Category: Independent Film

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

Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable

Tense situations often provide for the best drama and leave bystanders watching things unfolding on the sidelines captivated in awe. It’s a compulsion that pulls us to slow down and gawk at accidents and train-wrecks; the very thing that allows a television program like “The Jerry Springer Show” to exist. Cinematically, that uncomfortable draw that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats can … Read More Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable

Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

Comedy is the ultimate playground for escapism, for letting the worries and cares of daily life fade away in order to decompress and unwind. The best comedies, though, usually have unexpectedly a little bit more to say on their minds than first glance might suggest. There’s a hysterical new comedy hitting theaters this fall that combines a stellar, side-splitting screenplay and award-worthy performances. It’s … Read More Jojo Rabbit: A funny thing about Adolf Hitler

The Peanut Butter Falcon: Two bandits on the run

Anyone can tell a story. How you tell it is often as important, if not more important, than the story itself. When we talk about feel-good stories – tales that warm your heart and ease your mind – there’s a tendency for certain storytellers to emotionally manipulate their audience with a piece of dialogue, burst of somber music or a plethora of other ways. … Read More The Peanut Butter Falcon: Two bandits on the run

American Factory: The price of globalization

There have been a number of exceptional documentaries released in 2019 covering a range of political, historical and pop culture topics. Perhaps none sits quite on the threshold of where the United States stands currently in an everchanging global economy than the latest Netflix release, “American Factory.” A top non-fiction film and award winner to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, this … Read More American Factory: The price of globalization