Category: Independent Film

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Vengeance: Far from the Big Apple

B.J. Novak’s debut feature film opens with the former star of “The Office” on a New York rooftop in vapid, existential conversation with musician John Mayer, playing a somewhat exaggerated version of himself. The pair pontificate about having everything in life figured out and the ease of mindless dating women saved in their phones like “Random House Girl.” Then Novak’s Ben – a journalist … Read More Vengeance: Far from the Big Apple

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Cha Cha Real Smooth: All the right moves

The best movie characters, ones audiences take to and see themselves in, aren’t always idyllic. Filmmakers find genuine beauty in flaws and imperfections in their personalities and psyches that allows viewers to naturally respond and become more fully transported into another world. Cooper Raiff’s second feature film – an audience award winner earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival – screened this past … Read More Cha Cha Real Smooth: All the right moves

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Fire Island: Summer nights

Nearly 30 years ago, director Amy Heckering transported audiences into the world of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma through the lens of 1990s Beverly Hills high school with Clueless.The bright, quirky satire provided a clever twist on what might be viewed as stuffy literature and made Austen more accessible for younger audiences. Comedian Joel Kim Booster found inspiration in another Austen classic, Pride and … Read More Fire Island: Summer nights

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Everything Everywhere All At Once: Cinematic beauty in weirdness

The directing duo of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, have created a brand of cinema flavored with creative ingenuity blended with the bizarre and outlandish that have seen them mystify viewers with flatulent corpses and dark humor with films like 2016’s Swiss Army Man and 2019’s The Death of Dick Long. Their third feature together, Everything Everywhere All At Once, … Read More Everything Everywhere All At Once: Cinematic beauty in weirdness

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Dog: Unlikely compatriots

Trailers don’t always give the best impression of what a film actually is. Sometimes it’s because the studio is attempting to trick potential viewers by showing the best clips in order to maximize profits. Other times, it’s simply because they don’t have any actual clue what kind of movie they have on their hands. This is especially problematic for first-time directors, who have to … Read More Dog: Unlikely compatriots

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Mass: Big drama in small spaces

Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival has always been the premiere way for independent filmmakers to debut their work and kick off a full year of promotion to find an audience. This year’s festival has gone digital due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 preventing cinephiles from catching the best 2022 has to offer so far in person, but 2021 Sundance entries are making their … Read More Mass: Big drama in small spaces

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Last Night in Rozzie: Independent hit a solid double

One of Hill Country Film Festival’s greatest success stories makes its theatrical debut this weekend. Last Night in Rozzie, directed by Sean Gannet from a screenplay by Ryan McDonough, won both the Cinema Dulce (Best of Fest) and Best Feature Film award at the 12th annual festival this summer and will open in limited release on the big screen as well as premium video on … Read More Last Night in Rozzie: Independent hit a solid double

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No Sudden Move: A crime thriller for Steven

Steven Soderbergh makes movies with only one audience in mind: Steven Soderbergh. The filmmaker behind classics like Erin Brockovich, the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy and Traffic is well into a point in his career where he has a clear vision for what he wants to do, can do it quickly and loves to experiment with the visual form as his own personal art project.  It’s … Read More No Sudden Move: A crime thriller for Steven

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12 Mighty Orphans: Feel-good fumble

Inspirational sports films have practically become a tradition on par with events like the World Series, Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Without fail, it’s expected – almost demanded – that there will be one every year. Texas director Ty Roberts has brought audiences an emotional drama based on a true story from his home state, putting viewers on the sidelines with an underdog football … Read More 12 Mighty Orphans: Feel-good fumble

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All These Sons: Tribeca At Home review

Gun violence is senseless. Nowhere in the United States is it more prevalent than Chicago, where more people are shot and killed than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. For filmmakers Joshua Altman and Bing Liu’s latest documentary All These Sons, approaching the sensitive subject meant dealing with the trauma and emotional scars that linger long after bullet wounds have healed. Their … Read More All These Sons: Tribeca At Home review

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Minari: Struggling toward the American dream

There’s something simple, yet elegant about director Lee Isaac Chung’s latest feature, a semi-autobiographical tale base on his childhood growing up in America’s heartland. The story is ordinary – and the cinema understated in large part – but there’s an ethereal quality to his film that opens with a young boy running in an empty field of green and never truly stops flowing in … Read More Minari: Struggling toward the American dream

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Nomadland: Perspectives from the road

Few casual moviegoers will find Chloé Zhao’s latest directorial effort to be their absolute favorite film of the year, but even fewer can reasonably argue that it may be among the very best. A haunting yet powerful portrait of a hidden life across the heartland, Nomadland finds some of the best of America wandering across the country in search of boundless freedom and of … Read More Nomadland: Perspectives from the road