Sundance 2021: Passing

Actress Rebecca Hall marks her directorial debut with Passing as she beautifully adapts Nella Larsen’s Harlem-set novella for the screen. When I found out that Rebecca Hall was making this film her directorial debut, I thought how is she qualified to tell a story about two Black women.  I never looked up Hall’s background before.  I would subsequently learn that her mother is opera singer Marie Ewing.  Ewing happens to be of a mixed racial…

"Sundance 2021: Passing"

Sundance 2021: The Sparks Brothers

Edgar Wright brings Ron and Russell Mael’s story to the screen in The Sparks Brothers and their impact on rock music after 50 years. There’s a chance that you’ve probably never heard of Sparks.  But what you don’t know is that they are an inspiration to your favorite band.  Or at least one of them, anyway.  Ron and Russell Mael’s story starts in California.  It later takes them across the pond to the United Kingdom. …

"Sundance 2021: The Sparks Brothers"

Sundance 2021: Wild Indian

Wild Indian is a compelling thriller about a Native American who has essentially rebuilt his life in order to move beyond his past. Makwa (Michael Greyeyes) has long since moved away from the reservation where he grew up.  It isn’t only that he grew up there but he covered up a classmates murder decades earlier.  But here’s the thing about covering up a murder, nobody is ever really safe.  Even if one thinks they are…

"Sundance 2021: Wild Indian"

Sundance 2021: Misha and the Wolves

Misha and the Wolves tells the story of Misha Defonseca in this-really-happened documentary that is truly stranger-than-fiction. Misha Defonseca was only 7 years old when her parents were arrested and taken by the Nazis.  They were taken to Auschwitz.  Sadly, we all know what happens next.  You cannot blame her for doing what she can to survive.  From watching films like Defiance, we know that many Jews would turn to the woods and hide.  Misha…

"Sundance 2021: Misha and the Wolves"

Sundance 2021: My Name is Pauli Murray

My Name is Pauli Murray, the newest film from Julie Cohen and Betsy West, introduces a new generation to the social justice activist. The film is a tight 91 minutes (including the credits, of course) but hits on all the main points.  Going into the film, I didn’t know much about Pauli Murray.  To be fair, I had never even heard of them until I saw that Cohen and West were making this documentary.  In…

"Sundance 2021: My Name is Pauli Murray"

2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony, honoring CODA and Summer of Soul among others was held tonight virtually over YouTube. Patton Oswalt hosted the ceremony tonight in a way that only he can.  In typical Patton Oswalt fashion, the comedian took swipes at Pfizer and Moderna for what they would do with wooing A-list stars to their suites. Tonight’s ceremony followed the World, International, North American, U.S., or Utah premieres of 73 feature films…

"2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards"

Sundance 2021: The World to Come

The World to Come–launching in Venice last year–is the third period lesbian romance drama to grace the screen in as many years. Your eyes do not deceive you.  Rather than France (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) or the United Kingdom (Ammonite), we find ourselves in the United States.  The American Northeast to be exact.  This is where we find Abigail (Katherine Waterston) and new neighbor Tallie (Vanessa Kirby).  To no surprise, Abigail and Tallie…

"Sundance 2021: The World to Come"

Sundance 2021: Mass

Mass is one of the most devastating films to premiere during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival but it has so much to say about grief. There is so much to say here and I honestly do not know where to began.  Cinematically speaking, there’s a lot in this film that reminds me of American Son (2019).  Much of this is due to how the film is limited to just the one room.  To be fair,…

"Sundance 2021: Mass"

Sundance 2021: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair is a film that plays more like a midnight movie than a Sundance selection in the NEXT program. Anna Cobb makes her feature film debut as a teenage girl, Casey, immersed in the World’s Fair Challenge.  That’s really the gist of the film.  What this requires is reciting a phrase three times, pricking a finger, and smear blood on the screen.  If you ask me, it’s a cultish…

"Sundance 2021: We’re All Going to the World’s Fair"

Sundance 2021: First Date

First Date, screening in Sundance’s NEXT program, is will certainly a contender for the best debut feature whenever it comes out in theaters. Or streaming.  But hopefully theaters. I should stress that there is a scene during the credits. It takes a lot of guts to ask someone out for the first time.  I get it, Mike (Tyson Brown).  Taking the first step isn’t easy but you’ve got to do it sometime.  Okay, so the…

"Sundance 2021: First Date"