REVIEW: Keep It For Yourself [1991]

I am in your hands. Writer/director Claire Denis was commissioned to create a short film for an omnibus in 1991 meant to showcase the new Nissan Figaro. Besides including the car in the narrative, she had carte blanche as far as how, why, or what else. The result is Keep It for Yourself, a virtually plot-less adventure of a French woman (Sophie Simon) left alone in New York City after the man she’s visiting leaves town the day before she arrives. He set her up with an apartment to sleep…

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REVIEW: Buffalo ’66 [1998]

“Just look like we are a married couple … spanning time” In 2004 Christina Ricci was quoted in Time Out magazine as saying, “Buffalo ’66 was the most beautiful example of self-absorption I’ve ever seen in my life.” She’s not wrong. Even if she had a good experience on set and didn’t loathe writer/director/star Vincent Gallo like most involved on the film, she’d still not be wrong. Gallo’s character Billy Brown is the epitome of self-centered aggression mixed with an absolute lack of self-esteem—a description that describes Buffalo, NY in…

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The 2014 BxNF Buffalo International Film Festival Preview

Many people may not know this, but Buffalo has two annual film festivals. One happens in spring—The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival—and one in fall. Now that October has arrived, it’s time to start checking out what the latter has to offer. Formally founded in 2005 by Edward Summer, Buffalo International Film Festival is less interested in showcasing new films as much as placing a spotlight on work in a more cultural and historical context. There’s still a desire to connect things to the Greater Buffalo region—I saw Buffalo’s infamous son…

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REVIEW: Queen City [2013]

“You have any hot water left, Mr. Bubbles?” The second film in writer/director Peter McGennis‘ Buffalo trilogy, Queen City is a very different beast than his first. Where Buffalo Bushido utilized the locale as a backdrop to the personal story of loss at hand, his newest appears to have been written around its inside jokes dripping nostalgia. With photographs by famed artist Milton Rogovin spliced throughout, a never ending slew of name drops, and one of the best utilizations of the city’s underrated architecture, one can’t help but wonder whether…

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REVIEW: Essential Killing [2010]

“Wrong way. Turn left for main route, then turn right.” Being from Buffalo generally has a way of making people forgive Renaissance man Vincent Gallo’s abrasive nature and constant ability to put his foot firmly in mouth. His feature length works—Buffalo ‘66 and The Brown Bunny—are generally seen as love it/hate it types and his acting work has never been within films possessing wide appeal, save perhaps Tetro. In 2010, however, Gallo was finally awarded some of the praise hometown folks have been lauding for years. Performing a veritable one-man…

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REVIEW: Buffalo Bushido [2010]

“Feed the dog and do your homework” A prodigal son has returned to Buffalo, not only to shoot and film, but also to set down roots once more. No it isn’t Vincent Gallo. For all the controversy that native filmmaker receives—who, let’s be honest, really grew into an artist post-high school in NYC— it was refreshing to see a full house for a Western New York premiere screening at the Market Arcade. Friends, family, film fans, and fans of their city all came out to see, as writer/director/star Peter McGennis…

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REVIEW: Tetro [2009]

“You can’t look into the light” I had heard that Francis Ford Coppola’s first film in a decade, 2007’s Youth Without Youth, skewed more toward the arthouse, experimental spectrum of cinema. After his early masterpieces, including the bloated budget of Apocalypse Now, his career went the way of minor Hollywood-fare, like Jack and The Rainmaker. One might have assumed he’d retired from the director’s chair until the success of his daughter, and son, (come on Roman, stop being assistant to your family members and make that sophomore film), showed what…

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Top 25 Films of 2004

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 130 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood. #24: The Dreamers directed byBernardo Bertolucci #23: The Brown Bunny directed by Vincent Gallo. #22: Hotel Rwanda directed by Terry George #21: Friday Night Lights directed by Peter Berg #20: Down to the Bone directed by Debra Granik #19: Sideways directed by Alexander Payne #18: Mysterious Skin directed by Gregg Araki #17: The Incredibles…

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