FILMS GONE WILD: The Harvey Weinstein Revelations Need To Be the Tipping Point – It’s Up to Men Everywhere (Not Just in Film) to Finally Raise the Bar
And that’s the balance I think men need to strike, even when it (as it so often does) go against every instinct to “fix things” and “problem solve.” We need to be ready to stand up and speak out when a loved one, or a friend like Rose or my other film fest friend, or in fact, a complete stranger needs us to do so. But we also, need to never assume we’ve got all of this gamed out, that we’ve got it down, we know the score.
FILMS GONE WILD: If you are a guy debating the Tim League Alamo Drafthouse problem, try starting by listening to what the women are saying first
I was wrong and I was wrong because it is so very easy to be wrong as a male in this arena. It is so incredibly easy to think of me first. It is beyond easy to not consider everything that vitally needs to be considered simply because I have a penis. It is a painful admission to make even as I seek to correct it and do better.
FILMS GONE WILD: The first person account of a bright young film journalist and DREAMer scared to death that Trump will kick him out of this country
Please help me fight for this chance. Help me fight to protect DACA by speaking out and calling your representatives. I promise you that DACA recipients don’t want a free ride. We’ve never asked for that, all we want is a chance to keep contributing to this country in every field, even film.
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The 2018 Oxford Film Festival Announces Contest winners, a special work-in-progress screening and Mississippi-produced films in preview of 15th Anniversary edition
At a special preview party on Sunday, December 3, the Oxford Film Festival announced initial details of next year’s 15th Anniversary edition, including a special work-in-progress screening of Cassidy Friedman’s CIRCLES, the winners of OFF’s inaugural screenplay competition and Artist Vodka contest, as well as this year’s Magnifying Glass Fellowship recipient. The festival also announced the official selections in the feature film, short film, and music video categories produced in the state of Mississippi.
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The 2017 Indie Memphis Red Carpet shots – Rainn Wilson, Mark Webber, and many more indie and local filmmakers hit the carpet in Bluff City
This year’s 20th Anniversary Indie Memphis film festival featured a street closure for the first time in their storied history, adding a big festival tent to expand the fest’s presence and footprint on the city. After the Opening Night red carpet featuring THOM PAIN and Rainn Wilson, and Thursday’s photo call with Mark Webber – two of indie films’s best examples of the actor’s actor, the red carpet under the tent on Friday night encouraged the attending filmmakers, as well as the notoriously photo and press-shy Memphis filmmaking regulars to allow themselves to be corralled for their moment in the fake-sun, while others still managed to dodge it (we’re looking right at you, Morgan Jon Fox).
FILM FESTIVAL NEWS: The 20th Annual Indie Memphis announces award winners with Karl Jacobs’s COLD NOVEMBER and Landen Van Soest and Jeremy Levine’s FOR AHKEEM taking the top jury prizes
Karl Jacob’s COLD NOVEMBER won the jury award (and a $1000 cash prize) for Best Narrative Feature, Landen Van Soest and Jeremy Levine’s FOR AKHEEM took home the jury award (and $1000 courtesy of Classic American Hardwoods) for Best Documentary Feature, and Laura Jean Hocking and Melissa Sweazy’s GOOD GRIEF received the nod (and a $1000 cash prize) as Best Hometowner Feature.
TALLGRASS FF 2017 REVIEWS: Bill Watterson’s DAVE MADE A MAZE is a hilariously creative and visual masterpiece
As fun as the entire cast and script are, the real cinema magic here are the visuals. The maze comes to life through a combination of live action puppetry, forced perspective, optical illusions, stop motion animation, and even a zoetrope.
SIDEWALK FF 2017 REVIEW: The devil really is in the details in Skye Borgman’s true-crime documentary FOREVER B
These twists reveal the many ways a vulnerable child, her desires to be special and a natural tendency toward rebellion can all be cultivated by a victimizer – that is expected in this kind of case – but it doesn’t stop there. Berchtold uses elements of psychology, sexual advances and even sci-fi to exploit similar needs in the very people that could have protected her, and that is what is most chilling in the documentary.
INDIE MEMPHIS 2017 REVIEWS: Noel Wells’s Austin-based self-discovery comedy MR. ROOSEVELT dares you to watch it and not laugh
I’d compare the film to Mike Judge’s work, and I mean this as a gigantic complement. No single gag is necessarily fall out of your seat funny, instead they cumulatively charm you until you can’t seem to do anything except laugh at every interaction. She does this by not overly exaggerating any given moment in an unrealistic joke, but rather taking hundreds of totally believable ridiculous incidents and cramming them all together into one escalating funny movie-long joke.
10 MOST RECENT FILMS WATCHED: Indie Memphis films (including Mark Webber and Adam Bhala Lough intertwined double features) and plane trip time fillers dominate the latest list
This list is dominated by films I saw at Indie Memphis and films I used to pass the time on the plane. There’s old school Mark Webber, side-by-side with his latest film, and not-so-coincidentally, an Adam Bhala Lough twosome, as well.
Colossal came out in early 2017, when America had elected Russia had installed a male chauvinist pig as president, one who bragged of his sexual predation prowess, but had not yet reckoned with the full impact of the “woke” reaction to come down the pike. The film quickly came and went in the theaters, and even dedicated sci-fi/monster fans let it slip by, unaware of the larger impact the film was to impart.
VOD REVIEWS: Paul Taylor’s DRIFTWOOD is a dialogue-free mediation on the cycle of control and abuse for both the oppressor and the oppressed
Funny moments show up unexpectedly at times, and are built up slowly at others. Just when things start to get too heavy and dark, a spark of child-like spontaneity evokes the kind of laughter that helps illuminate a pathway into liberation.
VOD REVIEWS: Dorie Barton’s GIRL FLU. is a gem of a young girl’s coming-of-age story centered around the crisis of her first period and a mom that needs more adult guidance than she does
Given the subject matter this could have been trite and tacky fodder for an afternoon special but Barton keeps it low key and very real. The solid friends who help us navigate our world, the humor among friends and sarcastic families, people who get so wrapped up in what could-have-been that they don’t see what’s right in front of them; she never takes the easy way out nor the over the top reaction.
If this was 1985, this movie would be playing the midnight feature in the artsy part of town. If it came out in the 60’s, the filmmakers would be in jail. But it’s coming to VOD very soon, and so long as you like to laugh and are very resilient against squeamishness – do yourself a favor and watch this.
TEN BURNING QUESTIONS: Our interview with first-time director Cati Gonzalez opens a window in to the madness and method behind the jazz-improvisation of EKAJ
When I picked Mecca, I had already written about a guy with AIDS. It was rough for me because [actor Badd Idea] has AIDS. Every scene, I would pass it by him before [filming]. I’d ask, “Are you OK saying that?” Even though he was outspoken about [his disease]. So, it was rough. Jake grew up while we were making the movie. If I could do it again, I know [now] how I would do it [differently]. But I like challenges. I’m very extreme [when it comes to] challenges.
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.
SHORTS AND TO THE POINT: Travis Bible’s time travel short, EXIT STRATEGY won $50,000 at the Louisiana Film Prize. And there are multiple good reasons for that.
Bible scores with EXIT STRATEGY by remembering two very key requirements that make that film or a film like GROUNDHOG DAY a classic and so many other films a nice try at best: He gives us characters to care about and one character in particular who grows during the course of his impossible journey.
A loving ode to the late 60s/early 70s as well as a delicately drawn coming-of-age memoir about a young woman’s upbringing by a “wild” single mother, Suzanne Racz’s short film WILLOW demonstrates the first-time filmmaker’s sense of style behind the camera as well as her depth as a storyteller.
SHORTS AND TO THE POINT: Maja Aro’s HOODS hits the bullseye as the complete package in a cleverly conceived and created short film…that could be expanded into something more
It actually started as a very different script inspired by a video game. I wanted to write something with a badass female lead, then she evolved into this motorbike riding little red riding hood. I love the esthetic of dieselpunk, so the world was heavily influenced by that. It all kind of evolved from there. The world is big, and even though the short is just a little slice of an introduction to it, I didn’t want to feel half assed just because it was a short.