Holler: Jessica Barden Shines In Nicole Riegel’s Feature Debut

Holler, starring Jessica Barden, marks an impressive feature debut for writer-director Nicole Riegel in the Southern Ohio-set production. It’s no lie that manufacturing towns are among the first towns to take a hit when the economy takes a downturn.  Jackson, Ohio is certainly no exception.  For Ruth Avery (Jessica Barden), she’s willing to do whatever it takes to go to college and have a better future.  Working with her brother Blaze (Gus Halper), Ruth soon…

"Holler: Jessica Barden Shines In Nicole Riegel’s Feature Debut"

Outfest 2020: The Obituary of Tunde Johnson

The Obituary of Tunde Johnson may be another time loop film on paper but the film’s theme makes it incredibly relevant for 2020. A Black teen, Tunde Johnson (Steven Silver), relives the same day repeatedly–always waking up after getting shot and killed by police.  Getting killed over and over leads Tunde to confront his own life.  Where does he fit in a world that judges him for being Black?  Born in Africa, Tunde and his…

"Outfest 2020: The Obituary of Tunde Johnson"

Outfest 2020: Shiva Baby

Writer-director Emma Seligman‘s stupendous feature debut, Shiva Baby, expands on the 2018 short film in one of the most Jewish films to grace the screen. Shiva is a seven-day mourning period in the Jewish religion.  This period traditionally starts following the burial.  Mourners stay home during this period while family and friends come over to offer condolences.  A minyan will usually gather in the afternoon and evening in order for mourners to recite Mourner’s Kaddish…

"Outfest 2020: Shiva Baby"

9to5: The Story of a Movement

Oscar-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar look back at the history of the Working Women’s Movement in 9to5: The Story of a Movement. Make no mistake that the American Factory filmmakers are contenders once more.  The movement inspired hit film 9 to 5, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in December.  Appropriately, Dolly Parton’s song is played during the closing credits. It’s often said that you can’t know where you’re going until you know where…

"9to5: The Story of a Movement"

SXSW 2020: Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time

Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time utilizes both interviews and archival footage to tell the definitive story of the Laurel Canyon music scene over two parts. Echo in the Canyon is just one part of the story.  What documentary filmmaker Alison Ellwood does is tell a story through mixing interviews with archival footage.  The end result is a beautiful documentary.  It isn’t without its sadness given the time period.  The film also serves as a…

"SXSW 2020: Laurel Canyon: A Place in Time"

SXSW 2020: I Will Make You Mine

I Will Make You Mine is a semi-sequel but writer-director Lynn Chen seeks to tell a stand-alone story by focusing on three different women. While the film is a semi-sequel to two previous films, writer-director Lynn Chen writes the script with a new angle.  Despite being a semi-sequel, the film is meant to serve as a stand-alone story.  However, I should suggest that you probably have some familiarity with characters going into a viewing.  I…

"SXSW 2020: I Will Make You Mine"

Tribeca 2020: Love Spreads

Love Spreads is an exploration of the creative process when the pressure is mounting on band members to put together another album. Following the end of their first tour, the members of Glass Heart head to Rockfield Studios to record their sophomore album.  The trio–and their band manager–are couped up there in an effort to create some music.  Like any sophomore effort, the pressure is on and for singer-songwriter Kelly (Alia Shawkat), it starts to…

"Tribeca 2020: Love Spreads"

SXSW 2020: Once Upon a Time in Uganda

Once Upon a Time in Uganda takes us behind the scenes of Wakaliwood by way of a friendship between two people from across the globe. As the documentary opens with the camera pulling back in thrilling fashion, Andrew Hollander’s score would have us believe we’re watching a thriller.  The truth is that this film is not a thriller.  There are some portions of the story that do manage to give off an action vibe.  However,…

"SXSW 2020: Once Upon a Time in Uganda"

SXSW 2020: Insert Coin

Insert Coin provides some closure on WMS/Midway over a decade after Midway was forced into bankruptcy and had to close its doors. Arcades may not be a game of the past but the market sure has changed.  Just like how the cinema landscape is changing to benefit the consumer, the same has transpired in the video game industry.  And yet, here we are on a time machine back to the 1980s and 1990s.  It was…

"SXSW 2020: Insert Coin"

SXSW 2020: After Truth

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News isn’t just an examination of “fake news” but a look into the horrifying consequences. I believe it was President Abraham Lincoln who once said that we shouldn’t believe everything we read on the internet.  The nation’s 16th president most certainly didn’t say those comments but every now and then, a meme circulates around the internet with Lincoln being credited.  However, this film isn’t so much about…

"SXSW 2020: After Truth"