Currently Browsing: 2018

Sasha Waters explores life and times of photographer in ‘Garry Winogrand’

In her new documentary Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, Sasha Waters Freyer highlights photographer Garry Winogrand and his body of work in the context of his life and the times. She crafts a subjective exploration of the question the photographer himself was trying to answer with his wok – what is photography? (HRM 4/5)

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‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ is anything but monumental

In just one day, a dead body is found, a man loses his job, an affair ends, a crime is committed, and hearts are broken. In her directorial debut, director Judy Greer attempts to weave together the vignettes of many characters but fails to create a cohesive, compelling, or funny narrative. The star-studded cast is […]

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‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

Intelligent Lives (directed by Dan Habib and co-written by Jody Becker) is an inspiring and informative documentary about three intellectually disabled young adults making their way in the world despite the myriad of challenges that face them every day. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Intelligent Lives begins with actor Chris Cooper discussing […]

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Like the film’s heroine, ‘Love, Gilda’ leaves lasting impact

Like a belated memoir-turned-audiobook, Gilda Radner tells her story in her own words – in her own voice. Director Lisa D’Apolito collects and chronologizes the life of the famous funny girl using her own 1989 autobiography, “It’s Always Something,” along with personal belongings, family videotapes and journal entries from the height of her Saturday Night Live fame. Documenting personal struggles with family, friends and her own health, Love, Gilda leaves you wanting more – of the film and her. (4.5/5)

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MOSES AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (2016): Review by Katharine Cutler

Moses and the 10 Commandments is a unique retelling of the classic, biblical story. Following the format of a telenovela, this film is the most fun you can have reliving an often told story. (KAC: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Written by Paula Richard and Vivian de Oliveira, this Brazilian version has everything. […]

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‘Quincy’ documents the making of a legend

Quincy is a retrospective on the life and career of iconic composer, producer, and musician Quincy Jones. The film was co-directed and co-written by Rashida Jones (who in addition to being a filmmaker and actress is Jones’s daughter) and Alan Hicks. (RM: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributing Editor Rachel Mosely As Quincy opens, we travel […]

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‘The Song of Sway Lake’ sways us into nostalgia

In director Ari Gold’s award-winning film The Song of Sway Lake, Elizabeth Bull writes a story of nostalgia, pain, and betrayal. In this tale, the obsession over a 78 record is taken over by the feeling of pain and nostalgia. (SYJ: 4/5) Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Wanting to freeze time, […]

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Blake Lively at her best in twisty, original ‘A Simple Favor’

A Simple Favor is a compelling and strange comedy-thriller hybrid from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, Ghostbusters) and screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (Nerve). When Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) meets mysterious fellow mom Emily (Blake Lively) at her son’s elementary school, their fast friendship quickly spirals into a wild ride involving missing persons and mistaken identities. While not necessarily unique in plot, Feig and Sharzer’s adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel remains consistently unique in tone and entertainment value. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘Hale County’ a graceful portrait of small-town Alabama

Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a delicate portrait of a way of life. Shot in director RaMell Ross’s hometown, Hale County, Alabama, this film contains the beauty and the darkness of passing time. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Written by Ross and Maya Krinsky, Hale County is not a typical […]

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‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ changes post-apocalyptic norms

Written by Mike Makowsky and directed by Reed Morano, I Think We’re Alone Now is a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic genre, as it explores the beautifully complex journey of a man and a woman who are seemingly the last two people on Earth. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar For “Del” (Peter […]

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‘The Land of Steady Habits’ paints a painfully resonant image of conventional suburban life

Feeling suffocated by the conventionality of his job and his family life, a man retires and leaves his wife in an attempt to feel alive again. However, after befriending the troubled teenage son of his wife’s best friend, he finds that everything he does is met with the disapproval of his community. Based on the […]

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‘Letter from Masanjia’ exposes harsh reality of Chinese labor camps

Letter from Masanjia (co-written by Leon Lee and Caylan Ford and directed by Leon Lee) is an exposing documentary about the labor camp brutality experienced by Sun Yi and other practitioners of Falun Gong. The film mainly follows Sun Yi’s struggles and his attempts to live a normal life after the torture, despite constant pursuit by […]

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Powerful ‘Lost Child’ gracefully examines childhood trauma

Ramaa Mosley’s Lost Child is a powerful story about returning to one’s roots to find healing. Both suspenseful and affecting, it paints a noble portrait of someone’s journey of working through a past trauma.  (HRM: 4/5) Review By Hannah Mayo After being processed out of the army, “Fern” (Leven Rambin) returns to her hometown deep […]

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‘Reversing Roe’ explores abortion’s evolution from personal to political

Directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Reversing Roe is a well-informed, illuminating and powerful resource for those who want to know more about one of the country’s most controversial topics. (JRL: 4/5)

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‘Science Fair’ inspires the younger generation to succeed in the scientific field

Cristina Costantini writes and directs a multi-award winning film Science Fair. Co-directed and co-written by Darren Foster, the film tells the stories of various high school science students. This feature is a “brilliant and quirky” appreciation of the teenage genii that the rest of the world will one day depend upon. (SYJ:4.5/5) Review written by […]

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WARNING SHOT (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

In Warning Shot, writer Breanne Mattson delivers a script even more poorly done than the shoddy craftsmanship on the production. A plot to steal water rights from a young single mother and her child becomes a hostage situation that devolves into a bizarre series of revelations before an action-packed ending leads to a fake-ironic conclusion. […]

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In the canon of World War II films, ‘Where Hands Touch’ is one to skip

Review of Where Hands Touch by Eliana Levenson While Amma Asante’s desire to tell a story of a group whose struggle is often lost in the atrocities of Nazi Germany isn’t inherently a bad thing, Where Hands Touch delivers an incredibly tone-deaf narrative that fails in almost every way. (EML: 2/5) Review by FF2 Associate […]

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‘The Apparition’ a lengthy journey of questioning miracles

Unlike the horror-thriller genre one might expect from a church story titled The Apparition, the drama tells the story of a journalist investigating a young woman who claims to have miraculously been visited by the Virgin Mary. Lengthy in its 144-minute running time, the film is anchored in its compelling performances and test of faith in the Catholic church. (BKP: 4/5)

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Tender performances stand out in narrative biopic ‘Blaze’

Based on the biography by Sybil Rosen, Blaze recounts the life and death of an unknown legend in Texas music history. Gentle and loving, this biopic celebrates the complexities that made up Blaze Foley’s life. (KAC: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Ethan Hawke, Blaze is a story of love and loss […]

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‘Hal’ blasts us back to the past

In Amy Scott’s directorial debut, Hal, she describes Hal Ashby’s successes and failures as an Oscar-winning director, and as an individual. Following in the footsteps of her protagonist, Scott directs her first feature of the long awaited story of the ingenious director and editor Hal Ashby. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y […]

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I AM NOT A WITCH (2017): Review by Farah Elattar

Written and directed by Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not a Witch follows the devastating story of a young girl who is accused of being a witch, is sent to a “witch camp,” and is tied to a cord she is told will turn her into a goat if cut. An exploration of consumerism and white tourism […]

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‘Kusama: Infinity’ honors the life and work of artist Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese woman in an American man’s world

Artist Yayoi Kusama has spent a lifetime creating original work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. In both the U.S. and Japan, she has fought for her place in a conservative artistic community that has refused to acknowledge her brilliance. In her documentary, director and writer Heather Lenz – along with writer Keita Ideno […]

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Erratic ‘Nelly’ struggles to stay cohesive

Nelly, written and directed by Anne Émond, is an erratic film that attempts to tell of the multiplicities within the personality of a young woman, but sets out to do too much. While the actors do as much as they can to support the plot and illustrate the many themes this film tries to tackle, […]

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Fiercely informative ‘Active Measures’ unpacks Russia’s meddlesome history

Active Measures is a fiercely informative film that unpacks Russia’s history of meddling in world affairs and what is known about the government’s role in the 2016 United States Presidential election. While it doesn’t solve any mysteries, it dives deep into current political issues relevant to American voters, revealing disturbing political norms. The story it […]

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‘Inventing Tomorrow’ inspires, delights and succeeds

Inventing Tomorrow (directed by Laura Nix) is a heartwarming and inspiring documentary about the power of the next generation to address and tackle the major environmental issues that plague our world. The film follows 16 and 17-year-olds from Hawaii, India, Indonesia, and Mexico and gives them a platform to share their research, aspirations, and journey […]

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LET THE CORPSES TAN (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Written and directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Let the Corpses Tan depicts the story of a gang and its leader, who think they have found the perfect hideout for their stolen gold in the middle of the Mediterranean Italian mountains. Their plan is then foiled by the arrival of two cops, turning the beautiful […]

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Puppies find purpose in ‘Pick of the Litter’

Following the birth of five puppies at Guide Dogs for the Blind, Pick of the Litter follows their journey to becoming a blind or visually impaired person’s guide for life. The documentary—co-directed by Don Hardy Jr & Dana Nachman with a screenplay by Nachman—explores this difficult path, but fails to look deeper than the numerous tests […]

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Gleeson keeps ‘The Little Stranger’ interesting

From Room director Lenny Abrahamson and The Danish Girl screenwriter Lucinda Coxon, The Little Stranger is a slow-moving, mysterious horror film that spends most of its 101-minute running time building suspense. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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‘The Bookshop’ is aesthetically beautiful but unfortunately boring

In a small East Anglian town in 1959, Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) is determined to open a bookshop despite resistance from elite members of the town. Florence befriends the outcasts of the town in order to find solace amongst the opposition. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s renowned novel and directed by Isabel Coixet (known for features […]

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Alison McAlpine’s ‘Cielo’ reminds us to look up

From director Alison McAlpine, Cielo is a breathtaking documentary tribute to a simple beauty we take for granted – the night sky. (BKP: 4/5)

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