INTERVIEW: Benh Zeitlin, co-writer/director of Wendy

Beasts of the Southern Wild was the indie darling of 2012 having racked up prestigious festival wins en route to four Oscar nominations. Despite being credited to “Court 13” as a collective at the beginning of the end credits, the driving force behind the film was New York native and current Louisiana resident Benh Zeitlin. He earned two of those nods as director and co-writer while also serving as co-composer alongside Dan Romer. It was the type of whirlwind ride that propels many filmmakers straight to Hollywood and yet Zeitlin…

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REVIEW: Wendy [2020]

Dreams change. When Angela Darling’s (Shay Walker) kids ask what she dreamt about at their age, she smiles and answers: “the rodeo.” When they ask about her dreams today, she turns and says: “To not screw up raising you three.” Douglas (Gage Naquin) and James’ (Gavin Naquin) youth wrongly interprets that drastic shift in focus as quitting. They don’t know what it’s like to become a parent and reclaim your immortality through the boundless opportunity of your child’s future. Wendy (Devin France) doesn’t either, but their dismissal makes her angry…

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REVIEW: Burning Cane [2019]

It’s hard to dance with the Devil on your back. Helen Wayne (Karen Kaia Livers) can’t cure her dog of mange. Everyone tells her their surefire remedies and she attempts them all—one month with borax, another vegetable oil. Sometimes the dog gets better and other times he gets worse. She won’t give up on him, though. Her love for his kind soul that doesn’t deserve the pain and suffering he’s endured keeps her looking for another solution. She’ll do anything but go to the doctor because she knows he’ll simply…

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REVIEW: Brimstone & Glory [2017]

This one has gunpowder in his blood. The concept of The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is insane. For two days the town responsible for 90% of all fireworks in the nation plans an elaborate celebration in honor of their patron saint San Juan de Dios wherein they literally run into fire. First is the Castillos del Fuego: high towers affixed with carousels to light and spin with patterns and artwork as tiny missiles fly through the air. Second is the Spanish running of the bulls-inspired Pamplonada where massive…

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Top Ten Films of 2012: Ensembles upon ensembles

Many have been saying 2012 was a great year for movies. I’m not sure I fully agree. There were a ton of solid 7/10s and 8/10s, yes, but how does that compare with previous years when the amount of 10/10s were also drastically reduced? It took until September for me to give a film four stars and the two I did laud with such a distinction that month were the only ones. Rather than a showcase of masterpiece cinema, 2012 was instead a year of the performance. And I mean…

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Top 25 Films of 2012

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching ~140 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: End of Watch directed by David Ayer #24: Amour directed by Michael Haneke #23: Moonrise Kingdom directed by Wes Anderson #22: How to Survive a Plague directed by David France. #21: Prometheus directed by Ridley Scott. #20: Antiviral directed byBrandon Cronenberg #19: Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes. #18: Wreck-It Ralph directed by Rich Moore. #17: The Best ExoticMarigold Hotel directed by…

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Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

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REVIEW: Beasts of the Southern Wild [2012]

“No cryin’, ya hear?” Caught worlds away from industry and technological advancement, the tiny Louisiana Delta community coined The Bathtub exists inside its own fantastical arena of jovial poverty. Self-sufficient and fearful of those on the other side of the levee, these feral creatures subsist on the environment and teach their young how to carry on traditions uniquely their own. But as the adults attempt to ready the children for a hard life tempered only by alcoholic beverage and a boon of loudly crazed holidays, they can’t protect them from…

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