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TV: “GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM” on HBO, film examines what made the man a genius and shows us the bits that make him resonate today | REVIEW

George Carlin, Gillian Jacobs, Stephen Colbert and Paul Reiser
Directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio

Along with Richard Pryor, George Carlin was a groundbreaker in the comedy world. As Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s documentary “George Carlin’s American Dream” shows, the comedian had a comic vision of Nostradamus-like proportions. The film digs deep and gets to the soul of Carlin’s philosophies. The man could be called a comedic prophet, as his political and social work observations are ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL: Bowie like you’ve never seen before in “MOONAGE DAYDREAM”

“It’s what you do in life that’s important, not how much time you have left. Or what you wish you’d done. Life is fantastic” (David Bowie)

CANNES, France – Talking heads, live performances, the requisite cautionary tale factor, rock biopics often check the boxes, it’s a genre and it functions well but it can be a bit by the book. “All people, no matter who they are, all wish they’d appreciated life more. It’s what you do in life that’s important, not how much time you have. Or what you wish you’d done. Life is fantastic” (David ... more >

Two highlighted films from the 2022 Human Rights Watch Festival, the Dina Amer-directed “YOU RESEMBLE ME” and “REBELLION”

The Human Rights Watch film festival is in its thirtieth year

Human rights are universal--or so we’d like to believe. The debate rages on and on, and several brave filmmakers have taken to weighing in at this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival, taking place this week. Here are two films deserving of attention as the meaning of the universality of rights for all continues to be in doubt for far too many. You Resemble Me Director: Dina Amer In this ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL: Ruben Östlund makes his return to the Croisette with “Triangle of sadness,” biting satire about our times

Film is competing for the Palme D'Or
Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean
Directed by Ruben Östlund

CANNES, France -- “Triangle of Sadness” is a comedy about fashion, trends, social media influencers, how to set yourself apart but not too much, the enduring power of social hierarchies, the #metoo and virtue-signaling maelstroms. The pitch for “Triangle of Sadness” goes like this: the film starts in the fashion world, then the action moves to a cruise ship to finally end on a deserted island, ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL: Twenty years after the serial killings in Mashhad, Iran, “HOLY SPIDER”

Film is competing for the Palme D'Or
Zahra Amirebrahimi, Mehdi Bajestani and Arash Ashtiani
Directed by Ali Abbasi

CANNES, France -- Lately, it seems there’s been a change in attitude among some directors in the new generation of Persian filmmakers: through their films they’re more willing to show more, more of the dark underbelly of the beast. In films like “Tehran Taboo,” “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “Just 6.5,” themes and motifs, two shades darker than before, are explored: Iranian society has ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL: James Gray’s return to his childhood with “ARMAGEDDON TIME”

A story about growing up in the eighties
Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Anthony Hopkins
Directed by James Gray

CANNES, France -- There were problems with booking seats to the screening of James Gray's latest film, "Armageddon Time," this caused frustration. Finally, I managed to snag a ticket to join my group. Gray doesn't come to the Cannes Festival often. Fascinated by marginal characters left to fend for themselves, like Joaquin Phoenix's Leonard Kraditor of "Two Lovers," Gray casts a spotlight on ... more >

Christina Ricci in “MONSTROUS,” the film’s saving grace? OUR REVIEW

This film never quite achieves a balance between the real and surreal, resorting to horror film tropes instead.
Christina Ricci, Santino Barnard and Don Durrell
Directed by Chris Sivertson

Chris Sivertson’s “Monstrous” is driven by some interesting, if familiar, themes. Unfortunately, the director is not able to pull them off. Written by Carol Chrest, Christina Ricci stars as Laura, a single mother who takes her young son Cody (Santino Barnard) to a remote new home, apparently trying escape her past and ex-husband. On the run from something dark, her new house certainly holds ... more >