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.”
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.
The People’s Court didn’t just begat the other trial shows, it begat reality TV and the sad parade of Honey Booboos, and Duck Dynastys and even, the President we currently have.
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: HollyWeb Festival Announces Full Schedule – Episodes From 97 Digital Series Will Screen at AMC Universal CityWalk
The 2017 HollyWeb Festival, sponsored by AMC Independent (March 30-April 2) has announced the full schedule of digital series, filmmaker panels, and events for this year’s edition of the festival, celebrating the world’s premiere digital content.
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.
SXSW 2017 REVIEWS: Erik Ljung’s THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP looks with precision at a little known police killing case and the raw emotion of justice unrequited
Director Erik Ljung takes an approach so professional, with such high production value, the audience could almost not be blamed for looking twice to see if the film is documentary or a lightly concealed work of fiction.
The movie keeps apace with emblematic film noir motifs from smoky barrooms to doomed rides into the woods. The aesthetic recalls a spate of 80’s movies that came at audiences one after another (think Blood Simple, Die Hard and everything in between) but very much in its own way.
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.
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
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
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
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.”
VOD REVIEWS: Beth Dewey’s ERASING EDEN follows a post-blackout bride-to-be on a harrowing trip to the altar
The question with a film like this is always centered around how much we care about the character that everything hinges on – that the entire film is about. And Dewey and Wool also not only don’t “show their cards” too early, but are non-compromising with Eden’s behavior and drive.
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.
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.
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: Jessica Curtright and Santiago C. Tapia’s IT BEGAN WITHOUT WARNING instantly grabs you by the bloody shorthairs
We write and edit together – 2 people but like one brain really. We read a while ago that the Coen brothers edit with 2 keyboards plugged into the same computer. We thought, “that’s interesting, why not give it a try,” and it stuck. That’s how we write and edit.
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.
SHORTS and to the Point: Matt Mercer’s FEEDING TIME serves up a tasty scares + laughs cinematic snack
Even if people aren’t chortling their heads off, I think the lightness and quirkiness plays. And the main reason I say my concern was mostly with the laughs is because I think first introducing some buoyancy into the proceedings opens the audience up for the scares later. I think it makes the scares more impactful as the film plays out.