A wholly original film with a twist you never see coming, Damsel is a hysterical western from the minds of David Zellner and Nathan Zellner. Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) has tracked down the location of the woman he plans to marry, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska). As he sets through in his journey, he hires Parson Henry (David Zellner) to officiate the wedding when he finds his future bride in addition to a gift, a miniature horse called Butterscotch. Samuel…"Damsel: A Wholly Original Western"
Wild Nights with Emily offers a look at poet Emily Dickinson with an approach that only writer/director Madeline Olnek can tell. Through her role in Other People and the Sundance-premiering Private Life, Saturday Night Live alumnus Molly Shannon has proven to have a wider range as an actress. Her role as Emily Dickinson proves to be no different in what may very well be one of the best lesbian comedies in years. Through Olnek’s script,…"Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily"
Filmed in black-and-white 16mm film, 1985 is an incredibly moving film from writer-director Yen Tan. After his boyfriend dies of AIDS, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) leaves New York for his hometown in Texas during the holidays to visit with his family. He’s in the closet, which isn’t a surprise given the 1980s setting. At the time when the AIDS crisis was growing, anyone would be scared to come out to their family! By visiting with…"Frameline 2018: 1985"
American Animals uses a narrative/documentary hybrid approach in telling the absurd but true story of the Transylvania University library heist. Flashback to the fall of 2003 if you will. Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) is touring the Special Collections archive at the Transylvania University library. The freshman finds himself intrigued and fascinated by the artwork of John James Audubon. Admiring the artwork, Spencer starts to get these absurd idea to steal the rare collection. He manages to…"American Animals: A Crazy True-Crime Story"
In Hearts Beat Loud, director Brett Haley has managed to do it again. This time, Haley, who pens the script with Marc Basch, goes musical and offers up a touching story about a father and daughter starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. Hearts Beat Loud may just be Haley’s best film ever–a musical masterpiece. There’s something about a Haley film that takes a side player from a previous film and they end up delivering one of their…"Hearts Beat Loud: A Musical Masterpiece"
Upgrade is a film that, like James Cameron’s The Terminator before it, shows that humankind is perhaps a bit too dependent on technology. There may be elements of violence but Upgrade isn’t the all-out horror type of film that we’ve come to expect from writer/director Leigh Whannell. There may be some bloody elements given Grey Trace’s (Logan Marshall-Green) new abilities that come from having an upgrade on his body. This is a film that’s full of…"Upgrade: An Homage to 1980s Sci-Fi Thrillers"
First Reformed is a mesmerizing drama about a pastor who counsels a husband and wife. Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a former Army chaplain, is a pastor at the First Reformed Church in the fictional town of Snowbridge, N.Y. The Dutch Reform church has grown some fame by having been a station on along the Underground Railround. However, as the church approaches 250 years, it doesn’t contain the magic that used to be there. While…"First Reformed: A Mesmerizing Drama"
The 2011 smartly-written time-bending thriller, Source Code, arrived on 4K Ultra HD this past week giving audiences the opportunity to watch the sci-fi thriller over and over. It’s right before Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) truly comes to terms in learning he’s in the body of teacher Sean Fentress (Frédérick De Grandpré) in which the Chicago Commuter Rail train explodes. Even though it’s a sci-fi thriller, there’s an added layer of romance between Fentress and Christina…"Source Code arrives on 4K Ultra HD"
Eighth Grade, the closing night selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, is a film that perfectly captures the spirit and awkwardness of being a student in the final year of middle school. Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) may be close to starting high school but before doing so, she must survive the end of eighth grade. It’s not easy for the smartphone-obsessed teenager. Even though she has a YouTube channel where she offers advice…"CCFF 2018: Eighth Grade"
American Animals takes an interesting approach to storytelling with a narrative/documentary hybrid in telling the absurd but true story of the Transylvania University library heist. Flashback to the fall of 2003 when Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) is touring the Special Collections archive at the Transylvania University library. Fascinated by the artwork of John James Audubon, Spencer starts to get these absurd idea to steal the rare collection. He does so with the help of his…"CCFF 2018: American Animals"