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Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché – Saluting the Film Archival Community

By Elias Savada. In a way, I consider myself a film archivist. I don’t do that for a living now, but I do have close ties with many such institutions, especially in the United States (the larger repositories being the Library of Congress, NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, Rochester’s George Eastman Museum, the UCLA Film […]

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Peace & Love, 50 Years On – Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

By Elias Savada. Fifty years ago (gulp!) I never made it to Woodstock. I didn’t even try, although I had a hallucinogenic blast four years later at the 1973 Summer Jam in Watkins Glen (instant weekend population: 600,000). $10 to see the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band perform. Drove up from D.C., […]

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It’s a Hard Knock Life: American Woman

By Elias Savada. Wanna watch a train wreck? Sienna Miller plays one in Jake Scott’s third feature. For the first half-hour of this blue-collar salute to misguided motherhood (and the remorse that follows in the wake of a parent’s “worst nightmare” scenario), Miller plays Deb Callahan, an angry, immature 31-year-old single mother and grandmother who […]

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Kal-El Spelled Badly Is Brightburn

By Elias Savada. Here’s a twist on one of those what if comic book, sci-fi scenarios. What if an alien baby (conveniently human in form) crashes to Earth and becomes an evil superhero. A real vindictive one. His small, single occupancy spacecraft arrives not in Superman’s adopted hometown of Smallville, Kansas (the eponymous name of […]

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Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy: The Spy Behind Home Plate

By Elias Savada. I can’t take credit for creating that tagline, but it is a perfect John Le Carré allusion. It’s from author Nicholas Dawidoff (who appears in this film), who used it as a title for a 1992 article for Sports Illustrated about a most unusual renaissance man. Aviva Kempner, D.C.’s premiere Jewish filmmaker, is […]

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A Disquieting Tale: Unarmed Man

By Elias Savada. Harold Jackson III is a very focused, and quite talented, individual. He does just about everything in Unarmed Man, his latest feature: executive producer, producer, director, writer, director of photography. He handles all chores well, as he has done for most of his career as a DC-based filmmaker, including for the underappreciated Last […]

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Trick and Treat: Penny Lane’s Hail Satan?

By Elias Savada. Never has a Penny Lane film been this funny. An academic-now-turned-full-professional-documentary-filmmaker, she has provided a window into the weird and wonderful for the last half-dozen or so years with her handful of features and several compelling shorts. She loves to take unusual relics of our planet and expose them in any variety […]

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Super Heroes Matter – Avengers: Endgame

By Elias Savada. It has come to this, the emotional end of the Marvel Comic Universe as we know it. In our real world, mankind has been gifted with 22 movies featuring (mostly) beloved characters. The magnificently collected groups of superheroes (Black Panther and Captain Marvel being among the latest additions) have traveled far and […]

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Fessenden Meets a Brooklyn Frankenstein: Depraved

By Elias Savada. Larry Fessenden has plenty of fans. A versatile producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer, and actor in dozens of low-budget flicks, he’s left his mark for more than two decades on the horror genre. Since he’s heavily influenced by the classic Universal monsters, it is not surprising that his latest entry, Depraved, is a […]

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Probing Bannon: Alison Klayman and Marie Therese Guirgis on The Brink

By Elias Savada. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is just 9 blocks east of the White House, the work place of Stephen K. Bannon, a friend and strategist of the Commander in-Chief until his banishment from official duties in 2017. He still haunts the Capitol Hill neighborhood where he lives and works, but moviegoers will spot […]

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