Currently Browsing: June 2018

‘Dark River’ a modern take on the classic Greek tragedy

Directed by Clio Barnard and written by Clio Barnard, Lila Rawlings, and Rose Tremain, Dark River follows a young woman who returns to her home village in North Yorkshire after her estranged father’s death in order to claim the family farm. Low-key and minimalist in its production, Dark River is a beautifully tragic family drama […]

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Dystopian ‘Hover’ taps into our fears about artificial intelligence

Written by and starring Cleopatra Coleman, Hover is a dystopian film set in the near future. Despite flaws in the plot and technical execution, Hover taps into the fears that are ruminating in the back of our minds as technology advances more and more. (JRL: 2.5/5)

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‘Leave No Trace’ is a pure work of art

The brilliant Debra Granik directs Leave No Trace, a moving look into the life of a father and daughter living in the forests of Portland, Oregon, until a simple mistake must force them to choose between vastly different worlds. Adapted from Peter Rock’s novel My Abandonment, the story captivates its audience the moment the first […]

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‘Love, Cecil’ paints a heartfelt picture of the man behind the camera

Award-winning filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland directs this documentary —  Love, Cecil — about legendary British photographer, artist, and designer Cecil Beaton (best–known to cinephiles for his world on the films Gigi and My Fair Lady). Vreeland’s vibrant doc uses archive footage, images, and interviews with models, artists, and friends alongside narration from Beaton’s own diaries to paint […]

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‘Recovery Boys’ documentary captures heartbreak of opioid crisis

Director Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s Netflix original documentary Recovery Boys covers the full spectrum of opioid rehabilitation efforts of four drug-addicted men and their path to sobriety. Easily-accessible on the streaming service – and thankfully so – the heartbreaking documentary will resonate with the mass audience it deserves. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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‘Woman Walks Ahead’ and takes a backseat in this 1800s biopic

Directed by Susanna White and written by Steven Knight, Woman Walks Ahead is a historically inspired biopic about widowed painter Catherine Weldon’s attempts to capture Sitting Bull on canvas in the midst of the Sioux fighting for their land. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood At the start of the film, Catherine Weldon (Jessica […]

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18June22: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Five films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Boundaries Lobster Cop Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts Never Steady, Never Still Spiral I saw three, all of which were narrative features. Boundaries is a routine American multiplex dramedy, whereas the other […]

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‘Boundaries’ is an engaging but underwhelming father-daughter film

Despite some clever dialogue and interesting characters, Shana Feste’s Boundaries falls short of delivering anything more than your classic indie road trip movie. (EML: 3.5/5)

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‘Lobster Cop’ demonstrates mastery of cop comedy genre

The “loser cops”devise a plan to use a lobster restaurant as a stakeout location. During the time they spend living together, however, the cops discover their hidden talent for the restaurant business, and they also form a powerful surrogate family. (MED: 3/5)

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‘Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts’ is a quirky Western redemption story

Garnering five wins and twelve nominations, Director Mouly Surya brings to the screen Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts. Marsha Timothy dominates the screen as “Marlina”, a grieving widow who is pushed from vengeance and empowerment after being attacked in her own home. Set in the desert-like hills of an Indonesian island, Surya’s film is an unusual, quirky Western. This is a tale guided by women as they journey through rape, murder, and birth, in search of justice and redemption. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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‘Never Steady, Never Still’ beautifully captures poverty, illness, and loss

The film beautifully captures the dullness and darkness that can exist when this family faces poverty, illness, and loss in different forms. (FEA 4.5/5) 

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‘Spiral’ sheds light on European anti-Semitism

Breaking down a grand scale of European anti-Semitism into personal anecdotes of people who have fled their communities, director Laura Fairrie uses Spiral to document intolerant and fearful attitudes towards Jews. Although the film could be difficult to fully comprehend for some viewers, this timely look at the Israel/Palestine conflict is expertly constructed. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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18June15: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Only one film written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week, but luckily, going to see The Year of Spectacular Men with two other members of FF2 Media was a lovely way to spend an afternoon in June 🙂  

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‘The Year of Spectacular Men’ is a cathartic portrait of post-grad life

Written by and starring Madelyn Deutch, The Year of Spectacular Men is a heartfelt comedy for anyone who feels stuck at the beginning. Having just surpassed the one-year mark since my own college graduation, watching it felt like a lifeline of sorts – that someone not only understands this fledgling feeling, but can see the […]

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18June08: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Six films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Half the Picture Middleground Nancy Ocean’s 8 The Valley Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist Of these six, so far I seen three. Two — Half the Picture and Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist — are […]

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Women directors make up ‘Half the Picture’

Directed by Amy Adrion, Half the Pictureis a documentary that combines research and interviews to expose the dismal number of female directors in Hollywood. From my perspective as a Cinema Studies major and FF2 Media Intern, Half the Picture could not have been timelier, as it exposes the unjust world of Hollywood (FEA: 5/5).

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Unhappy couple reaches breaking point in ‘Middleground’

Written and directed by Alisa Khazanova, Middleground illustrates the fragility of reality in a sparse and eerie style that follows an unhappy couple through their temporary surroundings at a business conference. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood The first scene opens with the restaurant and bar that the majority of the film takes […]

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‘Nancy’ creates intriguing balance between ingenuity and fraud

Christina Choe writes and directs Nancy, her feature debut. Andrea Riseborough stars as a lonely and estranged woman in her mid-thirties, who lives with her mother in upstate New York. Set against a bleak and gloomy backdrop, Choe explores the basic human need for connection, familial love, and acceptance. (KIZJ: 3.5/5)

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All-star cast can’t save underwhelming heist in ‘Ocean’s 8’

Ocean’s 8 boasts a powerhouse cast of award-winning actresses as a ragtag group that attempts to rob the annual Met Gala, led by con artist Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). Written by director Gary Ross and Olivia Milch, this excellent cast saves the story from just going through the typical heist-movie motions. (BKP: 3.5/5)  Review by […]

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‘The Valley’ sends timely, solemn message about suicide

Writer/director Saila Kariat’s debut feature is a beautifully solemn and informative film about suicide, telling the story of a wealthy Indian American family residing in Silicon Valley as they cope with the loss of their young daughter. (SAT: 5/5)

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‘Westwood’ is a love letter to the iconic designer’s audacity and individualistic style

In this documentary, director Lorna Tucker preserves the integrity of Vivienne Westwood both the person and the brand by telling the story that Westwood herself wants told, keeping the focus on the designer’s artistic and political visions as well as her fierce energy. (RMM: 4.5/5)

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18June01: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Two films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: The Texture of Falling Yadvi – The Dignified Princess Of these two, so far I have only seen one — Yadvi – The Dignified Princess – a narrative feature. So obviously Yadvi […]

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