CHAT20 REVIEW: The Wanting Mare [2020]

The dream is what’s left. Paradise is the place humanity escaped with the bite of an apple and yet also what we aspire to find upon death. We want it until we have it and subsequently always want more. It’s a pursuit in which we’re inevitably corrupted as selfish greed consumes any shred of empathetic compassion we once possessed. Sometimes someone does come along to remind us—lover, child, etc.—to see through the veil of conquest and recognize the joy we’ve been conditioned to reject, but for how long? Too many…

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REVIEW: Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl [2020]

There’s nothing silly about being a teenage girl. While Amy Goldstein‘s documentary Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl obviously centers upon its British rockstar subject’s unorthodox trajectory from Myspace sensation to “GLOW” actress, it also serves as an invaluably informative account of what it means to be a twenty-first century musician thanks to the industry’s ever-changing landscape. The simple fact that Kate Nash‘s career began because she had enough social media followers to turn record label heads is a product of that moment of time, but so too is her courage…

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REVIEW: The Painter and the Thief [2020]

Because they were beautiful. Human connections are almost always random. Even in school when meeting new friends for the first time, the reasons that sparked our gravitation towards one another aren’t always clearly defined. Maybe one union was the result of common interests, but perhaps another was born from an indescribable feeling. Sometimes our best friends or romantic partners end up being the people we used to intentionally avoid. It therefore only takes a moment removed from our inherent preconceptions, prejudices, and jealousies to open up a world we would…

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REVIEW: Military Wives [2020]

Until we laugh again. Deployment day has arrived for the Flitcroft barracks. The soldiers are off to Afghanistan for a six-month stint while their spouses are left behind to raise families and attempt to stay sane. In a bid to help distract from the unavoidable worry, group activities are commonly brainstormed and executed for anyone interested in joining. And being the military, it should be no surprise that a rank-and-file hierarchy is adopted on that front too regardless of whether those forced into authority positions actually want them. As wife…

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REVIEW: Inheritance [2020]

The truth must stay buried. Simple questions rarely have simple answers. Take the one that’s posed to Lauren Monroe (Lily Collins) upon the death of her father Archer (Patrick Warburton): Are you loyal to your family or justice? Most would probably say both since they have it in their minds that their family is on justice’s side. Despite her desire to be one, however, Lauren isn’t that person. She partly worked to become District Attorney precisely because her family’s name was more aligned with money and murky morality than lawful…

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REVIEW: Driveways [2020]

Who has more fun than us, huh? Taking care of her estranged sister’s estate was supposed to be a means to an end for Kathy (Hong Chau). Drive down to a house she never visited (April was twelve years her senior and the two had a falling out when she refused to help care for their mother), clean things out with her eight-year old son Cody (Lucas Jaye), put it on the market, and use the money to help get things back on track and perhaps pay for nursing school.…

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REVIEW: Proximity [2020]

‘Cause that’s the kind of attention we want. There’s a lot left unsaid within visual effects artist Eric Demeusy‘s directorial debut Proximity. While initially thinking it was a means to create mystery around main character Isaac (Ryan Masson), I eventually saw it was a product of needing narrative context for what’s actually important instead. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you hide those loose threads in the background as the main thrust of your action is born from them, but doing so proves difficult when they’re specifically introduced as…

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REVIEW: Alice [2020]

Prejudice is more powerful than logic. It makes no sense. The night before saw Alice Ferrand’s (Emilie Piponnier) husband François (Martin Swabey) going out of his way to passionately make-out with her in front of their friends at a dinner party and now he won’t answer her calls. Despite his running out of the house earlier than usual without any explanation, however, there’s nothing to make her think something is wrong until a trip to the drugstore exposes a freeze on their finances. One credit card won’t work. Then another.…

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HOTDOCS20 REVIEW: Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles [2020]

Why am I getting an email from the Met? The choice of “medium” was easy for renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi when asked by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to collaborate on their upcoming 2018 exhibition entitled Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789). Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said the infamous line with which she’ll forever be entangled, the excessive decadence and bloody decline of the Château de Versailles as royal court cannot escape its confectionary marriage with cake. So Ottolenghi set his sights on selecting five of the most innovative and…

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REVIEW: Capone [2020]

Let’s catch some of his marbles on the way out. Thanks to a bout of syphilis contracted before the age of fifteen, Alphonse Gabriel “Scarface” Capone found himself trapped inside a prison much worse than the federal penitentiaries in which he also spent time. With almost seven years spent within their concrete walls, the notorious gangster had almost eight more to live within the confines of a rapidly deteriorating mind. We can therefore speculate about the dementia’s effect on his already volatile personality because we understand how the disease operates.…

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REVIEW: Soundwave [2020]

No one’s ever listening. To be as good as Ben Boyles (Hunter Doohan) is with old radios is to inevitably hypothesize about their use beyond our current capacity of understanding. With extensive research into sound waves and their ability to forever remain present around us no matter when or where they originated, he wondered if he could create a device that would amplify those seemingly inert memories in the air and listen to them as though they were happening right now. And while the possibilities and potential profits of such…

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