Reviews: Q-S

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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Reviews: E-G

Brian Cox anchors and illuminates ‘The Etruscan Smile’

The Etruscan Smile (directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and written by Michael McGowan, Michal Lali Kagan, and Sarah Bellwood) is a familial drama that swirls around burly Scotsman Rory (played excellently by Brian Cox) as he travels to San Francisco to visit a doctor. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Associate Dayna Hagewood The […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

HARRIET (2019): Review by FF2 Media

In the midst of controversy over historical accuracy and the lead actress’s politics, director Kasi Lemmons gives the conductor of the Underground Railroad a long-awaited biopic in Harriet. Her slave master is weirdly humanized while a black bounty hunter is thrown into the story for seemingly no reason; at the same time, acting from luminaries […]

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Reviews: Q-S

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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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

‘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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Reviews: N-P

PARADISE HILLS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

  Alice Waddington displays the core evils of a capitalistic society through her direction and cowriting of the mesmerizing world shown in Paradise Hills–everything has a price, even loyalty. “Uma” (Emma Roberts) grew up wealthy, so her family requires her to marry a rich man (whom Uma despises). After putting up a fight about it, […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘The Elephant Queen’ leads her majestic family across the African savannah for survival

Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble direct The Elephant Queen—a documentary that closely observes an elephant herd and the delicate ecosystem they live in. As the dry season begins, the family has no choice but to journey across the African savannah and seek refuge. Academy award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates this touching portrayal of the friendly majestic creatures. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

‘#Female Pleasure’ should screen in classrooms worldwide

Featuring five remarkable women activists across four continents, #Female Pleasure continues the global conversations regarding women and sexuality. Director Barbara Miller’s documentary gives an informative update on the contemporary view of female bodies and reminds a progressive and feminist audience that though we have come a long way, there is still a long way to […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

Old-time music is uncovered in ‘Fiddlin”

In Julie Simone’s new documentary Fiddlin’, the history of a hidden genre of music, Old Time music, is discovered. From fiddles to banjos, to flat-foot dancing, the community of Old Time music comes alive when enjoying the tunes of the past. (SYJ: ⅗)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   The […]

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Reviews: E-G

GIFT (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Chronicling gift-based cultures around the world and challenging the logic of global capitalism, the film inspires the question: is life about getting or giving? Gift opens 10/18. FF2 review coming soon!

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Reviews: E-G

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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Reviews: H-J

‘Immortal Hero’ advocates to spread love — but ends up very insensitve

Immortal Hero, screenplay by Sayaka Okawa, is a film about a man determined to spread his gospel of love. Makoto Mioya is a successful author who owns a publishing company, and seemingly has a perfect life — but soon, faces a life-threatening, near death experience that causes him to reevaluate his priorities.  (BV: 2.0/5.0) Review […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ is your perfect Halloween watch

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (directed by Joachim Rønning and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, and Linda Woolverton) is the wonderful sequel to the Sleeping Beauty spin-off Maleficent. Despite a standard fairytale plot and expected tropes, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil contains beautiful animation, costume design, and wholesome characters that are sure to leave you satisfied. […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

‘Serendipity’ doc fully immerses viewer into a life with cancer

Serendipity documents life from Prune Nourry’s point of view; the French artist directed the film as she was coming to terms with her breast cancer diagnosis. Nourry films in a personal, first person perspective, letting us see her private spaces and the inside of her mind. She uses the film as a way to fully […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

‘Stuffed’: The art of taxidermy

Stuffed is a documentary about taxidermy. It sounds grim, and it definitely is. But it’s also quirky and beautiful, and the people who do it are incredibly refined in their craft. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: U-W

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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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

A frenetic and sweet new ‘Addams Family’

The animated revival of The Addams Family is perfect for celebrating the fun and light side of Halloween spook (any time of year). (AEL: 3.5/5)

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Reviews: H-J

‘High Strung Free Dance’: High Stakes only with its dance

High Strung Free Dance, directed by Michael Damian and written with Janeen Damian, is centered on two struggling artists, a dancer and a pianist, who are casted in a highly-anticipated Broadway show by a zealous, perfectionist choreographer. (BV: 3.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri High Strung Free Dance is all about the hustle and […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: Q-S

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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zJan's News

19September27: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Three films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: Abominable  Anthropocene – The Human Epoch Sister Aimee Of these three, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert films] –is a narrative feature. My Top Pick for September 27th (drumroll please!) is […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

Not all unknown creatures are “Abominable”

In director and writer Jill Culton’s and co-director Todd Wilderman’s new film Abominable, the legendary Yeti becomes the audience’s favorite creature. Using music and imagination, Abominable is a beautiful adventure. (SYJ: ⅘)     Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Waking in confusion, a beast, « Everest » (Joseph Izzo), frantically runs around some […]

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Reviews: A

Shocking doc ‘Anthropocene – The Human Epoch’ shows human effect on planet

Official selection at Berlin, Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals, feature documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch examines the massive effect that humans have had on Planet Earth. A 10-year journey with international researchers and scientists, filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky uncover the relevant, revolutionary scope of man’s footprint. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review […]

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Reviews: Q-S

‘Sister Aimee: A retelling the Evangelist’s sensationalized kidnapping

*This review contains spoilers for Sister Aimee! Sister Aimee, directed by married duo Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann, is a dramatization of real life evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s supposed kidnapping scandal. Overwhelmed by success and its daunting expectations, Aimee and her lover chase his dreams of the Mexican border — and stumbles upon an adventure […]

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Uncategorized zJan's News

19September20: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Six films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: Always In Season Britt-Marie Was Here The Game Changers Midnight Traveler Of these five, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert films] –is a narrative feature. My Top Pick for September 20th […]

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Reviews: A

‘Always in Season’: Lynching in Modern-Day

Always in Season, directed and written by Jacqueline Olive, centers around an act that was “thought to have been left in the past” — lynching, a form of racial terrorism. On August 29th, 2014, African American teen Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina. Lennon’s death was ruled a […]

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Reviews: B-D

‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ stands out as an incredibly relatable story

Britt-Marie Was Here directed by Tuva Novotny tracks the life of Britt-Marie (Pernilla August) a 63-year-old housewife faced with the choice of leaving her unfaithful husband for a job as a Little League soccer coach. Endearing and heartwarming, based off of an original novel titled A Man Called Ove, the film stands out as an […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘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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Reviews: K-M

‘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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zJan's News

19September13: 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 theaters this week: Another Day of Life Cracked Up  Hustlers  Monos Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements Of these five, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert […]

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Reviews: A

‘Another Day of Life’ transforms written memories of war into a graphic visual story

Directors Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow create a hybrid narrative animation and documentary film—“Another Day of Life”. Written by the two directors together with Amaia Remirez, Niall Johnson, and David Weber, the ambitious piece is based on Ryszard “Ricardo” Kapuscinski’s novel that delves into the Angolan civil war in 1975. It is an official Cannes selection, and winner of multiple awards globally. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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