FILMS GONE WILD: Irene Cho is gone – The producer of The Daily Buzz, an unrelenting motor powering that show and so much more, and my friend
Irene Cho was a fucking force of nature, an unstoppable, and indefatigable hustling bowling ball of energy that made things happen, that stitched shit together, that produced and promoted both officially and unofficially. She was the real deal.
FILMS GONE WILD: A rant about lame journalists and how a lot of people missed the amazing thing that Studio Movie Grill did when WONDER WOMAN opened
And meanwhile great film and entertainment journalists and critics like Steve Dollar, Susan King, and Ed Douglas aren’t getting raised on a pedestal by the people who employ them. Or frankly, not employed nearly as much as they should be. These are pros. People that do this stuff the right way. I don’t remember one of them having issues reading through the first fucking paragraph in a press release.
I obviously have a fond and emotional connection to the video store culture as it was back in the day. And I know that the city of Dallas will miss having Premiere Video around to serve as a one-stop go-to place to find something you’re dying to see but couldn’t find elsewhere or to just load up on films for a couple nights.
“This year’s Film Prize films were amazing, so Matteo and the cast and crew of WE GO ON should be incredibly proud to have won our $10,000 prize,” said Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Film Prize Foundation. “The Memphis Film Prize has, once again, shown that Memphis is an upcoming indie film capital. We couldn’t be prouder of Matteo and of this city for helping to make this event so successful.”
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The 2017 Tallgrass Film Festival announces the 4 Stubbornly Independent Selections which will vie for a $5000 Grand Prize
“This year’s selections feature stories and characters that are both timely and easily relatable, while delivering a unique and bold take, leading to films that feel anything but familiar,” said Tallgrass Film Festival Programing Director Nick Pope. “Ultimately these are films about redemption and self-discovery in a world that can be messy and unpredictable, but also rewarding and surprising. We’re honored to be showcasing these stories to Wichita audiences.”
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary with style and nods to the past
aGLIFF Program Director Jim Brunzell, said, “Working non-stop for the past eight months, attending various film festivals, doing endless research and watching countless films, celebrating this year’s aGLIFF’s anniversary, we’ve worked extremely hard in making sure we’re delivering something a little extra for our dedicated members, patrons, and film fans. This being our 30th year, this has made us happily dig a little deeper to create some special moments for everyone – whether they have come to aGLIFF for years now, or they are just discovering us after all this time.
DALLAS ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2017 REVIEW: Lee Soo-Youn’s BLUEBEARD is a creepy twisting vine, entangling reality and illusion as dismembered bodies emerge in an entirely modern tale
Beneath the surface, however, seems to be another theme that is perhaps a bold statement on the dangers of disassociation of connections and relationships in modern urban culture. It is strongly implied that this abrupt disruption from home, wife, child, professional identity and economic class helped ignite the doctor’s decline in mental stability—that the strain of these sudden jarring changes and absence of connectedness brought on a psychological collapse.
THEATRICAL REVIEWS: Daniel Warth’s DIM THE FLOURESCENTS is a masterful attempt at portraying the negotiation of sexual tension and desire
Dim the Fluorescents is officially on my list of per-annum must-watch with a pint of ice cream films of the “essential popular feminist” canon that manage to blend this kind of messaging with a compelling narrative. Not because it doesn’t transcend the boundaries of Hollywood to be in essence a work of contemporary art film or an underground film (it does).
TRIBECA 2017 REVIEWS: Rainer Sarnet’s NOVEMBER and Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s THE ENDLESS offers up scares and WTF moments aplenty highlighting this year’s Tribeca Midnight fare
For all of the heady titles a fancy fest like Tribeca boasts, there’s also a nice bit of midnight movie material floating around. Two standouts grabbed my attention, albeit for very different reasons. One is a bizarro bit of dark folklore from deep within the Baltic states. The other is an old-fashioned supernatural yarn set in rural America in the mold of The Twilight Zone. Both are great examples of how a discerning festival can find sublime treasures even in the over-trodden tropes of fantasy flicks.
TEN MOST RECENT FILMS WATCHED: The Dallas Asian Film Festival and Dallas Film Society’s Movie Madness Marathon lead the way
Thanks to the Dallas Film Society’s Movie Madness Marathon fundraiser at Studio Movie Grill and the the wonderful Dallas Asian Film Festival, I’ve had a rare streak of actually seeing a lot a films in the theater.
THE GUEST COLUMN: Women Texas Film Festival’s Justina Walford asks, “Do you dare look inside a female filmmaker’s brain?” “Can you handle the Sisterhood?”
Do we dare to watch? Do we dare to look at women’s brains? No matter how ambitious, how whimsical, how inclusive or exclusive, how morbid or light, how vapid or cerebral? Are we willing to embrace the cynicism? The bluntness?
VOD REVIEWS: Nathan Morlando’s MEAN DREAMS offers up a classic story of star-crossed young lovers with a swan song performance by Bill Paxton
MEAN DREAMS not only isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, it revels in the trappings of its poor, farm country setting, story tropes, and the familiar character archetypes it puts forward. The film banks on the romantic dynamic between the two leads (Sophie Nelisse, and Josh Wiggins), as well as the villain role embodied by Paxton..
VOD REVIEWS: Justin Kurzel’s THE SNOWTOWN MURDERS is an under appreciated horror masterpiece waiting to be re-discovered on VOD
The reek of degradation is so impactful, it’s hard to wash away from the mind. And therein lies the true horror the film offers as well as its cinematic triumph. The murders take a back seat to the explorations of the utter raping of the psyche of a teenager we are subjected to. No amount of gore could make an audience more uneasy, seeking the exits than what The Snowtown Murders has conjured.
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.
Perhaps the best breakout comedy movie from the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival is a Capra-esque gem called Nobody’s Watching. It’s a smartly-executed work which captures powerful and authentic emotions, whose laughs are not throwaway and cheap, but based in real sadness and approached with great reverence.
TEN (OKAY, EIGHT) BURNING QUESTIONS: Elina Psykou’s Tribeca Film Festival Award-winner, SON OF SOFIA
It was almost shocking to discover this gentle, cheery person with a disarmingly childlike smile was the same person who made such a dark and challenging movie. The contrast between who I encountered in a hotel lobby and what audiences will encounter with Son of Sofia only augments the sense of humanity both the film and filmmaker so strongly convey.
Christian D. Bruun’s documentary, BLUE GOLD: AMERICAN JEANS, is a pretty classic version of a documentary that likely introduces you to a world you had no idea ever existed. The film looks at the literal history of blue jeans from their creation, the evolution of jeans as a wardrobe staple, and then a fashion sensation, and international presence, and finally, a highly coveted collectors item.
SHORTS AND TO THE POINT: Pascal Leister’s LONE HUNTER delivers nuance and heartbreak in a dramatization of a real-life race-related shooting tragedy
We did extensive research and we watched some documentaries about the case, so we had that as a background. One problem was that to this day there is no clear answer as to who fired the first shot. The details of actual events in the woods are somewhat murky. So we went for our interpretation and took some artistic license to fit it all into the dramatic arc of a short. We weren’t necessarily trying to retell the actual events to the tee but we tried to create an authentic, plausible story.
SHORTS AND TO THE POINT: Konstantina Kotzamami’s LIMBO is a haunting journey through symbolism, gender performance and socialization
How Kotzamani’s symbols in LIMBO are knit together in a tapestry that portrays the mystery that is woman between burned virgins, male anger, and a whale that loses whole humans in its belly as a pack of young boys ponder it is nothing less than masterful storytelling that equally enraptures the viewer’s emotions and senses.
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.