

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LITTLE BOXES (2016): Review by Jessica Perry

Written by Annie J. Howell and directed by Rob Meyer, Little Boxes follows an interracial family as they move from the diverse and bustling city of New York, to a small town in Washington State. The film highlights their struggles, both familial and racial, while serving as a sort of coming of age transition for […]

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MAURIZIO CATTELAN: BE RIGHT BACK (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

On the occasion of his Guggenheim retrospective, first-time director Maura Axelrod walks us through Maurizio Catellan’s tumultuous career in a documentary that is pitch-perfect in its embracing of his art’s irreverent tone. The result is a delightfully fun and educational watch for admirers of Catellan’s work, as well as for viewers who have never heard […]

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TOMMY’S HONOUR (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Set in the lush green landscapes of Scotland during the 19th century, Tommy’s Honour is a biopic based on a true story about a father and his son, both known as pioneers of golf. Director Jason Connery works with writers Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook to explore the professional and familial conflicts that are born out of a passion for golf. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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ALIVE AND KICKING (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Director and screenwriter Susan Glatzer entrances and infects us with curiosity about the existing Swing dance world in her documentary Alive and Kicking. Glatzer co-writes the piece with Heidi Zimmerman, exposing the problems our modern world has in its lack of physical intimacy and communication, and what potential Swing dance offers to remedy this. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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CEZANNE ET MOI (2016): Review by Amelie Lasker

Snippet. (AEL: x/5) Review by FF2 Intern Amelie Lasker with comments from FF2 Senior Contributor Stephanie Taylor Review. © Amelie E. Lasker (4/7/17) FF2 Media Q: Does Cézanne et Moi pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?  Yes, but only technically… Emil Zola is the head of a large and fractious household. His mother “Emilie Zola” (Isabelle Candelier) […]

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SMURFS – THE LOST VILLAGE (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Directed by Kelly Asbury and co-written by Stacey Harmon and Pamela Ribon, Smurfs: The Lost Village boasts an all-female creative team that brings the long-awaited story of the mysterious Smurfette to the big screen. More than just the blond hair and high heels she’s epitomized for decades, this heroine’s story is funny and sweet. (GEP: […]

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THEIR FINEST (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

Screenwriter Gaby Chiappe adapts Lissa Evans novel Their Finest Hour and a Half into the finest hour and a half of cinema so far this year. A period piece in 1940s London, a romantic dramedy with an underlying feminist message and an utterly enjoyable cinematic experience. (BKP: 5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky […]

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THE TICKET (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The Ticket is a modern-day fable about a blind man who regains his sight, only to become obsessed with appearances. His newfound superficiality leads him to dismantle his happy but unglamorous life for flashy luxuries, like expensive clothes and a penthouse apartment. Penned by screenwriting newcomer Sharon Mashihi, the story is heavyhanded at times, but […]

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KARL MARX CITY (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

In this new collaboration from award-winning filmmakers Petra Epperlein and her husband Michael Tucker, Petra returns to her hometown in the former East Germany in search of her father’s Stasi files. Riveted documentary artfully explores the intersection between personal history with public memory. (JLH: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Editor-in-Chief Jan Lisa Huttner In this stunning new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Petra […]

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