REVIEW: Inspired [2015]

“Don’t be late” For a student film, Maggie Kaszuba‘s Inspired is an effective cinematic effort. Depicting the life of a teenage girl dealing with ambivalence at home and tough love at school, the short has a wealth of earned emotion once relationships flesh out and motivation is revealed. Samantha Higgins (Tyler Kipp) is an underachiever […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Crimson Dance [2016]

“Welcome to the Bloody Burlesque Freak Show” Letting American burlesque dancer Tonya Kay perform an interpretive, sensual dance with blood isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about ways to raise public consciousness about donating this crucial fluid, yet here we are. Writer/director Patricia Chica not only thought it, she […]

REVIEW: Bir Uyku Vakti [In a Time for Sleep] [2016]

“They are all the same except for their names” Writer/director Tofiq Rzayev‘s latest short Bir Uyku Vakti [In a Time for Sleep] appears to have a lot to say beneath its melodramatic plot. I’m just not sure exactly what it is. This could be a “lost in translation” case, but I found it difficult to […]

REVIEW: Mower Minions [2016]

“Chop-ah chop-ah” The Minions used to be adorable little sidekicks—hilarious creatures ripe for slapstick in a secondary role to the film they were in (Despicable Me). And then they became bigger than the franchise that spawned them. Toys were made, companies recruited them to sell products, and their own feature length film was inevitably released […]

REVIEW: Sound/Vision [2016]

“I continued my studies and the music stopped” Music is a powerful force—a sensory cause leading towards an effect of memory, emotion, and spirit. It brings us together beyond labels of race, gender, or religion with a commonality able to strip us down to our purest humanity. And as Ludwig van Beethoven proved through his […]

REVIEW: Romance [2013]

“Aim low and you won’t be disappointed” With the impending cinematic adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s Lullaby about to swing into pre-production once its Kickstarter campaign finishes, it became time to look into its director Andy Mingo. His filmography includes one independent feature film and a few shorts—the obvious standout on paper being Romance, based upon […]

REVIEW: Bulldog [2016]

“Who does drugs in their own home?” It can get tiresome watching movie upon movie projecting supposedly authentic glimpses of life’s complexities progress towards having its troubled central character find love, clarity, or redemption with a bow on top. So tiresome in fact that we find ourselves waiting for the moment to come as a […]

REVIEW: Land of My Dreams [2012]

“I want to be gorgeous” The above quote says everything. As do the lyrics to the titular song (originated by Aretha Franklin with Anna Domino providing vocals for the version used in the film) enhancing the melancholic atmosphere presented by writer/director Yann Gonzalez. His Land of My Dreams is just that: a dream. It’s a […]

REVIEW: Heir [2015]

“Ain’t nothing like the real thing” It’s not difficult to parse what’s happening after watching Gordon (Robert Nolan) chat online about his son with an as yet unnamed partner. The verbiage is simple and direct: “my son” with photo and a “play date??? :)” in reply. His anxiety and fear is palpable, but he doesn’t […]

REVIEW: Dirty Books [2016]

“Jobs? You’re an after school club.” Print is dead and apparently this isn’t only true in the outside world where magazines and newspapers are shuttering and/or moving to a more robust online presence. Of course schools would find themselves facing the same problem. After all, it’s the latest generations’ penchant for using the internet as […]

REVIEW: A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist [1978]

“This drawing was probably the one I’d need first” What is “H”? It doesn’t stand for heron or owl keeper Van Hoyten. No, “H” is a place only decipherable when approaching its end—a journey spanning 1,418 miles traveled by following 92 distinct drawings that double as maps until such time comes when they fade into […]