REVIEW: Three Identical Strangers [2018]

“I don’t know if this will turn out great or terrible” Just imagine you’re walking onto your college campus for the first time as a freshman and everyone passing by says hello. Okay. Maybe you’ve landed at a happy-go-lucky school of friendly co-eds ready to welcome all newcomers to the tribe. But then some say, […]

REVIEW: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? [2018]

“Look for the helpers” I remember watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” as a kid, but couldn’t have told you anything about it besides the fact that Fred Rogers would trade his jacket for a cardigan and eventually let us travel to his Neighborhood of Make-Believe. To me it was the aesthetic that grabbed hold—the trolley trip […]

REVIEW: American Animals [2018]

“Like what?” The more you hear about privileged white kids shooting-up schools because they’re under such “debilitating” pressure alienating them from the “cool” kids, turn “alt-right” with a projection of hatred that stems from a hatred in themselves courtesy of a false notion that they’re somehow “special,” and find themselves acting out of boredom in […]

REVIEW: Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami [2017]

“I have to do some emotional blackmail” There’s a moment early on in Sophie Fiennes‘ documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami wherein the titular artist films a new music video-style performance of her 1977 hit disco-era cover of Édith Piaf‘s “La Vie en Rose.” She goes to the studio blind to what the imagery will […]

REVIEW: RBG [2018]

“There’s a china doll in the bullpen” If you asked me which branch of government’s members I know least, the answer would be easy: judicial. The reason is even easier: I don’t vote for them. It’s an interesting truth because they’re the ones given lifetime appointments and therefore the ones who will potentially impact our […]

REVIEW: Filmworker [2018]

“I want to work for that man” When studios gave Leon Vitali a hard time about requests made on behalf of Stanley Kubrick, the director would tell him to stand firm and be exacting. Vitali relays a story within Tony Zierra‘s documentary Filmworker of Kubrick faxing these places his demands with Leon’s signature so they […]

REVIEW: The Longest Game [2018]

“These are elderly gentlemen. Some get very emotional very quickly.” When director Camille Thoman calls the octogenarians at the center of her documentary The Longest Game charming, she’s describing their initial, surface appeal. At a time when everyone’s aging parents and grandparents are proving how out of touch with the twenty-first century they are in […]

TFF18 REVIEW: Phantom Cowboys [2018]

“Give it hell. Turn left.” It would be easy to dismiss Nick Reyes, Larry Young, and Tyler Carpenter as three variations on the same thing: poor American youth. The simple fact their stories are combined within Daniel Patrick Carbone‘s poetic look at nature, nurture, opportunity, and struggle in rural areas of our country entitled Phantom […]

REVIEW: Itzhak [2018]

“The more you have in your heart, the more you have to give” Documentarian Alison Chernick has made a career of profiling artists from Jeff Koons and Matthew Barney in features to Roy Lichtenstein and Rick Rubin in shorts. Her latest subject is renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman—a victim of polio as a child in Israel […]

REVIEW: Strong Island [2017]

“This house is made of bones” The 1992 murder of William Ford wasn’t a story when it happened. Outsiders might not even have known it occurred since the grand jury decided not to indict the man who admitted to firing the rifle that put a bullet in his chest. Anyone walking by would hear how […]

REVIEW: Liyana [2018]

“And you are going to tell her story” There’s multiple ways to tell stories depending on the message you wish to instill. So when the subject you’re tackling concerns a country like Swaziland with a rampant AIDS epidemic and the resulting insanely high orphanage rate, you can choose a path towards the stark futility of […]