HOTDOCS16 REVIEW: Hotel Dallas [2016]

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“What time spits back, history devours and fatten itself on what we lack” Despite the name Hotel Dallas and general premise surrounding a replica of Southfork Ranch (where both the old and new “Dallas” series were filmed) built in Romania by an aspiring capitalist, husband and wife directing duo Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur‘s film […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Admins [2016]

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“I think I deal with more idiots” The beautiful thing about office inhabitants’ inability to muster up the initiative to learn one iota of technological troubleshooting so as not to prove beholden to an IT department that loathes them is the sheer fact nothing will ever change. While each subsequent generation has a better grasp […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Gazelle: The Love Issue [2014]

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“There is beauty in everything” New York is full of unique individuals. It’s a haven for them to be able to walk down the street with glances of intrigue rather than disgust. Gazelle is just one “Freak Chic” ambassador, but she is also possibly the most important. This isn’t because her style is best or […]

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Projections of America [2014]

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“To introduce America to millions of people throughout the world” It doesn’t take long for optimism to change to naiveté—a lesson learned from watching Peter Miller‘s informative documentary Projections of America. The film focuses on a series of twenty-six shorts produced during World War II by Robert Riskin and the European branch of America’s Office […]

BERLINALE16 REVIEW: Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] [2016]

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“I hate the ropes” The world of Parkour meets teenage coming-of-age angst in Petr Oukropec‘s Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] and it’s a welcome mixture. Whereas most sports inherently breed competition to the point that American films must delineate good versus bad or favorite versus underdog because they underestimate their audience, the urban appropriation […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: In the Dark [2015]

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“Atheist searching for a miracle” There’s nothing like a good cold open to set the mood and David Spaltro‘s In the Dark gets out of the gate running. It introduces us to Joan (Catherine Cobb Ryan) and Bethany Mills (Grace Folsom)—a seemingly wholesome mother and daughter duo connected by love and respect. The former has […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: They Look Like People [2015]

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“You must prepare for the war” **POTENTIAL SPOILERS** I do not consider They Look Like People‘s Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews) being revealed as schizophrenic to be a spoiler. He goes to see a psychiatrist pretty early on and is in a constant battle with himself to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. Rather than be […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: Strange Bird [2015]

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“Happy Birthday, Emma” After their screening premiere of Strange Bird at the Buffalo International Film Festival, co-writers Daniel Mecca (who also co-directs with Timothy Ringwood) and Conor O’Donnell explained how much of the short’s final cut was found in the editing room. This makes perfect sense as there’s no dialogue for almost the entire first […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: Emelie [2015]

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“Everyone dies at some point” It begins with the abduction of a girl. The scene is quiet and innocuous until it isn’t—a car rolling up to a young girl to ask for directions as children play in the background. The driver says, “Are you Anna?” before a man grabs her and shoves her in the […]

BIFF15 REVIEW: Prescient [2015]

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“Things would have been very different if it weren’t for her” Theodore Meridian (Michael Piccirilli) sees the future—a very specific future. If the person he locks eyes with is destined to die within 24-hours, he’ll catch a glimpse of their demise. This power has haunted him since childhood and only his Aunt Kay (Bryna Weiss), […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Der Nachtmahr [2016]

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“What do you want from me?” In great Lost Highway-era David Lynch fashion, visual artist turned filmmaker Akiz‘s Der Nachtmahr switches from linear reality to seamlessly disorienting crosscuts between life and dream. It occurs when soon-to-be eighteen year old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) passes out drunk while peeing in the woods outside a secret rave full […]