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Julia Lasker 47 posts

Currently Browsing: Julia Lasker

‘The Cave of the Yellow Dog’ is an escape to a more peaceful world

Directed by Byambasuren Davaa, The Cave of the Yellow Dog is about a young girl who travels across Mongolia with her herding family. When she finds a dog and wants to keep it, it places her at odds with her father’s safety concerns. The Cave of the Yellow Dog is a tender, sweet and  cinematographically […]

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‘The Virgin Suicides’ is a nostalgic portrait of teenage love and loss

TW: Suicide, Suicidal ideation Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides and written and directed by Sophia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is told from the perspective of a group of men looking back on their youth. They reflect on a tragedy they have never quite recovered from: the suicides of all five Lisbon sisters, formerly the […]

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Barbara Loden is a Triple Threat for Acting, Writing and Directing in Wanda

Written and directed by and starring Barbara Loden, Wanda is a thoughtful, empathetic, and harshly realistic character study. It follows Wanda, a mid-thirties divorcee trying to find her way without a home or a job and alone in the middle of Pennsylvania. (JRL: 4.5/5)

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Sleepwalking Land is a timely story of human connection amidst devastation and loss

Based on the novel by Mia Couto and written and directed by Teresa Prata, Sleepwalking Land is about a young boy, lost amidst a war-torn Mozambique, looking for his family and his home. It is a timeless story of strength, perseverance, and the power of family love—both genetic and chosen. (JRL: 3.5/5)

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WENDY (2020): Review by FF2 Media

Written by Benh and Eliza Zeitlin, Wendy is a reimagination and modernization of the classic fairy tale, Peter Pan, told from the perspective of Wendy. Visually and auditorily stunning, this film captures the wonder of being a child (JRL: 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker Wendy opens on a spritely young toddler […]

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‘Fantasy Island’ Reimagines the 1970’s TV Series

 Fantasy Island is a horror twist on the hit 1970’s TV show. While this is a creative and intriguing concept, the film didn’t quite manage to streamline itself into a properly horrific piece of cinema, as its new genre had promised (JRL: 2 / 5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker As the film […]

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‘Gul Makai’ tells Malala’s story

Written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty, Gul Makai is a fictionalized depiction of the events leading up to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. Gul Makai doesn’t quite manage to do the worthwhile film subject justice (JRL: 2/5). Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker From the onset, Gul Makai paints a disturbing portrait of Pakistan as it’s overtaken […]

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‘Panga’ is more than a sports movie

Written and directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Panga is about a mother making her return to her passion, kabaddi, a sport akin to wrestling played throughout Asia. Though fairly predictable in its plot, the film is redeemed by unique characters and their compelling relationships. (JRL: 3.5/5)  Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Panga opens […]

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, A Million Little Pieces is a film adaptation of the esteemed, if a little infamous, memoir written by James Frey. The film centers around James, who goes to rehab for his addiction to alcohol and crack (among other things); an addiction that is both figuratively and literally killing him. A Million […]

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‘Mr. Toilet’ is flushed with fun

Directed by Lily Zepeda and written by Zepeda, Tchavdar Georgiev, Hee-Jae Park, and Monique Zavistovski, documentary Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man is about Jack Sim: a man from Singapore who is obsessed with… well, toilets. It sounds crazy, but he has a point: almost half of the world’s population does not have access to […]

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Father-daughter story ‘Mickey and the Bear’ is enthralling, heart-wrenching

Written and Directed by Annabelle Attanasio, Mickey and the Bear is about a teenage girl who is navigating boys, college, and her future, all while dealing with her difficult father, who relies on her completely. Mickey and the Bear is enthralling, heart-wrenching, and absolutely worth watching (JRL: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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In a world full of cruelty, ‘My Home India’ is a story of kindness

Written by Malgorzata Czausow and Anjali Bhushan and directed by Bhushan, My Home India is a documentary about a settlement for Polish refugees in India. Filled with joyous archival footage and interviews of Polish people who were saved by this settlement, My Home India is a heartwarming account of the kindness that can be extended […]

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QUEEN OF HEARTS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Written by Maren Louise Kaehne and May el-Toukhy and directed by el-Toukhy, Queen of Hearts is a chilling drama about a powerful and successful lawyer and mother whose life runs the risk of crumbling when she becomes involved with her stepson. This film is a masterfully crafted testament to the dark secrets lurking below what […]

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‘Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound’ is something you haven’t heard before

‘Making Waves’ is a dynamic and informative documentary that covers the history of film sound from the invention of the phonograph to the advent of surround sound. (JRL: 3.5/5)

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In ‘Greener Grass,’ it isn’t always better on the other side

Created by and starring Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, Greener Grass might be described mostly simply as an absurdist satire of upper middle class suburban parenthood, but it really defies categorization, displaying by turns sitcom playfulness, body horror, and kitschy nostalgia. The film is set in a neighborhood so colorful it’s almost dystopian, and it […]

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‘Midnight Traveler’ Goes the Distance

Written by Emelie Mahdavian and directed and recorded by the film’s subjects themselves, Midnight Traveler is a beautiful documentary about a family who must leave their home in Afghanistan to flee the Taliban. They film the whole journey on their smartphones, creating an incredibly intimate and honest portrayal of life for refugees. (JRL: 4.5/5)  Review […]

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Not livin’ for ‘The Weekend’

Written and directed by Stella Meghie, The Weekend is a rom-com about a young woman who begrudgingly goes on a weekend getaway with her ex and his new girlfriend. The film is funny and features a strong leading lady, but doesn’t have much merit beyond that (JRL: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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‘Satanic Panic’ is fun, freaky and (surprisingly) feminist

Chelsea Stardust’s directorial debut, Satanic Panic is a wild, gory, over-the-top horror film. Though it’s qualities aren’t meaningful character arcs or perfect plot progression, it will be fun for those who like gore (JRL: 3/5)  Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Sam (Hayley Griffith) has a new job as a pizza delivery girl. On […]

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JAWLINE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Created by Liza Mandelup, Jawline is about a 16-year-old boy who dreams of escaping his small life in rural Tennessee by becoming rich and famous using social media. Jawline is a fascinating, if uncomfortable to watch, testament to the rising world of internet fame and what it demonstrates about the world of social media in […]

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EUPHORIA (2017): Review by FF2 Media

Euphoria, written and directed by Lisa Langseth, is about two sisters escaping to a mysterious and seemingly idyllic retreat—which turns out to be a place for people to spend the last days of their lives because one of the sisters, Emilie, is soon to lose her battle with cancer. The concept and cinematography of the […]

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‘Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes’ certainly goes above and beyond

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, directed by Sophie Huber, showcases the history of Blue Note Records, home of many groundbreaking jazz musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Filled with clips and photos of the artists at work and underscored by their electrifying music, this film is a worthy tribute to the iconic […]

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‘Always Be My Maybe’ is barely deeper than its title

Directed by Nahnatchka Khan and written by Michael Golamco and co-stars Randall Park and Ali Wong, Always Be My Maybe is a classic romantic comedy minus some of the problematic bits that have been historically featured in this genre. It has all of the satisfying elements of a rom-com, but doesn’t go deeper than that. […]

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‘A Dog’s Journey’ is sweet but overly heartbreaking

Directed by Gail Mancuso, A Dog’s Journey is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, a hit feature in 2017. Part 2 continues the story of Bailey, a dog who reincarnates as many different breeds to save a girl’s lost soul. While the film has a heartwarming conclusion, it gets there through a series of tragic […]

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‘The Silence of Others’ brings justice to victims of the Spanish Civil War

Directed by Emmy-winning filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar, ‘The Silence of Others’ is an exposé of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship following it. The film follows a lawsuit against the Amnesty Act in 1977, which essentially enforced a national “forgetting” of the crimes against humanity committed under Franco’s rule. […]

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JT LeRoy a captivating story about art and identity

Based on the memoir written by Savannah Knoop, JT LeRoy is about an author who has found success writing under an alternate identity and who petitions her boyfriend’s sister, Savannah, to embody him. Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern are electric in this fascinating story. (JRL: 4 / 5)  Looking to start a new life, Savannah […]

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‘Family’ is hilarious and heartwarming

Written and directed by Laura Steinel, ‘Family’ is a charming comedy about a workaholic who learns to love when she has to take care of her quirky niece. The film is quick-witted, heartwarming and definitely worth watching. (JRL: 4.5/5)

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‘Mia and the White Lion’ Fights Animal Poaching Alongside its Protagonists

Written by Prune de Maistre and William Davies, Mia and the White Lion is the story of a girl who forms a lifelong bond with a beautiful white lion and then must fight to save him from the evils of animal poaching. Mia and the White Lion is not only an engaging narrative about a […]

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Alcohol abuse takes its toll in compelling drama ‘I’m Not Here’

Written and directed by Michelle Schumacher, I’m Not Here is a film about an old man reflecting on his past, working through trauma and learning to find peace with his life’s biggest regret through vivid flashbacks of an earlier time. Though it has issues with the substance of its narrative, I’m Not Here demonstrates real talent […]

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Thoughtful satire ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ is a guaranteed laugh

Written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman, Isn’t It Romantic is a satire about an Australian architect who is knocked out and wakes up in her own romantic comedy. Though its purpose in satirizing the genre of rom-coms is somewhat unclear, the satirical recreation of wildly unrealistic rom-com tropes is pretty much guaranteed […]

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‘Untogether’ is a fresh take on romance from first-time director Emma Forrest

Created by first-time writer and director Emma Forrest, ‘Untogether’ is about two sisters navigating their uncertain identities, troubled pasts, and imperfect relationships with men who are grappling with the same things. Though it lacks substance and cohesion at points, ‘Untogether’ is certainly a fresh take on romance. (JRL: 3/5) ‘Untogether’ opens with a one-night stand […]

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