REVIEW: The Hate U Give [2018]

“Know your worth” The progression of The Hate U Give‘s genesis reveals its message’s importance. Angie Thomas began its short story precursor back in college as a response to Oscar Grant’s 2009 death by police. She would push it aside soon after in hopes to revisit the subject matter once her rage subsided. Her impulse […]

REVIEW: Tito e os Pássaros [Tito and the Birds] [2018]

“You catch fear from ideas” The “outbreak” started years ago when the twenty-four hour news cycle broke onto the scene by stoking fear for ratings out of a necessity for content. We used to only get an hour of local news every night—itself needing to be bolstered by a public interest story or two—with a […]

REVIEW: Life and Nothing More [2018]

“Are you free, dead, or in jail?” Many filmmakers find the need to politicize truths without realizing or believing their existence has already politicized them. There’s power in this sort of manipulation because the product created is working towards opening eyes or (in most cases) reinforcing what those eyes accepted long ago. That power can […]

REVIEW: Colette [2018]

“It might ruffle some feathers back home” What Wash Westmoreland (who co-wrote with his late husband Richard Glatzer and Rebecca Lenkiewicz) has done with Colette is craft an origin story for the famous, Nobel Prize-nominated French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. It begins in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye with her as the teenage daughter of poor country folk unable to […]

REVIEW: The Wife [2018]

“Do what you need to do” After multiple expressions of frustration tinged with disgust on behalf of David Castleman (Max Irons) towards his father Joe (Jonathan Pryce), the time for the latter to finally tell the former what he thinks about his short story arrives. Joe is an acclaimed author who’s just landed in Stockholm […]

BIFF18 REVIEW: Thunder Road [2018]

“Should we call the manufacturer?” It’s unsurprising to learn the opening one-shot of Jim Cummings‘ SXSW-winning film Thunder Road is itself a revision of the writer/director/star’s Sundance-winning short of the same name. The sequence therefore plays like a mini-movie with its escalation of emotion, honest humor in tragedy, and subtle exposition readying us for the […]

BIFF18 REVIEW: About a Donkey [2018]

“Smaller than a horse” The Owens family is at a nexus point of chaotic emotions, troubles, and fears thanks to the start of new chapters in their respective lives. Mom (Katherine Wessling‘s Ann) has officially accepted what everyone else already had: a battle with depression. Burgh (Ben Kaufman) recently started seeing someone (Sarah Haruko‘s Cassie) […]

BIFF18 REVIEW: The Rainbow Experiment [2018]

“It’s nobody’s fault and everyone’s responsibility” My biggest takeaway from Christina Kallas‘ The Rainbow Experiment is that teachers really don’t get paid enough in this country. Think about new technologies, entitled parents, emotionally confused kids with no outlet, and dwindling budgets forcing them to spend out-of-pocket for resources all while a guillotine hangs above their […]

REVIEW: Passengers [2008]

“Better now than later” An explosion, crash, confused man, and burning plane: this is the sequence of images as Rodrigo García‘s Passengers commences. It’s a pretty straightforward visual set-up for the incident everything else will surround before his lead (Anne Hathaway‘s Dr. Claire Summers) is introduced during the next scene. She’s a trauma counselor enlisted […]

REVIEW: Becoming Jane [2007]

“Are there no other women in Hampshire?” I had never seen Julian Jarrold‘s Becoming Jane before today and yet my constantly being hit with a sense of familiarity while watching made me question that truth. The reason stems from the fact that screenwriters Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams crafted their tale of young Jane Austen […]

REVIEW: Havoc [2005]

“There is a monetary zone of geography which we’re not allowed to pass” I can’t help wondering what Havoc might have been if Jessica Kaplan had the means to make it herself in the 90s like today’s aspiring filmmakers can thanks to affordable technology. She was seventeen when she sold her script “The Powers That […]