Category: Independent Film

Boys State: For the people, by the people

Over 1,200 high school boys gather annually in Austin to participate in a seven-day democratic experiment designed to test their mettle. A mock government program put on nationwide by the American Legion, Boys State challenges these young men to form their own political parties, hold primaries and eventually a statewide race for a variety of offices culminating in a gubernatorial election. Each iteration of … Read More Boys State: For the people, by the people

Tread: Mayhem in a small town

Granby, Colorado feels like the sort of small town you’d find in every state across America. Industrious, hardworking, the kind of place where neighbors know all the scuttlebutt within a few hours and there’s hardly a stranger because everyone is on a first name basis. The fact that the events depicted in director Paul Solet’s gripping documentary “Tread” could plausibly happen in any small … Read More Tread: Mayhem in a small town

Radioactive: Experimentation in biopic film

It’s unclear exactly why an avant-garde, cinematic biopic of the adult life of famed scientist Marie Curie was needed, but such is the world of film in 2020. Opting not for the sidesplitting, yet emotional dramedy that powered 2016’s “Hidden Figures,” the demure albeit strange film “Radioactive” from director Marjane Satrapi presents Curie in a traditional light before mixing her journey to multiple Nobel … Read More Radioactive: Experimentation in biopic film

Palm Springs: Hot film at the right time

It’s often said that a movie can feel of the moment, that it came out at exactly the right place and time for audiences to identify with and feel heard. “Palm Springs,” a small romantic comedy that debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival when things were normal, has a very “of the moment” vibe that no one – not even first-time director Max … Read More Palm Springs: Hot film at the right time

Shirley: The horror of everyday life

Movie goers are often frightened by things that aren’t real – clowns with red balloons living in the sewers, killers that strike in dreams with a bladed claw, vampires, mummies and witches. But in a simpler, yet somehow more complex way, it’s the things that are plausibly realistic and feel authentic to our own lives that prove to be the greater terror. While major … Read More Shirley: The horror of everyday life

The Half of It: Dig deeper into Netflix’s vault

Two out of every three Netflix Original films aren’t worth the price of admission. They’re the bargain bin, direct-to-DVD level fodder usually starring David Spade or that one girl who used to be on that one television show back in the day. You don’t remember her name, but it doesn’t really matter. With the coronavirus pandemic keeping movie theaters closed, it’s prime ground for … Read More The Half of It: Dig deeper into Netflix’s vault

Emma: Comedic matters of the heart

Smaller films – like independent features or period dramas – usually require word of mouth to jump start their box office success and get in front of as many eyes as possible. Autumn de Wilde made her feature directorial debut in February with a modest period comedy that was about to take off commercially after early critical success. Then the novel coronavirus pandemic forced … Read More Emma: Comedic matters of the heart

The Rhythm Section: The inner soul of pain

Movie trailers can be a deceptive thing. They can make comedies seem side-splittingly funny even though they used all the good jokes in the ad. Horror flicks can seem scarier in two minutes of previews than 95 minutes of an actual feature. And in some cases, a wily editor can cut together a trailer that changes the genre and intent of a film altogether, … Read More The Rhythm Section: The inner soul of pain

Arkansas: One too many slashes

When actors make the transition from being in front of the camera to behind it in the director’s chair, the quality of their work can vary greatly depending on not just their talent in a new role on a film set. First time directors may lean on key assistants or department heads to help shape their vision or these actors may want to direct … Read More Arkansas: One too many slashes

Blow The Man Down: The secrets women will keep

Grizzled fishermen singing old sea shanties is an unexpected, yet perfect way to set the mood for a fresh independent dark comedic noir mystery film from Amazon Studios. A feature debut for the writing/directing team of Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, “Blow The Man Down” is a striking, exceptionally crafted work of art that pulls in some of the best elements of “Fargo,” … Read More Blow The Man Down: The secrets women will keep

Jump Shot: More than a simple act

At uncertain times like these, inspirational films can be a salve and reprieve from the outside world and a reminder of wholesome goodness. Sports movies in particular are a frequent source for these moments of positivity, with themes of underdogs overcoming the odds or unlikely teammates rallying together for a common cause. A new documentary – which won the prestigious Audience Award at the … Read More Jump Shot: More than a simple act

Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance

Desire is all about delay. The anticipation, the angst, the longing all cascading towards a moment of passion. It’s a difficult trick to pull off in the world of cinema, but Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” builds from embers into a raging inferno of emotion in one of the best romance films in ten years. The French filmmaker progresses from a … Read More Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance