REVIEW: Whiplash [2014]

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“I belong here” And here I naively thought the dinner sequence from The Riot Club would end up proving my favorite scene of the year despite the film itself leaving a lot to be desired. It just goes to show that you can never be sure until every prospective entry is counted because the final […]

REVIEW: RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi [2014]

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“Oh Radha, you are voluptuous, pure and always forgiving, the source of life itself, our beloved, delightful as a blossoming lotus.” An art piece bridging Vijay Iyer‘s newest energetic composition as played by the International Contemporary Ensemble and stunning footage of Holi celebrations in the Braj region of India, RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi proves […]

REVIEW: Always Woodstock [2014]

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“Don’t love anyone that makes you hate your art” The feature debut of writer/director Rita Merson is mired in convention. Think to yourself about five cinematic tropes that could be found in a romantic dramedy and I’ll bet you at least four are present in Always Woodstock. But that’s not telling you anything you wouldn’t […]

REVIEW: The Book of Life [2014]

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“Always play from the heart” I’ve held fascination for Día de Muertos ever since seventh grade Spanish class. There’s just something about its love for the dead and ability to turn something scary to so many into this beautiful cultural tradition that makes its juxtaposition of old bones and ornate artistry a uniquely special aesthetic. […]

REVIEW: God Help the Girl [2014]

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“Find the face behind the voice” Utilizing the creed “go big or go home”, Belle & Sebastian lead singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch definitely didn’t seek to simply dabble in cinema when it came to his debut feature God Help the Girl. Beginning as a suite of songs written in the band’s downtime, he worked tirelessly to […]

REVIEW: Björk: Biophilia Live [2014]

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“If you feel like dancing, don’t stop yourself” Icelandic musician Björk has always been somewhat uncategorizable with a career that’s uniquely evolved to the beat of her own electronic drum. There was the infamous swan dress, her critically acclaimed foray into acting for Lars von Trier‘s Dancer in the Dark, collaborations with cutting edge artists […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: Bang Bang Baby [2015]

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“I am that. I am the service station.” Harkening back to the era of its setting, Bang Bang Baby embraces the over-the-top aesthetic of 1963 entertainment with small town girl Stepphy (Jane Levy) dreaming big for a chance at stardom in New York City. Overproduced, old-timey vocals emanate from her mouth as faux backdrops provide […]

REVIEW: Take Me to the River [2014]

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“Everything we touched turned to gold and they couldn’t figure out how” While it could have easily become a simple behind the scenes feature for an album of three generations of Memphis soul musicians coming together to recut some hits, Take Me to the River finds room to be more. Stewarded by director Martin Shore […]

REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth [2014]

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“And if that doesn’t do it—you shoot the clown” I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While […]

REVIEW: Jersey Boys [2014]

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“Aren’t you supposed to be home by eleven?” The end credits of Clint Eastwood‘s Jersey Boys steal the show. A bombastic number lasting a couple minutes has the entire cast singing “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)” with genuine excitement through a staged New Jersey street and it gives us exactly what the previous two […]

REVIEW: The Beauty Strip [2014]

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“I think individuality is a very complex thing” There’s no better description for Marshmallow Press Productions than “cinema for the obscure viewer”—at least where their newest on-demand offering The Beauty Strip is concerned. Is its sixty-minutes a series of erotica music videos for electronica bands like Zigo Rayonpineal, Occurrences in Rain, Names, and Bob Orum? […]