Homewrecker Leaves You Speechless

“Sisterhood has not been this menacingly funny since Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?“ By Elias Savada. There’s a devilish wink running through this (mostly) housebound tale of two generations setting off against one another. In one corner is Linda (Precious Chong, daughter of Tommy, who also helped finance the film […]

Learning to Tell a Story: Scorsese Shorts (Criterion Collection)

By John Duncan Talbird. In 1974, soon after the splash of Mean Streets (1973), his first major directorial success, Martin Scorsese made a documentary about his parents, Italianamerican. Aside from still photos of the family and archival footage of Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood during the early 20th century, the film […]

On the Queen and Her People – Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

By Ali Moosavi. She has been called The First Lady of Song and Queen of Jazz, titles which Ella Fitzgerald truly earned. In the documentary, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2019), veteran British documentary filmmaker Leslie Woodhead charts Ella’s life from becoming a teenage orphan, running away from […]

The Comic Don’ts of Spying (and Filmmaking): My Spy

By Elias Savada. I wasn’t sure what to expect before watching My Spy, an action family comedy now streaming online. Mix a tough looking guy (Dave Bautista) with a cute, ornery 9-year-old (Chloe Coleman) with a small dose of cartoon characters. Alas, Wile E. Coyote would not approve of this […]

Stay Angry: Jon Stewart’s Irresistible

By Elias Savada. Entertainer Jon Stewart has been pissed off at a lot of things, but I suspect nothing riles him more than two words: Citizens United. During his years hosting The Daily Show he would rant and rave (and, out of necessity, joke) with innumerable guests about the influence […]

Rocking (and Tripping) in the Desert: Stuart Swezey’s Desolation Center

By Thomas Puhr. Los Angeles probably isn’t the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of American punk rock, but Stuart Swezey’s Desolation Center (2018) successfully shines a light on one of the genre’s lesser-known cultural hubs. The titular organization, founded by Swezey himself, held a series of […]

A Rookie Director Takes to the Skies: 7500

By Elias Savada. German-born filmmaker Patrick Vollrath’s first feature, the foreign-financed, English-language 7500 (pronounced seven-five-zero-zero), is the latest in a long string of airplane hijacking movies. Since most folks are not doing any flying these days (stay home, stay safe), you might find meager travel points accumulating in your frequent […]

Whose Truth is the Truth? Agnieszka Holland’s Mr. Jones

By Thomas Puhr. “I don’t have an agenda,” intones journalist Gareth Jones (James Norton) in Agnieszka Holland’s historical drama, Mr. Jones (2019). “Unless you call truth an agenda.” While some write off his stance as idealistic naivete, he is not speaking in an abstract, philosophical sense. The truth, in this […]

Bruce McDonald’s Dreamland: Side Effects Include Drowsiness

By Rod Lott. With Dreamland, the Canadian creative triumvirate of raconteurs behind 2008’s beloved Pontypool are back together, Musketeers-style: director Bruce McDonald, writer Tony Burgess and actor Stephen McHattie. To cut right to the chase, lightning does not strike twice. Set in Europe – the part that throbs with the […]