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Max Winkler’s Flower Sour

By Elias Savada. I didn’t like Max Winkler’s first feature, the dreary comedy Ceremony (2011), a quirky tic of a wedding crasher film. My impression of his directorial abilities hasn’t changed much in Flower, a jaded Valley Girl vigilante drama that screams “watch my petals wilt” as shell-shocked patrons wander out of art houses trying […]

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Role-Playing Writ Small: I Kill Giants

By Elias Savada. Children dealing with their fears – although not those anxieties normally associated with horror genre tropes like The Dark, Loud Noises, and such – play a central role in I Kill Giants, which melds one Eastern Long Island, New York, family’s enigmatic trauma with monstrous, noxious beasts that inhabit the mind of a […]

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A Misguided Adventure: A Wrinkle in Time

By Elias Savada. If I were a 12-year-old girl (particularly one of color), I probably would be anxiously awaiting, with all my BFFs, the arrival of A Wrinkle in Time, the transformative adaptation (as opposed to the dismal 2003 television version, also brought to you by Disney) of the beloved, best-selling children’s book by Madeleine L’Engle. […]

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More Mood Than Mayhem: They Remain

By Elias Savada. In case you’re not feeling enough dread after watching Natalie Portman push her way through The Shimmer in the unsettling Annihilation, there are similar aural, low-frequency bass rumblings that might send your mind and body into similar fits in the smaller but nearly as disquieting They Remain. This horror-lite tale harkens up […]

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And the Animated Shorts Nominees Are…

By Elias Savada. The Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts in competition for the ceremony this Friday are a disparate, probing set. They include Lou, the 7-minute Pixar entry directed by Dave Mullins and produced by Dana Murray. If you saw Cars 3 at the Cineplex last summer, this charming, colorful CGI work was the better part of that show. It […]

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Pedestrian Action: 7 Guardians of the Tomb

By Elias Savada. The Mummy was a huge, expensive flop last year, and relics of the archaeology digs genre are still up and about (Lara Croft is due back shortly). But if you have a craving for some lame action adventure down under from Down Under, 7 Guardians of the Tomb is ready for your viewing. […]

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Laughing at the Land of Oddz: Closure

By Elias Savada. There have been plenty of movies that have skewered the sunbaked air of Los Angeles and the strange people who breathe it – Mick Jackson’s L.A. Story and Robert Altman’s The Player remain two of my favorites – but folks, if you find somewhere showing writer-director Alex Goldberg’s Closure following its world premiere at the DC Independent […]

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The Boy Who Fell To Earth: The Astronaut’s Bodies (Die Körper der Astronauten)

By Elias Savada. Russian-born and German-trained Alisa Berger shows off her experimental and artistic tendencies in The Astronaut’s Bodies, a graduation project for the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. Her first feature is a meditative family drama that extends its light story line (also by Berger) into juxtaposed threads surrounding a single parent and […]

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Social Critique, in Truth and Fiction: 2018 Oscar Nominated Live Action and Documentary Shorts

By Elias Savada. With less than a month before we find out how many Academy Awards The Shape of Water will actually win, the short list of the shortest films are usually the last entries that most people, even critics, will catch before game night: Sunday, March 4th. Between those 15 movies and the foreign film […]

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Big Dreams and Odd Dwellings: 2018 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts

By Gary M. Kramer. The best short films hook viewers, carry them through the story, and deliver a surprising finish. Animation is best when it is used to depict things that cannot quite happen in real life – especially when animation is used to do this in inventive ways. The five animated shorts competing for […]

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