FILMS GONE WILD: WTxFF’s Special Screening of XX at Alamo Drafthouse Dallas on International Women’s Day

FILMS GONE WILD: WTxFF’s Special Screening of XX at Alamo Drafthouse Dallas on International Women’s Day

While discussing the films in XX, praise was evenly distributed among THE BOX, BIRTHDAY PARTY, and HER ONLY LIVING SON for various reasons, but the biggest laugh of the night came from the diminutive Niki Pence, when she explained her preference of DON’T FALL by explaining that the film connected with her since throughout her life, she has been “full of rage.”

FILMS GONE WILD: Who was De Veau Dunn?

FILMS GONE WILD: Who was De Veau Dunn?

If you look him up on IMDb, you’ll see the biography that I wrote for him five years ago. It’s a bio pushing how much promise he had, with The Ben Stiller Show appearances, a Tom Arnold series, and a ton of commercials in a short period of time. It talks about the two short films he directed which both won a lot of awards in film fests in the San Diego area (he wasn’t that savvy about the film fest circuit to take them farther). And that’s where it pretty much ends.

FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The Dallas International Film Festival announces this year’s Dallas Star and Shining Star Honorees

FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The Dallas International Film Festival announces this year’s Dallas Star and Shining Star Honorees

James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society, said, “Our two Dallas Star Award honorees hail back to something this festival has done from its inception – honor cinema legends, icons, and the film artists that made a difference in our film viewing lives. Faye Dunaway has been at the center of a number of certifiably classic films, and we joined so many in being devastated by the recent loss of Bill Paxton, on so many levels.

FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: EARTHxFilm Announces Education Initiatives, and Film Contests for the Fest’s Debut

FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: EARTHxFilm Announces Education Initiatives, and Film Contests for the Fest’s Debut

EARTHxFilm, presented by Earth Day Texas (EDTx), today announced educational initiatives for the environmentally focused film festival’s debut at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas on April 20-23. Those initiatives include filmmaking workshops and classes; a 72-hour film race; and an online short film competition, with jury and audience awards; and $6,000 in cash prizes for the film race and the online competition.

THEATRICAL REVIEWS: Pamela Romanowsky and James Franco’s THE INSTITUTE is a very odd but thrilling tale of intrigue and horror set in a “Masterpiece Theater” world

THEATRICAL REVIEWS: Pamela Romanowsky and James Franco’s THE INSTITUTE is a very odd but thrilling tale of intrigue and horror set in a “Masterpiece Theater” world

Without spoiling the specifics of the plot – it builds to a very weird place, indeed – this film has many a solid cinematic trope to chew on for horror and mystery fans. For example, just about every scene is virtually dripping with Victorian melodrama, like you might find in Dark Shadows or maybe Crimson Peak.

Special Features

TEN MOST RECENT FILMS WATCHED: Catching up on stuff I’d missed at fests and watching some cool “finds” on VOD

TEN MOST RECENT FILMS WATCHED: Catching up on stuff I’d missed at fests and watching some cool “finds” on VOD

I was kinda all over the map with this group of ten films. Bookended by films I’d meant to see or missed at festivals (ELLE, TALLULAH, DEIDRA AND LANEY ROB A TRAIN, GIMME DANGER), the first bit of homework for DIFF (BERLIN SYNDROME), and a couple “look at this good movie with all these stars that made a beeline for VOD (BRIMSTONE, THE HOLLOW POINT).

GUEST COLUMN: Melanie Addington on the Oxford Film Festival reaching its teenage years – Helping Film and Filmmakers to Flourish in the Deep South

GUEST COLUMN: Melanie Addington on the Oxford Film Festival reaching its teenage years – Helping Film and Filmmakers to Flourish in the Deep South

As I grew up in Los Angeles and San Diego, I don’t say this lightly, but Oxford has a ton of opportunities and activities for what appears on paper to be such a small town. And if you visit you see the Old School charm of the Historic Square (downtown) and the rapidly growing outskirts being annexed as the city expands. Yes, it does have a history that is thorny, including the integration of James Meredith in 1962 and the riots that ensued and the fact that the Governor fought against the federal government during that entire process. The town and school has fought hard to banish old ways of thinking with ongoing fights to get rid of monuments to a past riddled with hate.

VOD REVIEWS: Martin Koolhoven’s BRIMSTONE delivers a brutal, bloody western with three old school star turns by Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, and Kit Harrington

VOD REVIEWS: Martin Koolhoven’s BRIMSTONE delivers a brutal, bloody western with three old school star turns by Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, and Kit Harrington

Yes, it is unforgivingly violent, and frequently – literally perverse, and twisted, but ultimately the strength of the film falls on the two leads, Fanning and Pearce, as well as a supporting turn by “Game of Thrones” star, Kit Harrington, as a gunslinger who becomes an ally to Liz, during an earlier chapter of her life.

VOD REVIEWS: Nicolas Pesce’s THE EYES OF MY MOTHER chills and charms as only a beautiful country surgeon could

VOD REVIEWS: Nicolas Pesce’s THE EYES OF MY MOTHER chills and charms as only a beautiful country surgeon could

Since, by design, the audience spends a lot of time with the character of Francisca, we are made complicit in her actions toward the unfortunate people that come into her isolated universe. The film emphasizes “less is more” both in terms of gore and information, so we are left to our imaginations to determine what exactly just happened or what has transpired during long stretches of time in between the films “chapters.”

TEN BURNING QUESTIONS: Beth Dewey’s ERASING EDEN

TEN BURNING QUESTIONS: Beth Dewey’s ERASING EDEN

We often see men in roles that are a complex character study, but not women. Eden is a modern woman who is self-actualized, self aware and self-destructive. I was bent on reinforcing the fact that a man isn’t going to fix her and she knows it.

TEN BURNING QUESTIONS: Brooke and Doug Purdy’s QUALITY PROBLEMS

TEN BURNING QUESTIONS: Brooke and Doug Purdy’s QUALITY PROBLEMS

When I first got diagnosed, I was in a daze. You’re shuffling from this doctor to that surgeon to that oncologist. Plus, I was juggling a 3 ½-year-old and an 18-month-old. It. Was. Bananas. Since I went to film school and both of us are arty types, the only thing I could think to empower myself in an otherwise powerless situation was to document.

Ten Burning Questions: Jun Geng’s FREE AND EASY

Ten Burning Questions: Jun Geng’s FREE AND EASY

They live with a painful memory of a bygone past, yet they refuse to throw themselves back to the earlier time often associated with a point of no return, their hometown -which they felt they rebelled with a cause. To a certain extent, the film is indeed a reflection upon contemporary China at a crossroads.

SHORTS and to the Point: Jennifer Sheridan and Matthew Markham’s SET ADRIFT is a sad doggie story that will make you cry in 8 minutes flat

SHORTS and to the Point: Jennifer Sheridan and Matthew Markham’s SET ADRIFT is a sad doggie story that will make you cry in 8 minutes flat

You also have to know what the correct incentive to use to get the right emotion. For example, if you want to evoke a sense of longing/ pensiveness then use chicken or turkey, but if you need a more alert/ concentrated look- you should use a tennis ball. It’s all about how to get the best performance out of your actor and Bowie is no exception. I’ve yet to try the chicken technique with real actors though.