MOVIES

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TFF2015 | Among the believers

Co-directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi

Pakistani cleric Maulana Aziz has perfected the art of creating extremists. Throughout his war-torn, economically ravaged homeland he has opened up a series of madrasas that exclusively teach the memorization of the Quran. The students come from desperately poor families who can’t afford to feed them. Aziz’s Red Mosque network of madrasas’s ffoffers of free food, lodging, and an “education” prove ... more >

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TALK | A casual conversation with Jeanie Finlay, director of “ORION, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING”

She directed her first documentary short, "Love Takes" in 2003

Screen Comment critic Nate Hood recently attended the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and reviewed the film "Orion: the Man who would be King" (his article is available online). He met with director Jeanie Finlay afterwards. I had the opportunity to check out Orion: The Man Who Would Be King" a couple of days ago and I was blown away by it. So how did you first hear about “Orion?” Jeanie Finlay: ... more >

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TFF2015 | ORION, or who was the ultimate Elvis impersonator

"If Elvis could make it sounding like Elvis, why can’t I?” This line best sums up the inexplicable futility and cosmic tragedy of the life of Jimmy Ellis, a singer from Orrville, Alabama who skyrocketed to fame in the late seventies and early eighties thanks to his uncanny vocal resemblance to the recently deceased Elvis Presley. Desperate to cash in on the explosion of popularity surrounding the ... more >

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TALKING MOVIES | THE ROAD WITHIN, gentle comedy about affliction

Zoë Kravitz, Robert Sheehan and Dev Patel
Directed by Gren Wells

On Friday Gren Wells's "The Road Within," a low-key dramedy about affliction adapted from the 2010 German film "Vincent Goes to Sea," opened in New York and Los Angeles. It stars the young, promising Irish actor Robert Sheehan as a teenager stricken with Tourette's, whose cold-hearted father (Robert Patrick of "Terminator 2": Judgment Day") installs him in a mental clinic after his mother dies. ... more >

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Asghar Farhadi’s ABOUT ELLY to finally get released here

(from affiliate Iranian Film Daily) - “About Elly,” which stars Golshifteh Farahani (pictured) is finally getting a stateside limited release, well after the fact. Let’s remember that the year of release for this film is 2009. That’s six long years during which theater-going Americans were deprived of this slow-burning drama surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a woman vacationing at the ... more >

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The daily drudgery of being a vampire in WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Ever since the “Twilight” franchise the label “vampire film” seems to invite derision or at the very least weariness, from viewers who believe that stories of vampires have long outstayed their welcome. And yet, regardless of the ambivalence towards vampire films there's no shortage of filmmakers willing to take a stab at them. The results run the gamut from the painfully mediocre to the ... more >

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THE RIOT CLUB

Max Irons, Douglas Booth and Sam Claflin
Directed by Lone Scherfig

The slyest aspect about Lone Scherfig’s “The Riot Club” is also its most maddening one. Structurally, the whole production is a come-on, a tease, a manipulative stunt. It begins in lusciously ribald fashion as we are treated to nineteenth-century sexual shenanigans amid the upper classes at Oxford University: white wigs, splashy capes and all. A beloved hedonist is murdered after cuckolding an ... more >