Currently Browsing: Jan Lisa Huttner

THE WEDDING PLAN (2016): Rant by Jan Lisa Huttner

“Michal” (Noa Koler) is a 32-year-old Israeli woman terrified of becoming a spinster. She is willing to do anything — go to a faith healer, endure countless fix-ups by numerous matchmakers, fly to Ukraine for a one day visit to the grave of a famous Rabbi — she is willing to do anything to avoid a […]

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RISK (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras indeed takes huge risks in this portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Coming out of the screening room, I felt somewhat bludgeoned by the implications of what I had seen. It is clear that Poitras began this project convinced that Assange was a hero. She is, after all, the filmmaker who […]

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TOMORROW EVER AFTER (2016): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Shaina is a visitor from the future trapped in a hostile world and longing for home. Like ET, she has powers beyond our own, but she still needs ordinary humans to assist her with “activities of daily living.” Filmmaker Ela Thier wrote a screenplay with a perceptive take on our era (which she calls “The Great Despair”), but director […]

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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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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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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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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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NAKOM (2016): Review by Jan

Iddrisu Awinzor is happily living his life as a medical student in Kumasi (Ghana) when a call from his sister Damata changes everything. There was a motorcycle accident. Their father is dead. Iddrisu must return to the village immediately. Nakom (co-directed by Kelly Daniela Norris and T.W. Pittman) is an intense, quiet film that contrasts urban life versus […]

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MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (2016): Snippet by Jan

Perfectly told tale of a French boy who is sent to a group home after his mother dies. Screenplay by award-winning filmmaker Céline Sciamma, best-known for her 2014 film Bande de filles (called Girlhood in English although Girl Gang would be a better translation), is based on Gilles Paris’ 2002 novel Autobiographie d’une Courgette. Animated with dazzling style and state […]

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THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE (2016): Review by Jan

Great performances literally “save” a predicable plot. Once an adorable child star, Gavin has grown into a totally boring boor. After some hard partying, he is sentenced by the court to community service. Kudos to actor Brett Dalton for really making me care about someone who finds himself anew in his old home town. (JLH: 3.5/5) […]

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A DIFFERENT AMERICAN DREAM

From Jane Wells and Simon Brook comes A Different American Dream, an eye-opening documentary about the age-old conflict between man and land, wealth and morality, environmental safety and the oil industry. (GEP: 4.5/5) Review by Social Media Manager Georgiana E. Presecky The Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota is going through an oil boom in […]

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DR. FEELGOOD

Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? written by Eve Marson in partnership with writers Sarah Goldblatt, David Boodell and Mark Monroe, is the story of William Hurwitz, a doctor sentenced to 25 years in prison for his liberal distribution of pain medication. Marson interviews past patients and Hurwitz himself to learn more about the human body […]

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HIDDEN FIGURES

Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore (Ted) Melfi and co-written with Allison Schroeder, recounts the inspiring story of three black women who helped NASA advance in the Space Race. Taraji P. Henson leads the impressive cast as Katherine Goble Johnson, the first female mathematician to assist in America’s first orbit of Earth. A triumphant story is brought […]

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ALL WE HAD

When a homeless mother-daughter duo get stranded in a small town with a broken down car, they manage to settle down long enough to call “Tiny’s Diner” their home. Based on Annie Weatherwax’s 2014 novel, Katie Holmes’ directorial debut tackles themes of acceptance, desperation … and love in all forms. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Managing […]

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THE BOUNCE BACK

Here is the ultimate romantic comedy: boy meets girl, girl meets boy… tries to call him out as a fraud. The Bounce Back has “Matthew Taylor” (Shemar Moore) as a relationship guru and author of the book,”The Bounce Back.” Matthew’s philosophy is introduced in the  beginning of the film when he  says, “You are the […]

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OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

When his sister, and interim CEO threatens to close his Chicago branch after the holidays, branch manager “Clay Vanstone” (T.J. Miller) throws an epic Christmas party to land a huge account in order to successfully secure his branch’s success. Written by Laura Solon, Justin Malen, and Dan Mazer, and boasting a stellar comedic cast, Office […]

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SOLITARY

Opens tomorrow (12/9/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

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FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION

Another wonderful “who knew” documentary. The focus this time is on Henrietta Boggs. Raised to be a decorous Southern Belle, Henrietta’s rebellious energy crashed up against convention. She fled her home in Alabama and went to visit relatives in Costa Rica where she met and eventually married someone even more wealthy and better connected than she was. However, Jose “Don […]

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THINGS TO COME

The daughter of her mother and the mother of her daughter, Nathalie examines herself anew at the cusp of middle age. What has she settled for? What would she change if she could? What does she want to do with the rest of her life? Profound meditation on the seasons of a woman’s life written and […]

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ALWAYS SHINE

Takals’s film Always Shine successfully utilizes the best elements of several genres, excellent sound design, to produce a final product that is all at once horrifying and beautiful. The story is simple: two young actresses whose friendship has been tainted by one woman’s success and the other’s lack of success. But the film is incredibly […]

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BADEN BADEN (2016)

Twentysomething at lose ends returns home (in this case the city of Strasbourg on the border between France and Germany) to visit the grandmother who has long been her anchor. Writer/director Rachel Lang succeeds in making Ana totally real and totally loveble. Although the action is jumpy with poor continuity between scenes, the tone of each episode is […]

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BAD SANTA 2

Bad Santa 2 brings back the alcoholic con artist who masqueraded as a not-so-jolly old St. Nicholas in the 2003 original. Starring a wasted Billy Bob Thornton – implying both connotations of “wasted” – Shauna Jones and her co-writers will make audiences’ stomachs churn with this overly vulgar heist flick. (BKP & GEP: 2/5) Review […]

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Behind “The Cove”-The Quiet Japanese Speak Out

Behind “The Cove”-The Quiet Japanese Speak Out is filmmaker Keiko Yagi’s response to The Cove, which won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. In her bold pursuit of the truth, Yagi produces a film that breaks down the whaling industry, explains the historical significance of whaling, and bravely highlights the one-sidedness of […]

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THE C WORD

A scathing expose of the cultural and industry contributors to the current cancer epidemic, Meghan O’Hara’s The C Word provides an easily digestible education to the public on the lifestyle choices that contribute to cancer risk, while providing guidelines for creating healthier habits.  (EML: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Associate Eliana M. Levenson Documentary filmmaker Meghan […]

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DEAR ZINDAGI

Director Guari Shinde’s Dear Zindagi is a refreshing take on the romantic comedy, where romance exists but is not all we see from our female protagonist “Kaira” (Alia Bhatt). Kaira is driven in her career as a cinematographer, but when a setback forces her to move back home, she is able to finally confront her […]

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EVOLUTION

Opens this week in NYC. Review coming soon…

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3000 NIGHTS

When an innocent Palestinian woman is thrown into a jail cell with Israeli women, her life becomes a living hell as she struggles to survive. Unfortunately, it is only the beginning for this young schoolteacher, she faces almost a decade of long nights, hard days, and endless fighting. 3000 Layla, also known as 3000 Nights, […]

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MARIAM

Congratulations to the team behind NYC’s first Arab Cinema Week! The schedule featured FIVE films directed by women filmmakers & FF2 is proud to announce that we saw every single one!

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NARAWA (2015)

Narawa is a young woman living in a Cairo slum during the early days of the Arab Spring. When the film opens, her life is full of hope. Hosnei Mubarak has been deposed, and for the first time in their lives, ordinary people are feeling their collective power. They genuinely believe that their lives will get […]

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TICKLING GIANTS

Congratulations to the team behind NYC’s first Arab Cinema Week! The schedule featured FIVE films directed by women filmmakers & FF2 is proud to announce that we saw every single one!

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