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 […]

REVIEW: Heroin(e) [2017]

“Getting high on heroin is to you what it would be like to kiss Jesus” We too often see a problem in its worst form via “scared straight” videos that depict it in all its graphic detail for those living within its clutches. Drug use is the main culprit for this type of vehicle because […]

REVIEW: Traffic Stop [2017]

“I did not trust him” Some topics deserve the time to delve underneath the surface of what we see, know, and assume. The violent arrest of Breaion King is one such incident where thirty minutes is simply not enough. But that’s what director Kate Davis has to deliver the intricacies of what occurred in the […]

REVIEW: Knife Skills [2017]

“What I see is a tremendous amount of desire” One of the students at Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute explains how ex-convicts wear the stigma of that label as a badge. It tells potential employers that they are willing to work harder and prove their loyalty because anyone who gives them a chance at a […]

REVIEW: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 [2017]

“We are creativity itself” It’s not easy to depict mental illness with honest clarity or art’s cathartic influence as therapy, but Frank Stiefel‘s look at Mindy Alper entitled Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 does both. It helps that Mindy is an open, self-aware subject despite crippling anxieties. She leads his camera through […]

REVIEW: Edith+Eddie [2017]

“Treat everybody right” You hear horror stories of people who foster children in order to pocket the money they receive from the state meant for that child’s wellbeing and want to hope they’re the exceptions rather than rule. It’s easy to be cynical, however, and believe the opposite in this world. The same can be […]