Cold War kicks off 2018 Midwest Independent Film Festival

Cold War is the sickest rom-com in years as the indie comedy kicks off the 2018 Midwest Independent Film Festival with a wave, or sickness mind you, of laughter. Written by J. Wilder Konschak, who co-directs with Stirling McLaughlin, Cold War stars an impressive array of talent–many of who have a background in improvisation–including Michael Blaiklock, Madeline Walter, Antoine McKay, Gail Rastorfer, Kenneth Yoder, Rammel Chan, Antoine Pierre Whitfield, Sara Sevigny, and Scarlett Harper. Maggie (Walter) and Jonathan (Blaiklock) had just moved in together and…

"Cold War kicks off 2018 Midwest Independent Film Festival"

Sundance 2018: Hal – The Life of Hal Ashby

Premiering at Sundance, Hal is a documentary that–break your heart as it may–offers closer a look at the career of the underrated director, Hal Ashby. In her directorial debut, editor-turned-director  Amy Scott assembled a wide array of interviews, archival footage, and a soundtrack heavy on Cat Stevens over the last five years to give movie fans the long-overdue documentary on Hal Ashby.  The documentary in itself is a reminder that many directors don’t get to…

"Sundance 2018: Hal – The Life of Hal Ashby"

Sundance 2018: The Queen of Fear

An official Sundance selection, The Queen of Fear features a stellar acting performance from actress Valeria Bertuccelli. Bertuccelli, who also wrote the film, co-directs the absurd comedy with Fabiana Tiscornia.  For a film that comes off as an absurd comedy, The Queen of Fear is surprisingly so dark in terms of lighting–whether that’s due to cinematographer Matías Mesa or the co-directors, I don’t know.  As with any foreign film, to truly be able to understand what’s going…

"Sundance 2018: The Queen of Fear"

Sundance 2018: Never Goin’ Back

Because of the Disney/Freeform background of star Maia Mitchell, Never Goin’ Back has that Spring Breakers vibe to it but these two films couldn’t be any more different.  Never Goin’ Back isn’t without drugs or vulgarity and there’s a lot of it throughout the film. A first feature from writer-director Augustine Frizzell, it’s another film in which one can show their support of a female director.  Just as Sean Baker brought light to underrepresented low-income families with…

"Sundance 2018: Never Goin’ Back"

Sundance 2018: The Price of Everything

An official Sundance selection, The Price of Everything is a documentary that goes into the art world and examines what art is worth, be it for the collector or the artist. The film is a fascinating documentary, directed by Nathaniel Kahn, and explores a world in which one may only hear  about in the news in passing but outside of the die-hard art collectors, that’s just about it.  Art collecting is a different world in…

"Sundance 2018: The Price of Everything"

Slamdance 2018: Ingrid (dir. Morrisa Maltz)

Ingrid tells the fascinating story of Ingrid Gipson, a fashion designer who left the comforts of life in Texas and escaped into the woods of Oklahoma. Directed by Morrisa Maltz, the documentary is just shy of an hour.  Among the eight films selected as a Documentary Feature, Ingrid was the only one to be solely directed by a female filmmaker.  This comes at a time in which it is so hard for the studios to…

"Slamdance 2018: Ingrid (dir. Morrisa Maltz)"

Slamdance 2018: Pick of the Litter – Puppy Cuteness Overload

Selected by the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival, Pick of the Litter contains an overload of puppy cuteness as the documentary offers a glimpse into the rigorous training of guide dogs for the blind. Co directed by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, Pick of the Litter is a touching film that makes you wish that you could place your hands through the screen.  A project that was birthed at Slamdance in 2015 following the premiere of…

"Slamdance 2018: Pick of the Litter – Puppy Cuteness Overload"

Sundance 2018: White Rabbit great for representation

An official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, White Rabbit is one of the more unique films to play the NEXT program. Directed by Daryl Wein from a script co-written with Vivian Bang, White Rabbit shines a light on a segment of the population that doesn’t have the opportunity to be represented much on the big screen in leading performances. Things may be changing on the small screen but there’s still a lot work…

"Sundance 2018: White Rabbit great for representation"

Chicago Comedy Film Festival: Love in Moreno Valley

Love in Moreno Valley is a well-directed film from Steven Huffaker about two tenth graders who turn to high school as way to escape from their lives at home. Directed by Huffaker from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jared Lively, the film stars Jack Seavor McDonald, Jaire Bowen, John Ennis, Suilma Rodriguez, Paul Tirado, Lili Soto, Brendon Small, Alem Sapp, and Chandler Murphy. Tenth graders James Watson (McDonald) and Abraham Willis (Bowen) don’t have the best…

"Chicago Comedy Film Festival: Love in Moreno Valley"

Chicago Comedy Film Festival: For the Love of George

For the Love of George reminds us that we should never give up on happiness. Directed by Maria Burton, the female-empowered comedy stars Nadia Jordan, Rex Lee, Kristen Johnston, Shaun Sipos, Petra Bryant, Ruth Connell, Marina Sirtis, Henry Hereford, with Rosanna Arquette, and Tate Donovan. Poppy Wakefield (Jordan) is obsessed with George Clooney and after catching her husband Stephen (Hereford) in the act of cheating, Poppy sets off for Los Angeles to meet the love…

"Chicago Comedy Film Festival: For the Love of George"