REVIEW: Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle [The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser] [1974]

“I want to be a gallant rider like my father was before me” If any true story of mystery and perhaps madness were to align itself with Werner Herzog‘s sensibilities, that of young Kaspar Hauser is it. Here was a seventeen-year old boy found standing in Nuremburg clutching a note addressed to the cavalry captain. […]

REVIEW: De Palma [2016]

“I’m driven by unrealistic ideas” I’ve seen twelve Brian De Palma films in my lifetime—a seemingly healthy number when you consider the industry. A guy like Terrence Malick began his career just five years after Brian and it’s only his seventh film that hit DVD this week. Unfortunately for me, twelve doesn’t come close to […]

REVIEW: Weiner [2016]

“We don’t care about the personal garbage. We’re from the Bronx.” Here’s the rub on the whole Anthony Weiner scandal(s): Bill de Blasio’s approval rating just fell to 41% on May 24th. Would Weiner have been better? Who knows? Would he have won if not for a faulty timeline between his final sexting partner and […]

REVIEW: Ya Tayr El Tayer [The Idol] [2016]

“People are dying and you’re singing?” Biopics are often difficult because the subject’s life may not contain the suspense and intrigue necessary for a film to succeed. This is why many focus on a brief period of time rather than a full life—honing in on the moment that made this person worthy of having his/her […]

REVIEW: Pelé: Birth of a Legend [2016]

“When in doubt: do what they do” It may be called Pelé: Birth of a Legend, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist‘s film is really about Ginga soccer and Brazil at risk of losing its soul. The climax depicts the 1958 World Cup with the country’s unexpected run to the final on the back of a […]

REVIEW: The Man Who Knew Infinity [2016]

“Like other great men he invented himself” A bit character in Matt Brown‘s affecting biographical drama The Man Who Knew Infinity chants “Din, Din, Din, Gunga Din” a couple times in friendly jest as a response to his employer G.H. Hardy’s (Jeremy Irons) decision to send for an uneducated South Indian man on the merits […]

REVIEW: Born to Be Blue [2016]

“Hello fear. Hello death.” I’m not a jazz guy. I’ll listen, enjoy, and promptly forget it straight away. It all kind of sounds the same to me, but to each his own. If you can differentiate Miles Davis‘ sound from Chet Baker‘s you’re a better music fan than me. So to hear Robert Budreau‘s biopic […]

REVIEW: Our Nixon [2013]

“You felt as if you were in a brilliantly lighted, badly run television show” As someone who wasn’t born during Richard Nixon‘s administration, it is somewhat unfair to just conjure images of Deepthroat a la All the President’s Men or bank robbers like in Point Break. Tricky Dick has become the butt of jokes—the only […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Gazelle: The Love Issue [2014]

“There is beauty in everything” New York is full of unique individuals. It’s a haven for them to be able to walk down the street with glances of intrigue rather than disgust. Gazelle is just one “Freak Chic” ambassador, but she is also possibly the most important. This isn’t because her style is best or […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Projections of America [2014]

“To introduce America to millions of people throughout the world” It doesn’t take long for optimism to change to naiveté—a lesson learned from watching Peter Miller‘s informative documentary Projections of America. The film focuses on a series of twenty-six shorts produced during World War II by Robert Riskin and the European branch of America’s Office […]

REVIEW: Bizarre: A Circus Story [2016]

“You can’t do anything ‘half’ in the circus” It’s tough to remember that Cirque du Soleil isn’t “new” (1984?!) when you’re an American like me whose idea of the circus growing up was watching goofy clowns in ten-sizes-too-large costumes pile into a tiny car while animals roared and jumped through hoops. I think the main […]