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Art -The Inner Strength of Joan Didion, The Center Will Not Hold— A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

November 07, 2017

The Inner Strength of Joan Didion,
The Center Will Not Hold—

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

Part chronicle of an iconic American writer, part love story, the new Netflix documentary, The Center Will Not Hold, sketches the literary trajectory of writer, wife, mother and magical thinker Joan Didion with an objective reverence that belies the relationship between her filmmaker nephew, Griffin Dunne and subject... read more >

 

Film - The Big Short- A Series About Why Short Films Matter, A Film Review

October 26, 2017

The Big Short-
A Series About Why Short Films Matter

Review by Jennifer Parker

Once upon a time going to the movies meant seeing a short film before the main feature. That was last century, we are in 2017 and the short film has emerged as an exciting cinematic medium that even has its own Oscar category. It’s a way for filmmakers to prove they’re worth financing a bigger budget... read more >

 

Art - Basquiat—The Unanswerable Answer to the Art World - Film

October 07, 2017

Basquiat—The Unanswerable Answer to the Art World
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat—

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat is Sara Driver’s first feature in almost twenty—five years. She opens with a shot from her husband, Jim Jarmusch’s film, Permanent Vacation—a pre Rudy Giuliani Lower Manhattan—dirty, almost abandoned, broken windows, as if all the colors bled in the wash and everyone forgot to care... read more >

 

Film -  The Big Picture, Faces Places, A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

October 03, 2017

The Big Picture
Faces Places

A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

Faces Places transforms the quotidian into objects of fascination. The meta documentary is a film about the process of making art yet the subjects are so lacking in narcissism that it’s a delight to watch... read more >

 

FILM - There’s Something About Brad, Brad’s Status— A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

September 07, 2017

There’s Something About Brad
Brad’s Status—

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

Ben Stiller is all grown up. I mean it. He plays the role of Brad Sloan in Brad’s Status with absolute gravitas. It isn’t an easy role. Much of the dramedy (gag, someone please come up with a better word!) relies on Brad’s interior dialogue. Round shouldered, slow to smile, introspective, self-critical but not self-loathing is a lot to put on a protagonist... read more >

 

Gaga for Bobbi Jene, Bobbi Jene— A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

September 22, 2017

Gaga for Bobbi Jene,
Bobbi Jene—

A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

Bobbi Jene sees the possibility of a body in motion where others see a concrete wall. She finds inspiration for choreography in not what is mundane but what is foundational to modern human existence—to physical building materials that protect us... read more >

 

Art - May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers— A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

September 07, 2017

“A Breathing Time Machine”
(lyrics from Laundry Room-The Avett Brothers),
May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers—

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

Folk rock is kind of the “not otherwise specified” exception diagnosis for those of us who can’t quite stomach the idea of identifying with anything to do with country music. There’s a few artists who fall into this category. The greats include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tracey Chapman and Leonard Cohen... read more >

 

Art - Move Over Hogwarts—The Practical Magic Is at Headfort, School Life—A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker - A Film Review

September 07, 2017

Move Over Hogwarts—The Practical Magic Is at Headfort,
School Life

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

Maybe it’s the fairytale castle in the verdant lushness that can only exist in Ireland. Perhaps it’s the somewhat beatnik headmaster telling a roomful of children between the ages of seven and thirteen that they are already in charge of their own lives and discovering that his words are anything but trite... read more >

 

Art - The Evolution of an Artist, Polina-- A Film Review

August 24, 2017

The Evolution of an Artist
Polina--

Review by Jennifer Parker

From somewhere on a bridge between a coming of age movie and a dance film, the French directors Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljoçaj bring us Polina. This is an enchanting and emotionally bare film about a Millennial dancer growing up in post-Cold-War Moscow, who discovers after a decade of classical training that she doesn’t want to be a ballerina... read more >

 

Art - The Dog Days of Summer—Two Ways to Beat the Heat, Lemon and Logan Lucky- A Film Review

August 18, 2017

The Dog Days of Summer—Two Ways to Beat the Heat Lemon and Logan Lucky-

Review by Jennifer Parker

It’s August 2017. The news is no fun no matter what side of the political spectrum you find yourself on—but we’re in the good ole U.S of A and Americans have a long tradition of going to the movies when times are tough... read more >

 

Art - Reclaiming Their Time, Whose Streets? - a review by Jennifer Parker

August 10, 2017

Reclaiming Their Time
Whose Streets?

A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

There is something exhilarating, even mind-blowing, about the deeply uncomfortable exploration that Co-Directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis bring to Whose Streets??. The filmmakers wanted to give the Ferguson, Missouri community a narrative that accurately depicts their experience of the aftermath of the extrajudicial killing of Michael Brown... read more >

 

The Mistress, the Publisher, His Son & His Mother, The Only Living Boy in New York: A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

August 05, 2017

The Mistress, the Publisher, His Son & His Mother
The Only Living Boy in New York

A Film Review by Jennifer Parker

Thomas Webb (Callum Turner) is one part Holden Caulfield, one part Benjamin Braddock, one teensy part Ferris Bueller and one part William S. Burroughs all folded into a good looking, angsty and almost but not quite, impossibly handsome millennial package. His strength is capturing the essence of the guy who is floundering and directionless but striving to work himself to a reasonable place... read more >

 

FILM - Only in New York, Person to Person--A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

July 31, 2017

Only in New York
Person to Person

Review by Jennifer Parker

You must have a lot of chutzpah to make a movie about a slice of life in New York City when there is a legacy of iconic films that come before yours. Off the top of my head I can name (in no particular order) Manhattan, Midnight Cowboy, On the Town, Annie Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, West Side Story, My Dinner with Andre and The Muppets Take Manhattan—you get the idea... read more >

 

Art - Santoalla-- the Spaces Between, A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

July 21, 2017

Santoalla-- the Spaces Between

A Film Review by: Jennifer Parker

True crime documentaries are a subgenre of documentary filmmaking that are hard to get right. If heavy handed, they can seem like an episode of Law and Order, if done well the film can be nuanced and captivating... read more >

 

Art - Reading Arthur Miller in Tehran, The Salesman-- A Film Review

July 13, 2017

Reading Arthur Miller in Tehran
The Salesman--

Review by Jennifer Parker

Asghar Farhadi’s seductively crafted drama, The Salesman, opens with the construction of a stage set and the destruction of an apartment building that will be the template for the entire film. To stage Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in Tehran, high school literature teacher by day and theater director by night, Emad (Shahab Hosseini) must deftly work... read more >

 

Art - Killing the ISIS Propaganda Machine City of Ghosts-- A Film Review

July 07, 2017

Killing the ISIS Propaganda Machine
City of Ghosts--

Review by Jennifer Parker

How did I not know about Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently? RBSS is a group of citizen activist journalists who came together to document the atrocities that ISIS was committing in their hometown—dubbed the capital of the Islamic State. Directed, filmed and produced by Emmy-winning filmmaker, Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land)... read more >

 

Art - Bewitched, Bothered and Beguiled, The Beguiled- A Film Review

June 30, 2017

Bewitched, Bothered and Beguiled,
The Beguiled- A Film Review

Review by Jennifer Parker

A wounded soldier who is impossibly handsome and has an adorable Irish accent is shacking up with seven women who seem exasperated about doing everything for themselves. The Civil War is in year three. Most of their friends have left, brothers and fathers are dead, most of them have nowhere else to go... read more >

 

Art - A Spoonful of Sugar-- Not Saccharine The Big Sick: A Film Review

June 20, 2017

A Spoonful of Sugar-- Not Saccharine
The Big Sick: A Film Review

Review by Jennifer Parker

A romantic comedy about Millennials confronting mortality – add a bit of culture clash, and throw Producer, Judd Apatow (This is 40) into the mix and you get a film that is contemporary without being trendy at the same time... read more >

 

Art - Fiona and the Tramp Lost in Paris- a review by Jennifer Parker

June 16, 2017

Fiona and the Tramp
Lost in Paris- a review

Review by Jennifer Parker

Who hasn’t fantasized about living in Paris? I mean, not to knock the climate in Northern Canada but considering all that Paris offers, it isn’t much of a contest. Lost in Paris (Oscilloscope Laboratories) opens with eight-year-old Fiona (Emmy Boissard Paumelle) and her Aunt Martha standing on a snowy vista overlooking their North Pole... read more >

 

Beatriz at dinner

June 14, 2017

Beatriz at dinner

Beatriz at Dinner might appear on the surface like a comedy of manners, a simple and familiar fish-out-of-water tale; but it’s also the rare film that feels not just comedic but provocative. Written by Mike White (School of Rock), there are some funny lines of dialogue though this isn’t a laugh a minute comedy... read more >

 

Art - Not Made in America-- Three films that get it right: The Wedding Plan, One Week and a Day, and The Commune by Jennifer Parker

May 26, 2017

Not Made in America - Three films that get it right:
The Wedding Plan, One Week and a Day, and The Commune

Review by Jennifer Parker

From the beginning of film history, movies have tried to tackle large social issues through a variety of genres. What makes a film remarkable is when the writer/director can marry different genres together and arrive at a work that not only has made nearly a 400 percent return on its original production costs in eight weeks but challenges the way we talk about complex social mores... read more >

 

Art - Let’s talk about the hard stuff: Get Out by Jennifer Parker

May 07, 2017

Let’s talk about the hard stuff: Get Out

Review by Jennifer Parker

From the beginning of film history, movies have tried to tackle large social issues through a variety of genres. What makes a film remarkable is when the writer/director can marry different genres together and arrive at a work that not only has made nearly a 400 percent return on its original production costs in eight weeks but challenges the way we talk about complex social mores... read more >

 

FILM - Cameraperson, dir. Kristen Johnson: stories from behind the camera lens

May 28, 2016

Art Cameraperson,
dir. Kristen Johnson: stories from behind the camera lens
Review by Anya Prokhorkina

Have you ever wondered how do they film those stories that you see in the thought-provoking documentaries that deal with the complexities of the today’s world? What happens to the person behind the camera standing out there under the bullets? Kirsten Johnson shares her experience in personal essay film Cameraperson. read more >

 

Strange Days directed by Kathryn Bigelow (1995) by Raqi Syed

August 06, 2015

Film
The Revolution Will Be Projected into Our Cerebral Cortex:
Strange Days and Imagining VR

Strange Days directed by Kathryn Bigelow (1995)

Reviewed by Raqi Syed

Young men routinely pulled over by the police for driving while black. Racially conscious rap artists lauded by ordinary citizens as cultural bards, and decried by local city governments as fomenters of hate... read more >

 

World of Tomorrow and the Quit-Bang Language of the Future

June 11, 2015

Film
World of Tomorrow and the Quit-Bang Language of the Future
Directed by Don Hertzfeldt, 2015

Review by Raqi Syed

I came of age with the internet. In 1994, I opened my first email account and used a unix based client called Pine to read it. With Pine I learned about not just the first inklings of a kind of anxiety-reward based system of behavior we now call social media, but also the language that is so specific to it...
read more >

 

Quintet - Directed by Robert Altman, 1979

May 15, 2015

Quintet
Directed by Robert Altman, 1979

If winter did indeed come, and all the Five Kingdoms exhausted their power by killing each other and succumbing to a cold front that never left, you’d end up with a barren post global-cooling world in which the lords and ladies of House Lannister were reduced to playing some pitiful board game that is really a metaphor for the art of war and the existential dread of living... read more >

 

Classic Movie Short Review: Croupier (1998)

May 07, 2015

Classic Movie Short Review:
Croupier (1998)

Review by Emily Stewart

Jack is a fledgling writer whose career is at a standstill. Forced to take a job outside his area of expertise, he accepted a post as a casino croupier. Jack thought that being a croupier would only mean long, tedious hours of work ahead of him. However, little did he know that his job would allow him to gather the materials he needed to write a best-selling book... read more >

 

Popeye - Directed by Robert Altman

April 02, 2015

Film
Popeye
Directed by Robert Altman, 1980
Reviewed by Raqi Syed

The first thing I learned in film school was this: when introducing yourself in class, name your road to Damascus; the film that started it all for you. Acceptable answers are Star Wars, Jaws, Breathless, Persona. Any Truffaut film would do, and the second [or fifth] Star Wars... read more >

 

3 Women - Directed by Robert Altman, 1977

February 05, 2015

Film
3 Women
Directed by Robert Altman, 1977

There has been much discussion about how 3 Women is a film that came entirely to Robert Altman as a dream. The result is meant to be what he transcribed of it. The film certainly has a subversive, incoherent quality that many films of the ‘70s possess... read more >

 

Boyhood

November 06, 2014

Film Review
Boyhood
Directed by Richard Linklater, 2014

by Raqi Syed

In an interview with NPR discussing the genesis of his film Boyhood, Richard Linklater mentions that when he began to think about the story, he imagined writing it as a novel, even an experimental novel... read more >

 

What We Do in the Shadows

September 11, 2014

Film
What We Do in the Shadows
directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, 2014

by Raqi Syed

It used to be the case that parody was the final signifier by which a genre had become so ubiquitous, its conventions so overplayed, that the only way in which the genre could continue on for another cycle was to spiral in on itself... read more >