Currently Browsing: July 2017

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL (2017): Review by Elyse Thaler

Full Title = An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, picks up where the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, leaves off. The powerful sequel follows longtime climate activist, Al Gore, as he continues his mission to educate the world about climate […]

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DETROIT (2017): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Kathryn Bigelow (the first woman to ever win an Oscar in the Best Director category) gives her all to capturing a critical incident from the urban race riots of the late 60s. But despite using most of her Oscar-winning team from The Hurt Locker, this time she provides more heat than light. Set in the city […]

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FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON (2016): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Based on Milena Agus’s novel of the same name, From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres) tells the story of a passionate woman’s decades-long search for happiness, and the deep sorrow she endures along the way. Languidly paced, save for moments of intense passion, writer and director Nicole Garcia’s period film shines with […]

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THE LAST FACE (2016): Review by Brigid Presecky

Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem star in a love story between an activist and a physician who struggle with relief efforts in West Africa. The Oscar winners expectedly bring the best out of writer Erin Dignam’s script (a story unanimously panned across the critical board). If viewers look beyond the criticism surrounding its famed director […]

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RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Catherine Bainbridge’s Rumble is a dynamic music history lesson, giving much-needed credit to Native American traditional music for its influences on the rock and jazz that make up American culture today. It also draws much needed attention to the vicious oppression that has shaped how Native American music developed, and has kept its contributions […]

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SLED DOGS (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Director Fern Levitt’s 80-minute documentary Sled Dogs is an in-depth look at the dogs who run in Alaska’s annual 1,000-mile Iditarod. The men and women who oversee their breeding, training and care offer commentary and necessary explanation, but the dogs are the stars of the show and will leave viewers divided over the necessity of tradition […]

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STRANGE WEATHER (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Writer and director Katherine Dieckmann creates a beautiful lead role for actress Holly Hunter in Strange Weather. And filled with female roles both on and off-screen, the directing, writing, acting, producing, music, and editing were all done by female artists and filmmakers. The film centers on the growth of a Southern woman, “Darcy Baylor” (Holly Hunter), who goes on a road trip with fellow Southerner, “Carrie Coon” (Byrd Ritt), in search for answers about her son’s death. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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WOMEN WHO KILL (2016): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

When two ex-lovers try to remain friends, calamity ensues as their female-serial-killer podcast starts to become their reality when they think there may be a serial killer among them. Writer/director Ingrid Jungermann does triple duty by also starring as “Morgan,” who goes through every emotion while living in a reality that she’s only ever researched. […]

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LANDLINE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Director and co-writer Gillian Robespierre takes us back to 1995 with this snapshot of a family during the time of floppy disks and landline telephones. In this comedy, relationships are jeopardized when “Ali” (Abby Quinn) discovers that her father is having an affair, while “Dana” (Jenny Slate), Ali’s older sister, grows bored with her tame […]

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GIRLS TRIP (2017): Review by Lindsy Bissonnette

Written by Erica Rivinoja, Tracy Oliver, and Kenya Barris, and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Girls Trip is the story of four best friends reuniting in New Orleans for a weekend of well-deserved fun. Unfortunately, they’re all in for more than they bargained for when old friends, and new enemies, appear. Girls Trip hits home […]

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THE WRONG LIGHT (2016): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Directors Josie Swantek Heitz’s and Dave Adams’ documentary The Wrong Light takes place in Thailand, where the business of human trafficking is prevalent. The film begins by diving into the personal story of activist Mickey Choothesa, focusing on his work rescuing young girls from brothels and bringing them to the Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia […]

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AMNESIA (2015): Review by Brigid Presecky

Barbet Schroeder’s collaboration with writers Emilie Bickerton, Peter F. Steinbach and Susan Hoffman tells the story of an unlikely relationship set in the picturesque island of Ibiza. Marthe Keller stars as an aging, solitary woman whose life is altered when she meets a young musician. Despite any lulls, it will make viewers want to visit […]

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THE FENCER (2015): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Based on a true story, writer Anna Heinämaa’s The Fencer follows an Estonian man on the run from the Soviet government who takes refuge posing as a teacher in a small Estonian village. The film is fun, in that it’s weird how the plot is basically School of Rock, but with fencing and set in […]

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MISTER UNIVERSO (2016): Review by Georgi Presecky

Director Tizza Covi and longtime film partner Rainer Frimmel follow the life of a circus lion tamer who loses something important to him in Mister Universo, an Italian drama with surprising depth, realistic friendships and a poignant portrait of the monotony that seemingly any job can take on when it isn’t one’s dream. (GEP: 4/5) Review […]

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FALSE CONFESSIONS (2016): Review by Katusha Jin

Luc Bondy and Marie-Louise Bischofberger co-direct False Confessions — in French Les Fausses Confidences — starring Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel. The husband-and-wife duo create a movie that plays around with the psychology of love in its characters set in a surreal world. Originating from the stage play Marivaux, Bondy collaborated with writer Geoffrey Layton to bring this story from the stage to the screen. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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500 YEARS (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Pamela Yates’ 500 Years is a political documentary about her native country, Guatemala, and the violence and oppression that has plagued its indigenous people for hundreds of years. However important the topic may be, boiling down centuries of context, turmoil and prejudice into a two-hour documentary is an ambitious task, leading to a film fit […]

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BIRTHRIGHT – A WAR STORY (2017): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Birthright: A War Story is a call-to-arms for anyone who is still complacent about the erosion of OB/Gyn healthcare services for women in the USA since the ascension of the Tea Party in 2010. It turns out that even someone like me — a Second Wave Warrior for almost 50 years now — has no […]

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CHASING CORAL (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

Co-written by Vickie Curtis and from Jeff Orlowski–director of the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice—Chasing Coral is an engagingly crafted climate exposé. The film has a focus on the ways in which climate scientists publicize the importance of their work. It follows coral and ocean scientists and documentarians as they record the bleaching and dying of […]

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LADY MACBETH (2016): Review by Elyse Thaler

Based on the 1865 Russian novella, “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” by Nikolai Leskov, and adapted for the screen by Alice Birch, Lady Macbeth is a chilling period drama about “Katherine’s” (Florence Pugh) loveless marriage to “Alexander” (Paul Hilton), the metaphorical chains he attempts to put on her body and her spirit, and her tumultuous affair […]

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TO THE BONE (2017): Review by Brigid Presecky

Marti Noxon’s Netflix dark comedy finds Lily Collins in an unconventional group home for addicts, as the 20-year-old fights the grip of anorexia. In the same vein as the “YA” genre so massively popular in novels, theaters and streaming services, To the Bone caters to a youthful, angst-filled audience battling demons of their own. (BKP: […]

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WISH UPON (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Wish Upon, penned by Barbara Marshall, is a morality tale that leans on a campy, under-researched interpretation of Chinese culture for its main lore elements. It arguably earns its 90 minutes of your life by achieving better acting and plotting than a lot of horror movies out there; however, if you’re looking to be wowed, […]

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OUR TIME WILL COME (2017): Review by Peier Tracy Shen

Ann Hui’s latest film, Our Time Will Come, is a woman’s take on what has been a guy’s subject—war. It is so easy to imagine another movie: set in the same Japanese-occupied Hong Kong during World War II, the story somehow pivots towards more familiar figures (traditionally male roles) like a hero with roguish charms, […]

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

The Rehearsal follows a group of acting students writing an end-of-year dramatic piece about a recent underage sex scandal. When one of the group strikes up a romance with the sister of the victim, the students get access to information that will strengthen their piece—but at what cost? Director Alison MacLean’s latest is well-written and […]

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SWIM TEAM (2016): Review by Elly Levenson

Lara Stolman’s Swim Team is an inspirational and emotional look at the Jersey Hammerheads, a Special Olympics swim team made up of team members on the spectrum. (EML: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson When Maria & her husband, Michael, learned that their son, Mikey, was autistic, the doctors told them that he […]

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13 MINUTES (2017): Review by Peier Shen

13 Minutes, written by Léonie-Claire and Fred Breinersdorfer, isn’t bad. In a strange way, it might be perfect in its mediocrity. It is all very well told of a story of a forgotten hero, Georg Elser, a fiercely independent and out-of-luck assassin of the Führer. Not a scene missing. Not a sequence misplaced. But it’s […]

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INCONCEIVABLE (2017): Review by Roza Melkumyan

Written by Chloe King and directed by Jonathan Baker, Inconceivable weaves a thrilling tale of mystery in which characters act on suspicion and skirt the edge of insanity. “Katie” (Nicky Whelan) is a single mother who has recently escaped an abusive relationship. When she meets another mother, “Angela” (Gina Gershon), the two become fast friends, […]

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LOOK & SEE – A PORTRAIT OF WENDELL BERRY: Review by Rachel Kastner (2016)

Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry is less a portrait of the American novelist-poet-farmer than it is a portrait of the issues facing rural American farming communities. In this documentary, directed by Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell, the audience is offered stories and testimonies of rural American voices—voices not often heard onscreen. The film loses […]

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MARIE CURIE (2017): Review by Georgi Presecky

Writer-director Marie Noelle explores the personal struggles of the titular scientist in Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge. (GEP: 3.5/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky Students might remember Marie Curie’s name emboldened on the pages of their textbooks, a flashcard with her moniker on one side and a brief list of accomplishments […]

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POP AYE (2017): Review By Katusha Jin

A nostalgic road trip movie, Pop Aye, follows the relationship between an unusual pair—architect and elephant—as they encounter a diverse range of people on their journey. Having received many international awards for her previous short films, writer-director Kristen Tan brings to the screen her heartwarming and down-to-earth debut feature. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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THE REAGAN SHOW (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker

The Reagan Show–co-directed by Sierra Pettengill–documents President Reagan as he navigates the personal and public tensions of negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The filmmakers find a strange humor in their portrayal of Cold War politics. Composed almost completely of footage of Ronald Reagan taken within the White House and of news broadcasts from the […]

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