Giorgi Plys-Garzotto 49 posts

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Janice Engel documents gumption of late Molly Ivins with ‘Raise Hell’

Whether you were an avid viewer of hers during the Bush era or (like me) spent most of the Bush era learning your multiplication tables, Janice Engel delivers an overview of Molly Ivins that will charm, tickle, and at times chill any blue-team resident of the year 2019. However, it seems like Ivins became a […]

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HARRIET (2019): Review by FF2 Media

The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Harriet opens 11/1. FF2 review coming soon!

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UNLIKELY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

In Unlikely, co-director Jaye Fenderson and her partner Adam Fenderson deftly analyze how the systems of student debt and rising unemployment are propping up an unsustainable system that limits access to the highest tier colleges to the elite. The solutions it proposes have been working in their limited environments, though a viewer can’t help but […]

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THE SKY IS PINK (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Director Shonali Bose delves into a subject personal to her as well as to the real-life subjects of her film with The Sky Is Pink. However, the issues of class and of reproductive rights rear their heads in the background of this brightly colored and upbeat film, making the experience a bit less enjoyable for […]

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‘The Game Changers’ might just persuade you to go vegan

Any vegans in the audience are going to love co-writer Shannon Kornelson’s documentary on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Kornelson, director Louie Psihoyos, and a cast of interviewees from the Miami Dolphins to Arnold Schwarznegger show us that veganism doesn’t just benefit the average person, but even the highest level athletes as well. (GPG: […]

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MONOS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Borrowing from Lord of the Flies, Skins, and Apocalypse Now alike, Monos is an excellently plotted, virtuosically acted, and fascinatingly directed ensemble drama following a squadron of child soldiers. Producer Cristina Landes assists director Alejandro Landes to bring lurid visions of love, war, hatred, and desperation to the screen. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributing […]

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AQUARELA (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The globe-spanning epic Aquarela, from writer Aimara Reques, is a highly conceptual thesis on water in all its forms, particularly as it is being unsettled globally by climate change. At the pace of the glaciers that are its subject, it sounds the alarm of global warming with an eerie calm. However, this film is a […]

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SAUVAGE/WILD (2018): Review by FF2 Media

With Sauvage, Camille Vidal-Naquet brings us a heart-pounding tale of gay love in France. The film centers on Leo, a male prostitute who has sex with men both on and off the job. Be warned: this film is not for the faint of heart where male nudity is concerned! (GPG: 3/5) Review by FF2 Contributor […]

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THE WIND (2018): Review by FF2 Media

The Wind is a stylish feast from director Emma Tammi and writer Teresa Sutherland. It’s prairie-Gothic style makes for a refreshingly new kind of horror aesthetic, though the ultimate twist at the end of the movie was a bit of a let-down. Overall an excellent experience, though! (GPG: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto […]

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Astra Taylor documentary gives picture of what democracy could be

Filmmaker Astra Taylor reacts to the 2016 election and the debt crisis in Europe by taking us on a cross-continental and 3000-year journey investigating her titular question: What Is Democracy? This film brings in academics as well as ordinary citizens who are at the forefront of activism and social unrest, all weighing in to give […]

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‘A Dog’s Way Home’ is more bizarre than cute

  Writer Cathryn Michon’s A Dog’s Way Home is probably enjoyable for children, but it’s definitely not one of those kid’s movies (like those in Pixar canon) that people of all ages will like. The animals are cute, but the plot and characters are wooden in the extreme, and the film makes a bizarre attempt […]

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‘That Way Madness Lies’ showcases America’s broken mental health system

Filmmaker Sandra Luckow must navigate America’s mental health system in order to help her brother, who has been hospitalized for schizophrenia. Duanne’s initial hospitalization leads to Sandra acting as his primary conservator for years afterward, while his symptoms become more aggressive and antisocial and her patience wears increasingly thin (GPG: 3/5).

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DIVIDE AND CONQUER – THE STORY OF ROGER AILES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Director Alexis Bloom chooses a Roman battle tactic as the title for Divide and Conquer, her documentary on Fox News’s Caligula. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, though this film made me wonder if anything can cleanse America’s political palate after Roger Ailes’s career. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Like his […]

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THE PARTY’S JUST BEGINNING (2018) Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Karen Gillan makes her directorial debut with The Party’s Just Beginning, a movie that—while it has its problems—has punchy dialogue, vivid characters, and a lot to say about life as a millennial. Gillan’s direction gives the film a frenetic electronic score and some vital, real performances that make up for any failings in the script. […]

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THE FAVOURITE (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Co-writer Deborah Davis and (ahem) three-way stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Coleman serve up a stylish tale of intrigue in the court of Queen Anne, played by Coleman. Both the humor and the power-grabs are brutal in this exceptional period drama. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Two cousins fight for […]

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HAPPY AS LAZZARO (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Happy As Lazzaro is a metaphorical journey about a group of Italian peasants who are being exploited as sharecroppers by a tobacco producer. One young man, Lazzaro, is extremely kind, and lives a life of miracles and misfortune because of it. Director Alice Rohrwacher delivers a slightly absurd but meditative and aesthetically pleasing story about […]

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INVISIBLE HANDS (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Documentarian Shraysi Tandon illuminates the horrific condition of child laborers in developing countries. It will be hard for the audience to go back to their lifestyles of cheaply-manufactured clothing and plastic goods after Invisible Hands shows them about how those products got to the marketplace in the Western world. The ending of this film takes […]

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DOVLATOV (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Yulia Tupikina writes a story about one of the Soviet Union’s most popular writers in Dovlatov. The film is in Russian and spent impressive amounts of time and money on production design, so Dovlatov is probably about as close as you can get to how it looked and felt to live in the USSR. However, […]

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REACH (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Maria Capp presents a John Hughes influenced high school romp in Reach, but her portrayal of high school students and millennial culture shows that she has no idea what’s up with the kids these days. As someone not (that) long out of high school, I cringed many more times than I laughed while watching […]

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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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LITTLE PINK HOUSE (2017): Review by FF2 Media

Director Courtney Balaker gives us a true story of a woman who led her community in standing up to pharmaceutical company Pfizer. While Little Pink House feels like a Lifetime movie, the story is still quite inspiring, and there are many admirable performances in this tale of bravery and civic duty. (GPG: 3/5) Review by […]

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WHERE IS KYRA? (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Writer Darci Picoult gives us a well plotted but fairly ridiculous film about a financially desperate young woman who cooks up a scheme to keep collecting her dead mother’s pension checks. The ending also fails to deliver a conclusion satisfying enough for the build-up, leaving the viewer wondering why the film is over so abruptly. […]

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DAISY WINTERS (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Written and directed by Beth LaMure, Daisy Winters is adorable, despite its poor plotting and sometimes wooden writing. Even though there are a lot of issues, the cuteness factor makes up for them enough that it can still be a fun experience. (GPG: 2.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto “Daisy” (Sterling Jerins) is a […]

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CHAVELA (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Chavela profiles the public success and private turbulence in the life of legendary Mexican singer and lesbian icon Chavela Vargas. Chavela’s life story is at once inspirational and sobering as this film paints a full, unflinching picture of Vargas’s struggles. (GPG: 4.5/5)

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I AM ANOTHER YOU (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

When documentarian Nanfu Wang meets a boy named Dylan at a hostel, she becomes fascinated by his lifestyle, and decides to live on the streets with him. While beautifully shot, the glaring omission of white privilege in I Am Another You’s treatment of street life is intellectually dishonest. (GPG: 2.5/5)

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THE FORCE (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The Force follows the Oakland Police Department as its new chief, Sean Whent, attempts to reform a department famous both locally and nationally for egregious misconduct. Story-editing by Linda Davis takes us through two years with the OPD, and into the massive systemic abuse that defines American policing. (GPG: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi […]

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IN SEARCH OF FELLINI (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

A very pretty film that rewards familiarity with Fellini’s work. Nancy Cartwright does a good job with surrealist dialogue and keeps the film’s emotional arc clear despite its more whimsical elements. It’s a matter of taste whether its aesthetics appeal, and whether the expressionistic style makes up for the relative lack of plot. (GPG: 3/5)

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NOBODY’S WATCHING (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Julia Solomonoft’s latest feature tells a story of isolation and struggle as a young actor from Argentina tries to make it in America without a visa. While the plotting is a bit loose, it is still affecting. (GPG: 3.5/5)

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TULIP FEVER (2017): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Penned by Deborah Moggach, Tulip Fever is a tragic tale of love and greed in 17th century Amsterdam. A beautiful period piece, with good performances, if not good writing. (GPG: 3/5)

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PLANETARIUM (2016): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski and starring Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp, Planetarium follows two American sisters in pre-war France who make their living performing as mediums. They are hired by a French movie studio head who wants to document their abilities, and who becomes increasingly obsessed with them. (GPG: 3.5/5)

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