Archives for July 2019

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“Tel Aviv on Fire,” an acid and humorous take on Palestinians, Israelis and DYIsm

It's showtime!
Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal and Yaniv Biton
Directed by Sameh Zoabi

This Israeli film by Sameh Zoabi, an Arab Israeli, comes to us boasting a number of awards but that doesn’t prepare us for the treat of this thoroughly enjoyable and unpretentious story. “Tel Aviv on Fire” is one of those gems––think “The Band’s Visit” or “Tony Erdmann”––that grab and delight from the opening scene to the very end, with nary a slackening of rhythm. Salam (Kais Nashif, a ... more >

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Marc Maron excellent as Mel in “SWORD OF TRUST”

He currently appears in "GLOW" on Netflix
Marc Maron, Jon Bass and Michaela Watkins
Directed by Lynn Shelton

Low-key independent character pieces are director Lynn Shelton’s specialty. With films such as “Humpday," “Your Sister’s Sister," “Touchy Feely," “Laggies," and the undervalued “Outside In," Shelton creates projects that seem gimmicky on a surface level and infuses them with deeply personal meditations on the human condition. Her uniquely easygoing writing style has proven Shelton to be one of the ... more >

MY DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: I LOVE WESTERNS (BUT “THE KID” MISSES THE MARK)

Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D'Onofrio all previously starred together in another western, "The Magnificent Seven"
Starring Jake Schur, Leila George and Chris Pratt
Directed by Vincent D'Onofrio

I must divulge two important facts. The first one is that the Western is my favorite film genre, and the second, my favorite Western (and third favorite film ever made) is Sam Peckinpah’s “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” starring James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson (1973). I am of the opinion that Peckinpah’s work on that film is profound and special, and impossible to match. To this, I admit that ... more >

A SEARCH FOR ADVENTURE AT SEA, BUT NOT JUST: “MAIDEN”

They were the first all-female crew
Tracy Edwards, Jeni Mundy, Mikaela Von Koskull
Directed by Alex Holmes

Documentary filmmaker Alex Holmes brings to the screen the true adventure of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World race. To achieve their goal to enter and be respected in the race, Tracy Edwards and her all-woman crew stood up to the sexism in the 1989 sailing world which was equally as harsh as their 33,000-mile ocean journey. The main focus of “Maiden” is on ... more >

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LOCARNO ’19: Hilary Swank to be honored, Bruno Ganz tribute in the works

The 72nd Locarno Film Festival will take place from the 7th to the 17th of August 2019

The official program of the 72nd edition of the Locarno Film Festival was announced at a press conference today. Also announced were the Leopard Club Award, to be handed to Hilary Swank, the Vision Award Ticinomoda to Claire Atherton, the Premio Utopia to Enrico Ghezzi and the Premio Cinema Ticino to Fulvio Bernasconi. The 72nd edition was presented by Locarno’s new artistic director Lili ... more >

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: “YESTERDAY” was great fun to watch. Then the self-indulgent pathos began

Imagine there's no Beatles
Himesh Patel and Lily James
Directed by Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” is a delight almost to the end. How can it not be? First of all, perfect pitch by both Himesh Patel (Jack) and the too-lovely-for-words Lily James (Ellie). Patel is Jack Malik, a store employee who, through a blackout on earth and being hit by a bus, wakes up in an alternate world where he is the one and only person who knows the Beatles. A third-rate musician who kind of ... more >

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EASY RIDER TURNS 50 – Half a century later, still riding, still searching

It was awarded the first film award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival
Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson
Directed by Dennis Hopper

In 1969 when a surge of protests against discrimination, the Vietnam War (at its most intensive then) and outdated political and social mindsets was taking place, in came a low-budget, counterculture, film that would speak for a generation and give filmmakers new artistic freedom. The film’s success would cause a seismic shift in the Hollywood system and see studios wrest power back from the ... more >