• babel_header

    Babel’s Abraham Verghese teaches Buffalo the difference between curing and healing

    It is interesting to see how Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel series has evolved over the years. Beyond locale (now residing at Kleinhans Music Hall after its origins in Asbury Hall at Babeville), artistic director (Barbara Cole seamlessly transitioning on from Michael Kelleher), and audience (last night’s crowd had to be the largest since Salman […]

  • suzanloriparks01

    You are the ambassador of your race: the human race … Babel’s Suzan-Lori Parks

    It wasn’t until Just Buffalo Literary Center‘s Artistic Director Barbara Cole took the stage that I noticed something out-of-place: a microphone stand. I’m not entirely sure when its last appearance was, but I distinctly remember the vehemence of the audience when whoever used it couldn’t be heard. Everyone else seemed cognizant of the problem too […]

  • enemy01

    REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

    “Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such […]

  • oscars2014b

    The 86th Oscars recap through tweets …

    Welcome to the 86th Annual Academy Awards everyone! If you didn’t watch the festivities that occurred Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre you are probably a lot better off than most of us because it was a very lackluster affair. We all hoped Ellen DeGeneres would bring a fun, smart, witty return to her success […]

  • top10_2013

    Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

    2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or […]



film reviews

hunt01

REVIEW: Jagten [The Hunt] [2013]

“Then you can have a kick in the butt” I used to just walk outside the house and play with the neighborhood children in the street when I was young. We’d go anywhere we liked in this idyllic environment of safe trespass amongst unknown adults and kids along the way. So, it’s still difficult to […]

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REVIEW: Down and Dangerous [2014]

“Who says I’m not having fun?” If you’re familiar with writer/director Zak Forsman’s work you’ll know that it was only a matter of time before he branched out from subtle character pieces to the action genre. Whether the stoic performances, attractive compositions, or pulsing beats by composer Deklun, Forsman and his team at The Sabi […]

dogma01

REVIEW: Dogma [1999]

“You can’t be anal retentive if you don’t have a anus” Due to an overly self-deprecating humor, writer/director Kevin Smith will always be the first to say he lacks true “talent” as a filmmaker. From the ultra-low budget Clerks to a recent spate of box office failures, his work deals in eccentrically loquacious characters with […]

legomovie01

REVIEW: The LEGO Movie [2014]

“All this is true because it rhymes” I am a child of the 80s. Ask me about Lego Star Wars or Lego Harry Potter and my response will be a quizzical look devoid of comprehension. I was a builder with a giant card table set up in my basement full of city locales and blank […]

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REVIEW: Lust for Love [2014]

“Water off a duck’s back” First-time writer/director Anton King‘s Lust for Love is primed for audience consumption two years and change after its Kickstarter campaign went live. A labor of love for a group of creative friends—previously brought together on Joss Whedon‘s “Dollhouse”—this indie rom/com is a cutely funny tale refusing to hide its conclusion […]

karamahasnowalls

REVIEW: Karama Has No Walls [2013]

“Sit-in! Sit-in! Until the regime is toppled!” The last words Anwar Al-Muaati spoke to his father upon leaving for “Change Square” in Sana’a, Yemen were, “If you tell me I can’t go and all the other fathers tell their sons the same, who will fight the revolution?” That’s a powerful sentiment of patriotism, freedom, and […]

ladyatnumber6

REVIEW: The Lady In Number 6 [2013]

“Calmness is strength” Despite starting with a smile watching 109-year old Alice Herz Sommer playing classical music on her piano, we know there will be more to The Lady In Number 6 than simply learning how beloved she is to those in her building woken at 10am to the sounds of Chopin and Bach. It’s […]

facingfear

REVIEW: Facing Fear [2013]

“I don’t know if I could forgive somebody the way he’s been able to forgive me” While it may be a “talking head” documentary, Jason Cohen‘s Oscar nominated short Facing Fear is anything but boring or static. It’s a story about two men who grew up in fear of the unknown, the different. Matthew Boger […]

cavedigger

REVIEW: Cavedigger [2013]

“I’m a digger of caves and a piler of rocks” Sculptor Ra Paulette is an amazing artist. His philosophical manifesto for space and the metaphor of interior versus exterior is well-put and meticulously brought to life through malleable sandstone to create unimaginable beauty in a collision of Mother Nature and mankind’s mark as builder. I […]

prisonterminal

REVIEW: Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall [2013]

“I’ll get out of here one of these days. In a box.” Born George William, PFC “Jack” Hall served four years in the military during WWII, was a POW, and ultimately found his way back home. Unable to shake what he saw and did in war, the feeling to kill anyone who crossed him remained. […]

voormanproblem

REVIEW: The Voorman Problem [2013]

“Release?” It’s an Oscar nominated short film and yet I thank The Voorman Problem not for its entertaining wit or Martin Freeman‘s outburst of hilarity at its end, but instead for it cementing my need to start reading David Mitchell. Yes, the author of Cloud Atlas is the main inspiration behind director Mark Gill and […]

doihavetotakecareofeverything

REVIEW: Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? [Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?] [2013]

“Were you styling your beard?” You’ve probably heard these words before: Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? [Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?]. It might have been your wife, girlfriend, or mother (or the male equivalents despite it being a generalization stereotypically placed upon the fairer sex) and I’m sure they were correctly using those […]

helium

REVIEW: Helium [2013]

“They say I’m going to Heaven” What do you tell a young child dying of an inoperable disease? Do you fill his/her head with religious concepts of heaven and hell, explaining how innocence and youth guarantees a place in the former’s angelic clouds? For a kid like Alfred (Pelle Falk Krusbæk) that’s simply not enough. […]

justbeforelosingeverything

REVIEW: Avant que de tout perdre [Just Before Losing Everything] [2013]

“You have to do it, Miriam” Whoa. Xavier Legrand‘s screenwriting and directorial debut Avant que de tout perdre [Just Before Losing Everything] is a tense piece of filmmaking that will have you holding your breath throughout. It starts with a young boy walking the opposite way from school before getting stopped by his teacher. He […]

thatwasntme

REVIEW: Aquel no era yo [That Wasn't Me] [2013]

“With your guns, people will respect you” If someone told me they didn’t see Esteban Crespo‘s Aquel No Era Yo [That Wasn't Me] as more than a contrived piece of melodrama tugging at heartstrings I’d believe them and understand completely. However, for me it was an affecting work brilliantly encapsulating the climate we now find […]