Several Festival Films Opening This Weekend

A number of films that premiered earlier this year during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival are opening in theaters this weekend. I reviewed Adam earlier this year for Out Magazine.  This film has garnered a lot of attention and controversy on social media.  Most of the controversy has to do with what is in the book rather than what is in the film.  The film has managed to spark a boycott movement–one of which I…

"Several Festival Films Opening This Weekend"

The Art of Self-Defense: A Dark Comedy

The Art of Self-Defense takes a dark comedic look at toxic masculinity but does so while grounding it in the world of karate. Accountant Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg) is forced to sign up for karate classes after a he gets jumped by a motorcycle gang.  It’s only because there’s no more dog food.  Man’s best friend comes first, right?!?  Casey does the first logical thing he can think of when he leaves the hospital: buy…

"The Art of Self-Defense: A Dark Comedy"

Sword of Trust: Wait, WHO won the war?

Sword of Trust, brilliantly written by Lynn Shelton and Mike O’Brien, finds a way to mix both the political with the funny in this ensemble comedy. Pawnshop owner Mel (Marc Maron) has one of the most inept employees in Nathaniel (Jon Bass).  When it comes to his shop’s customers, Mel is the type who deceives them.  Mel hits the jackpot one day when married lesbian couple Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and Mary (Michaela Watkins) enter the…

"Sword of Trust: Wait, WHO won the war?"

State of Pride: Interview with Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, and Raymond Braun

Filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman were joined by activist Raymond Braun in discussing the YouTube documentary, State of Pride. Both Epstein and Friedman are coming off of an Oscar nomination for End Game.   It was Friedman’s first Oscar nomination.  Epstein previously won two Oscars for Best Documentary, Features in 1985 and 1990. State of Pride is currently available to watch on YouTube. How thrilling is it to premiere State of Pride at SXSW? Jeffrey…

"State of Pride: Interview with Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, and Raymond Braun"

Running with Beto goes Behind The Scenes

Running with Beto goes behind the scenes of Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 U.S. Senate campaign as he sought to defeat Ted Cruz in Texas. As far as political documentaries are concerned, this film doesn’t break any new ground.  It may be fascinating to watch but this is the extent.  Even the film’s relevancy needs to be questioned in the sense of whether this is because of the senate race or presidential campaign.  Last year, O’Rourke was…

"Running with Beto goes Behind The Scenes"

Frances Ferguson with Bob Byington, Kaley Wheless

Filmmaker Bob Byington and actress Kaley Wheless spoke with Solzy at the Movies about Frances Ferguson during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. I sat down with the duo on the first Friday of SXSW before things became crazy.  David Krumholtz, who co-stars as a group therapist, was supposed to join us but he wasn’t able to make it in time because of a flight delay. The two of you came up with the story for…

"Frances Ferguson with Bob Byington, Kaley Wheless"

Hillary Pierce talks The River and The Wall

Producer Hillary Pierce joined Solzy at the Movies during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival to discuss the award-winning documentary, The River and The Wall. What was so important about making The River and The Wall? Hillary Pierce:  We felt like it was really important to give a voice to the river and everyone that lives along it including the wildlife.  In this national conversation, there’s just a lot of talk from a lot of people…

"Hillary Pierce talks The River and The Wall"

SXSW 2019: Janice Engel talks Raise Hell

Janice Engel sat down with Solzy at the Movies during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival to discuss Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins. While I was hoping to schedule this interview when the film premiered at Sundance, scheduling didn’t work out.  I spoke with Janice Engel on the Tuesday following the Texas premiere. What was it that drew you to tell Molly Ivins’ story? Janice Engel:  What drew me to Molly’s story…

"SXSW 2019: Janice Engel talks Raise Hell"

SXSW 2019: Talking Bluebird with the Filmmakers

Brian Loschiavo, Erika Wollam Nichols, and Jeff Molyneaux spoke to Solzy at the Movies about Bluebird during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. When Bluebird was announced for the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, the title immediately grabbed my attention.  Unfortunately, the film would premiere after I returned to Chicago.  I decided to look into pre-premiere interview opportunities because I had a strong interest in covering the film.  One, I watched Nashville regularly before the series ended. …

"SXSW 2019: Talking Bluebird with the Filmmakers"

SXSW 2019: Talking The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash

Director Thom Zimny and producers John Carter Cash, Ryan Suffern, and Frank Marshall spoke with Solzy at the Movies about The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash during the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. The interview took place on the Sunday that followed the world premiere of The Gift. SXSW is known for both film and music.  How thrilling is it to premiere the documentary at the festival? Frank Marshall:  It’s sort of meant to be. …

"SXSW 2019: Talking The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash"