• wingsofdesire01

    REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

    “Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

  • paristexas01

    REVIEW: Paris, Texas [1984]

    “Don’t go yet” The first word my mind conjured after watching Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas was honesty. It’s delivered from lead Harry Dean Stanton all the way down to Robby Müller‘s gorgeous cinematography of untouched Mojave Desert isolation and graffiti-filled urban concrete. Nothing appears inauthentic and that’s not an easy accomplishment when you think about […]

  • eyeinthesky01

    REVIEW: Eye in the Sky [2016]

    “Never tell a soldier he doesn’t know the cost of war” How do you simultaneously become hero and martyr in twenty-first century warfare? You find yourself unwittingly lodged within the kill zone of a high value target that has been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. Death or injury earns you both labels for […]

  • stephenfrears-interview01

    INTERVIEW: Stephen Frears, director of The Program

    It’s proving to be a couple of busy months for legendary director Stephen Frears, fresh off his delightful true-life story Philomena making an Oscar run in 2013. Not only does he have his Lance Armstrong biopic The Program opening US theaters this Friday (March 18th), but his newest Florence Foster Jenkins also hits UK screens […]

  • sonofsaul01

    REVIEW: Saul fia [Son of Saul] [2015]

    “You failed the living for the dead” It’s stunning how all these years later a Holocaust film can come along and prove wholly unique from the myriad examples we’ve already received and lauded. But László Nemes‘ directorial debut Saul Fia [Son of Saul] does exactly that. Not only does he capture the brutality by entering […]



film reviews

darling01

REVIEW: Darling [2016]

“Abyssus Abyssum Invocat” Much like with Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining, the job of caretaker isn’t an easy one in Mickey Keating‘s Darling. It should be: combat any prospective upkeep problems, tidy up, wait until the tenure is complete, and collect your pay. But not this New York City brownstone with its history steeped in satanic […]

projectionsofamerica01

NoHoIFF16 REVIEW: Projections of America [2014]

“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 […]

heir01

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 […]

dirtybooks01

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 […]

walkthroughh01

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 […]

bizarrecircus01

REVIEW: Bizarre: A Circus Story [2016]

“You can’t do anything ‘half’ in the circus” It’s tough to remember that Cirque du Soleil isn’t “new” (1984?!) when you’re an American like me whose idea of the circus growing up was watching goofy clowns in ten-sizes-too-large costumes pile into a tiny car while animals roared and jumped through hoops. I think the main […]

dearphone01

REVIEW: Dear Phone [1976]

“Hirous claimed he could make ten calls for the price of a beer” During his avant-garde experimental phase—as if you wouldn’t call the two feature films I’ve seen from later on in his career avant-garde or experimental—Peter Greenaway took it upon himself to play a high-brow telephone game with his short film Dear Phone, an […]

ageofadaline01

REVIEW: The Age of Adaline [2015]

“Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go” A high concept fantasy property such as The Age of Adaline could easily fall into trouble if it decided to put its focus on the mystery rather than the characters. J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz script deals with a woman who at […]

hotpursuit01

REVIEW: Hot Pursuit [2015]

“He just wanted to sit in the front seat” Sometimes the most intriguing aspect of a film project is the “why” of its creation. This usually deals with the changing of hands or evolution of scripts as words on the page become spoken onscreen, but every once in awhile the fascination is more abstract. The […]

babayaga01

REVIEW: The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga [2014]

“It was always the middle of the night when They came” Writer/director Jessica Oreck admitting how the best part of the filmmaking process on her document of memory and fable The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga was when audiences in the countries she filmed told her they assumed she’d be an old Eastern European […]

hellomynameisdoris01

REVIEW: Hello, My Name Is Doris [2016]

“I’m possible” Welcome to the world Doris Miller (Sally Field). It’s been too long—forty years to be exact—since you were free to roam unencumbered by self-imposed responsibilities and familial guilt no one was willing to spend the time to help alleviate. Yes, Doris has been fridged from social interaction for four decades as she quietly […]

aprilextraordinaryworld01

REVIEW: Avril et le monde truqué [April and the Extraordinary World] [2015]

“All scientists must serve the empire!” Most writing on Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci‘s Avril et le monde truqué [April and the Extraordinary World] speaks as though they’ve adapted one of revered Frenchman Jacques Tardi‘s graphic novels. This isn’t quite the case. What they’ve actually done is bring his unique “universe” to life with help […]

batmanvsuperman01

REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016]

“Ignorance is not the same as innocence” Director and steward of Warner Bros.’s entire DC Comic universe—for better or worse depending on your personal opinion of the man’s portfolio—Zack Snyder has spent two years telling us Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is ostensibly Man of Steel 2. It’s not. This thing is a Batman […]

embraceoftheserpent01

REVIEW: El abrazo de la serpiente [Embrace of the Serpent] [2015]

“Knowledge belongs to all men” It’s 1909 and the colonists have arrived in Colombia searching for rubber. They kill, enslave, and rape the land of its resources, systematically destroying a way of life at the snap of their fingers to project their own culture, religion, and greed instead. One Amazonian shaman refuses to fall victim […]

goodamerican01

REVIEW: A Good American [2016]

“I need you to know that I would never deliberately commit suicide” If any of you “Person of Interest” fans out there still wondered whether or not our government was capable of and/or currently practice many of the same programs its fictionalized establishment utilizes, William Binney would like to tell you the definitive answer: yes. […]