More than Music – Trances (Criterion Collection)

By Thomas Puhr. The film eschews many of the conventions associated with concert documentaries; it’s a celebration of a culture – its history, religion, land, and people – without which such music never would have existed.” Even the most devout of audiophiles must admit that nothing quite compares to the […]

Gloriously Leaping Into the New Normal: In the Heights

By Elias Savada. One big, ambitious Latina love letter that anyone can enjoy.” So, after having just been scared back into the movie theater with A Quiet Place Part II, it’s time to head into the darkness again, this time joyously soaring in your socially-distanced seat (if necessary/required) to the […]

No Fake News Here – Storm Lake Caters to the Small-Town Voice

By Elias Savada. A light yet cautionary examination of a tight-knit, eponymous community in Iowa, and how one family has provided an important lifeline via its journal to area folks. And how their readers support it back.” Times have been tough for everyone, especially for those in the news business. […]

Reassessing a Master – ReFocus: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. Tarkovsky is one of those directors who’s cited (and copied) so often that it becomes easy to take for granted just how singular his work remains, but this collection may prompt even the most cynical of critics to reassess his output with fresh eyes.” […]

When Worlds Collide: Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero (1983)

By Tony Williams. Local Hero is much more complex than the frequent tourist’s bird’s eye of an unspoiled Britain. Something more complex, darker, and resonant appears with the frequent viewings it demands.” After some disappointing recent releases, it was welcome news to see Criterion return to its former status with […]

Designer Stereotypes: Craig Gillespie’s Cruella

By Elias Savada. Playing like a broad comedy, Cruella offers a stereotypical look at many of the characters who parade in and out during the film’s extensive running time.” Two well-coiffed cats are let out of their retro style, high fashion bags in a new live-action origin spectacle from Disney, […]

Challenging the Myths of the Australian Frontier: High Ground

By Theresa Rodewald. Instead of perpetuating the myth of Australia as terra nullius or ’empty land’ that previous to European settlement had not belonged to anyone, the film depicts the clash of colonisers and First Nations people in a country that had been anything but empty.” Gorgeously shot and drawing […]

Between God and the Streets: Zeshwan Ali’s Two Gods

By Edward Avery-Natale. The potential conflict of God and the streets is but one collocation in a film ripe with dialectical appositions, which are themselves well represented by the choice to shoot the movie in black and white.” Two Gods, directed by Zeshwan Ali, is a study in contrast and […]

Underdogs Unite! Dream Horse Rouses to Victory

By Elias Savada. Director Euros Lyn, a Welshman himself, creates an affectionate rendering of country life and the subtle idiosyncrasies of the people in this one (race) horse town….” The true story about thoroughbred racehorse Dream Alliance that was transformed into the rousing documentary Dark Horse back in 2015 has […]