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TRIBECA FESTIVAL | Documenting a struggling Maine fish cannery in “Downeast”-REVIEW

A narrative of resilience--to behold

Downeast is about what at first sounds like the most boring possible cinematic subject: rebuilding a destitute fish cannery. And yet it's anything but. Filmmaker David Redmon and Ashley Sabin manage to pack politics, economics, and a large dollop of human interest into their seventy-six minute film. Though it's not without its significant problems, Downeast brings light to the desperate economic ... more >

TRIBECA FESTIVAL | Fairhaven-REVIEW

The complication of returning home

Writer-actor-director Tom O'Brien is not from Massachusetts, that much is clear. With his perfect diction and skin unweathered by sea spray it's a little hard (this from someone who grew up on the coast of Maine) to imagine him as the protagonist of Fairhaven, a buddy dramedy that premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. O'Brien plays John, an aimless bachelor still living in his ... more >

The Innkeepers

The search for Madeline O'Malley
Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis
Directed by Ti West

Director Ti West's feature debut, “The House of the Devil” (2009), was a deftly executed homage to both classic haunted house flicks and the great female-centered horror films of the sixties and seventies (particularly Rosemary's Baby, 1968). Fanatically aware of the conventions of the genre, its titles were ever lovingly rendered in a classic seventies burnt-orange which matched the nostalgia ... more >

The Divide

Straight out of the gore files
Lauren German, Michael Biehn and Milo Ventimiglia
Directed by Xavier Gens

Anyone who's ever been in a car accident knows about the moment of inevitability: that instant, right before the impact, when you realize that this is actually happening, that the SUV skidding towards you isn't going to stop at the last moment but really is going to plow right into you; and that you can't do a thing about it. A similar feeling inhabits me when I encounter a truly awful film. ... more >

Bob Anderson Dies

Swordmaster will be dearly missed by film community

Bob Anderson, Olympic fencer, stunt man and sword master, died at age 89. During a career that spanned over fifty years and saw the death of the studio system and the advent of the blockbuster, Anderson worked with everyone from Errol Flynn to Sean Connery and Antonio Banderas. He gained the greatest notoriety for his work on the Star Wars trilogy in the seventies, though his role in key ... more >

John Landis

The Animal House director tells it like it is

Though John Landis’s name may not be as instantly recognizable as those of George Lucas or Martin Scorsese, his contributions to quintessential American cinema are just as popular and venerable as those of his better-known (or perhaps just better-marketed) colleagues. The director of such classics—a very worn-out term that actually applies here—as “Animal House” (1978), “The Blues Brothers” ... more >

Shame

My life as a sex addict
Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale
Directed by Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen's second feature reprises his collaboration with Hunger star Michael Fassbender and the effect is no less spellbinding. This time, instead of starving for a cause, Fassbender plays a man at the mercy of his urges rather than in control of them: a sex addict. In the frenetic world of New York City it's easy for Fassbender's Brandon to keep his private life a secret. When a vat of ... more >