Currently Browsing: July 2018

‘Christopher Robin’ delightfully revives the world of Winnie the Pooh

Filled with all of the same love, kindness and charm of the books that inspired it, Christopher Robin is an absolute delight. (JRL: 5/5)

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A children’s world in ‘The Darkest Minds’

The Darkest Minds is light-hearted and intended for younger audiences, and it is enjoyable, but it misses potentially deeper tonalities. (FEA: 3.5/5)

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‘Never Goin’ Back’ hilariously and astutely captures female friendship

Never Goin’ Back (written and directed by Augustine Frizzell) is an intense journey through diner work, accidental drugs, multiple robberies, and the remarkable friendship between two young girls struggling to make it to the beach for a weekend off. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood While the underlying circumstances of Never Goin’ Back are surely […]

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An unusually natural biopic, Nico, 1988 explores how the past defines us

Nico, 1988 follows the eponymous artist’s last year of life as she tours through Europe, and reveals the characters and events that framed her final days. Director Susanna Nicchiarelli strays away from factual information about Nico’s life, and instead explores the relationships and emotions that remained with her till the end. Whether or not you […]

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‘Night Comes On’ provides a distinctly female perspective on sisterhood and revenge

There’s a quiet confidence and a profoundly female perspective to Jordana Spiro’s Night Comes On that sucks the audience into the raw, emotional exploration of a broken family, revenge, and sisterhood. (EML: 4/5)

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‘Milla’ is a visually striking, languidly paced portrait of life, loss, and endurance

A young, reckless couple makes a home out of an abandoned house by the sea as they await their first child. Valérie Massadian’s Milla languidly follows its characters through their everyday tasks, offering an unassuming yet honest portrait of life and loss. (RMM: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Roza M. Melkumyan Inside the backseat of […]

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‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ is a lesson in acceptance

Desiree Akhavan’s direction of a Sundance Film Festival winner, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”, shows confused teenagers, forbidden romances, and praising the Lord. The movie showcases another ploy to try and ‘cure’ homosexuality. The film is based on Emily M. Danforth’s novel of the same name. Its story explores the misinformation given to teenagers that being gay is a sin. (SYJ: 3.5/5)

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‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ cleverly mocks human behavior

Director Susanna Fogel’s buddy comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me is made for viewers who are in on the joke, understanding that ordinary human behavior can be funnier than any pratt fall or bodily malfunction. Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible may be a better fit for serious fans of the spy-action genre, but for anyone in desperate search of a laugh, leave it to Kate McKinnon. (4/5)

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18July27: 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: 93Queen The Bleeding Edge Good Manners Puzzle The Row Of these five, so far I seen three. Two — 93Queen and The Bleeding Edge — are docs. One — Puzzle — is a narrative feature. […]

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Women take care of women in ’93Queen’

93QUEEN is the empowering story of Rachel “Ruchie” Freier and the efforts of her team of powerful women to go against the deeply ingrained gender roles of the Hasidic Jewish community and create the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in NYC. In what documentarian Paula Eiselt calls “a Hasidic variation of the Me Too movement,” […]

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‘The Bleeding Edge’ is unafraid, unforgiving, and absolutely unbelievable

In their eye-opening documentary, The Bleeding Edge, critically acclaimed writer/director Kirby Dick and co-writer Amy Ziering shed an important light on America’s corrupt medical industry and the loopholes the FDA will find in order to comply with industry interests. (MTP: 5/5)

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‘Good Manners’ is a monster mashup of genre

Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s Good Manners is a boldly metaphoric horror movie hybrid with monsters, musical numbers and a lesbian love affair. While the “normalcy” of the first act would have been story enough to captivate viewers, the spooky supernatural weighs heavily on the scale of bizarre. (3/5)

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A depiction of the delicacy of everyday life in ‘Puzzle’

Directed by Marc Turtletaub and co-written by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann, Puzzle Pis a captivating, delicate film about a housewife and mother who, taken for granted in her home, finds her passion and her calling in solving jigsaw puzzles that take her beyond her house and neighborhood. (FEA 4.5/5)

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‘The Row’—a sorority horror with a detective father and a serial killer

Sorority sisters, a serial killer, and a hidden past—Sarah Scougal writes a new addition to the traditional sorority horror genre. Directed by Matty Beckerman, “The Row” stars Lala Kent as a newly initiated sorority girl, and Randy Couture as the father-detective. With a killer loose on the college campus, members of a sorority club find themselves victims to a series of violent murders. (KIZJ: 2.5/5)

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18July20: 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: Far From the Tree Generation Wealth Love & Bananas Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Pin Cushion The Rise of Eve Of these six films, I have seen three to date: Generation Wealth, […]

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‘Far from the Tree’ documents beautiful, moving love of parent and child

Based on Andrew Solomon’s bestselling book of the same name, director Rachel Dretzin documents the personal, heart wrenching stories of parents whose children are drastically different from them. Peeking into the lives of people with disabilities like Down syndrome, Dwarfism and Autism to Solomon, himself, recounting his parents’ acceptance of his sexuality, Far from the Tree is the most life-affirming documentary that will resonate with anyone who has felt or is looking for the magnitude of unconditional love. (4.5/5)

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Generation Wealth mirrors excessive qualities of subjects

Generation Wealth is Lauren Greenfield’s latest photo essay, documentary, and personal memoir that studies our culture of excess and our vicious obsession with all things money can buy. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Generation Wealth begins right in the thick of ultra decadence and extreme wealth, and even compares our current economic state […]

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The joy and pain of elephant rescue in ‘Love and Bananas’

Education is the first step to save a species, and Bell exposes the audience to all the heartbreak and hope that comes along for this ultimately heartwarming journey. (HM: 3.5/5)

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A visual wonder, Mari Okada’s ‘Maquia’ is rooted in the emotional human experience

In a richly rendered medieval fantasy world, the members of an ancient clan live for centuries weaving the cloth of life. When this village is destroyed, a young girl ventures into the world with a baby boy in her arms, ready to face the hardships her new life will bring. Mari Okada shines in her […]

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The need to fit in has devastating effects on a mother and daughter in ‘Pin Cushion’

Fitting in is hard. In Director-Writer Deborah Haywood’s movie, “Pin Cushion”, Joanna Scanlan and Lily Newmark star as a mother and daughter who start out as loving best friends. However, their move to an unwelcoming town drives a divide between the two. Now, without each other’s support, they are left as alone as ever to face the wrath of a town of ‘mean girls’. Haywood forces the audience to see the ugly and extreme effects that bullying can have for both children and adults alike. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Rise of Eve’ is a deeply moving cri de coeur

Director L. Burner sets out to examine attitudes towards women throughout time, with particular attention to issues in the African-American community. With topics ranging from sexual assault to victim blaming to misogyny in media, The Rise of Eve opens up the discussion in order to start taking steps towards a safer world for women. (MTP: 3/5)

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18July13: 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: Dark Money The Devil’s Doorway Gaguin: Voyage to Tahiti Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind What Will People Say Of these five, so far I seen four. Two — Dark Money and Robin […]

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Political doc ‘Dark Money’ a thrilling, sobering look at corruption

Director Kimberly Reed’s political thriller documentary pulls back the curtain on corrupt American politics, examining the illegal coordination between big-money corporations and elected government officials. By following investigative journalist John Adams through the state of Montana, Dark Money exposes the real-life consequences of political fraud and its threat to democracy. (4.5/5)

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‘The Devil’s Doorway’ leads priests to question sins and secrets

Aislinn Clarke directs and co-writes a chilling horror movie set inside a haunted house in Ireland. “The Devil’s Doorway” is presented through the eyes of two priests, sent by the Vatican, who conduct an investigation into a miraculous occurrence at the dwelling. But the excitement and skepticism of the pair soon turns into fear, as their search for the truth uncovers layer upon layer of unexplainable events. Getting more than what they bargained for, their assigned investigation reveals the dark and ugly secrets at this home for “fallen women”. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Gauguin – Voyage to Tahiti’ paints an intimate look into the artist’s quest to find a muse

French painter Paul Gauguin embarks on a soul searching journey to find new inspiration in Tahiti. On his quest, he meets and marries the beautiful Tehura, the woman who will become his muse. (MTP: 4/5)   Review by FF2 Intern Maiya Pascouche   Artist Paul Gauguin is suffocating as an unsuccessful artist in Paris, living […]

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‘Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind’ gets personal

Through an expansive collection of archived videos, photos, and audio from the infamous comedian’s life, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (directed by Marina Zenovich) gives an intimate look into Williams’ life and legacy. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and binge all your favorite Robin Williams films after watching this. (4.5/5) If you are a […]

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‘What Will People Say’ is an excellent depiction of cultural conflict

What Will People Say (written and directed by Iram Haq) beautifully and tragically captures the struggle of a Pakistani family’s attempts to cling to traditional culture while reaching for a better life in Norway. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood What Will People Say begins appropriately tense and fast-paced, as Nisha (Maria Mozhdah) — […]

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18July06: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Only two films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Constructing Albert Bleeding Steel Constructing Albert is a doc. Bleeding Steel is a narrative feature (albeit short on narrative). Frankly, I can’t recommend either of these films, but forced to choose between them, […]

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‘Bleeding Steel’ is weighed down by bad jokes

Sometimes a movie is “so-bad-that-it’s-good,” but Bleeding Steel, weighed down by bad jokes and cheesy special effects, never reaches that threshold. (HM: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo I hated Bleeding Steel just as much as I enjoyed it. A spoof of old sci-fi and action movies, writers Erica Xia-Hou and Siwei Cui and director […]

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Constructing Albert succeeds in aesthetic, fails with interiority

Constructing Albert (directed by Laura Collado and Jim Loomis) examines the current hardships and successes of Chef Albert Adrià and his multi-restaurant ownership, and features some of the most visually exquisite cuisine to hit the big screen. (DLH: 2.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood While it is certainly a pleasure to see Adrià’s impressive food […]

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