Sundance 2020: The Shorts Program

Solzy at the Movies previewed a number of shorts that screened in the shorts programs during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Meats Ashley Williams certainly couldn’t have picked a better project for her directorial debut.  Imagine being a vegan but finding yourself having strong cravings for eating meat.  What would you do in such a predicament?  For Lane (Ashley Williams), it’s eat as much meat as you possibly can.  Lane considers herself to be an…

"Sundance 2020: The Shorts Program"

Sundance 2020: Happy Happy Joy Joy

Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story takes us through the journey of Ren & Stimpy while also touching on creator John Kricfalusi’s dark side. Ren & Stimpy was a hit for Nickelodeon when it first hit the airwaves.  Outside of those working on the series, nobody could have ever guessed what happened beyond the scenes.  No, not creator John Kricfalusi performing the storyboards while pitching his ideas.  It’s worse than this to…

"Sundance 2020: Happy Happy Joy Joy"

Sundance 2020: Aggie

Aggie shows how far one art collector and philanthropist will go when it comes to criminal justice and having a dialogue on social action. Agnes “Aggie” Gund’s life has been rather impressive.  By serving as a longtime president of the Museum of Modern Art, Gund has an important name in the industry.  And yet, she’s not afraid of using her name when it comes to important causes.  As one should, of course.  However, some of…

"Sundance 2020: Aggie"

Sundance 2020: Miss Americana

Miss Americana presents a very open look at singer-songwriter Taylor Swift with raw conversations and new insight into Swift as a person. Taylor Swift is one of the most popular singers in the world.  It’s no surprise that a documentary starring Swift would premiere on opening night at Sundance.  However, audiences were allowed into see a side of Swift that we don’t usually see on social media or her TV appearances.  Here’s a musician who…

"Sundance 2020: Miss Americana"

Sundance 2020: The Painter and the Thief

The Painter and the Thief documents the friendship between a Norway artist and the man who ended up stealing her artwork. This film reminds me of the Neo-Nazis who reform their lives and start speaking out against hate.  Here we have Oslo-based artist Barbora Kysilkova choosing to become an ally to Karl-Bertil.  Of all friendships to happen in the history of the world, this is among the oddest of couplings.  The fact that she chooses…

"Sundance 2020: The Painter and the Thief"

DOC NYC 2019: Golda

The biggest selling point on Golda is newly discovered footage of the late Israeli prime minister taped just a few months before her passing. Long before Margaret Thatcher was the Iron Lady, the title belonged to Golda Meir.  Born in Ukraine and later living in Milwaukee, Meir would eventually make aliyah.  While she would later be active in Israeli politics, ill health forced her to retire in 1966.  Retirement would be short-lived as Meier would…

"DOC NYC 2019: Golda"

AFI Fest 2019: Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca happens to shine a spotlight on transgender representation by way of a film that places a strong focus on immigration. When it comes to transgender representation on screen, there is a right way and wrong way.  The wrong way is to make a character trans just for the sake of being trans.  It is in this instance that a trans character becomes–more or less–a gimmick and really doesn’t serve the film.  This is…

"AFI Fest 2019: Lingua Franca"

DOC NYC 2019: The Rabbi Goes West

The Rabbi Goes West is a documentary profile about Chaim Bruk, a Chabad Lubavitch rabbi, who ventured west to set up a Chabad center in Montana. So did you hear the one about the Chasidic rabbi that moved to Montana?  If you haven’t yet, you will now!  Co-directors Gerald Peary and Amy Geller follow Rabbi Chaim Bruk around Montana as he sets forth to make good on a promise.  The promise being that every Jew…

"DOC NYC 2019: The Rabbi Goes West"

DOC NYC 2019: Narrowsburg

Narrowsburg tells one of those stranger-than-fiction stories that could honestly make the translation from documentary to narrative feature. Think about it.  This is film is telling the story of a long con.  If you’re one of the people who lived it, it’s an experience that you probably don’t want to live through again.  Narrowsburg was going to be the “Sundance of the East.”  Or so the small town’s citizens were being told from festival organizers. …

"DOC NYC 2019: Narrowsburg"

Austin Film Fest 2019: The VICE Guide to Bigfoot

One journalist is seeking to find the story that will go onto define his career in Sasquatch Cinematic Universe installment The VICE Guide to Bigfoot. Atlanta-based journalist Brian Emond is on a mission.  At first, it’s to interview a rapper in Atlanta.  Following this, the film takes us on a journey through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Brian’s career isn’t going in the direction that he wants so he jumps at the opportunity to…

"Austin Film Fest 2019: The VICE Guide to Bigfoot"