In The Road Movie, director Dmitrii Kalashnikov uses footage from dashboard cameras of cars in Russia to form a collection of stories. Each clip is its own anecdote with its own set of circumstances. Kalashnikov varies these short episodes so that in the movie’s 72 minutes, we feel terrified, confused and entertained. We are passengers […]
Blood streaks dry on the floor while nervous round children dance and an Irish woman describes “topsy-turvy” Syrian bomb-outs in a utopia where men cry and exiled hippies dress the entrails of cyberhell in corporate manifestos. Adam Curtis’ mammoth HyperNormalisation addresses the collapse of established reality in the wider world, examining substitute narratives, suicide bombings, […]
A group of little blonde girls flood into the frame all dressed in the same red, white and blue, pageant-like outfit. There’s a loud, overall chatter as these girls giggle and converse with each other. Among the discourse, you can hear one girl distinctly murmur “JonBenet Ramsey”. Then, the scene cuts to a little girl […]
First-time Polish director Anna Zamecka’s documentary Communion has a deceptively simple premise: a Polish teenager named Ola tends to her autistic brother Nikodem and Marek, her oft-drunk father, in the days leading to and following Nikodem’s First Communion. The truth of the matter is, however, that Communion is so much more than the sum of […]
The True/False Film Festival is a fusion of festivity and creativity that citizens of Columbia enjoy for one weekend out of the year. The 2016 season brought 45 nonfiction films to venues around the city, and I was able to attend the last screening of “The Pearl” that was held at the Blue Note. “The Pearl” features four middle-aged transgender women that are living in the Pacific Northwest. Nina is a part-time pizza deliverer who rarely dresses as herself in public, Jodie and Krystal are two sisters that live together, and Amy is the eldest who operates a safe house for trans women. Film-makers Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LeMarca film the four women as they go through their daily routines discussing their personal journeys.
Steve Jobs reaches all the goals it had set out for: a clear demonstration of the man behind Apple, exposition of Job’s work and family life, and dazzling presentation akin to the sleek, artistic model of his products. Directed by the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle, who is best known for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, the movie entertains you and baffles you with a nearly unanswerable question: is Steve Jobs a better man than his products? The movie attempts to answer this in a three-part plot, one in 1984, one in 1988, and the final in 1998, finally tying together plotlines involving his daughter Lisa, his prevalent egoism, and his relationship with lifelong friend Steve Wozniacki. And although the movie covers the development of Apple, I am not sure I agree with Fassbender’s Jobs when he says, “The two most significant events of the twentieth century: the Allies win and this.”
It is not too much of a stretch to view all of history as a desperate attempt to change what has happened in the past. Both in war and in peace, the essential goal of all of humanity has essentially remained the same: to correct past wrongs; to gain what is rightfully one’s own; to ensure that one’s offspring will never have to endure the hardships endured by preceding generations– in essence, to ensure that justice prevails. Therefore, if the human race didn’t have, by and large, a warped and self-centered sense of justice, we would live in a paradise.
There is a moment in Actress when Brandy Burre, the film’s subject, is sitting alone in a playroom, her back against a wall littered with board games and action figures. Brandy looks around her and says softly, “I moved to Beacon, I’m not acting, so this is my creative outlet.” She pauses as though seeking an affirmation from the toys surrounding her, and her voice gains a hint of certainty as she announces again, “I moved to Beacon, I’m not acting, so this is my creative outlet”.
Nightcrawler is a legitimately thrilling film that is at the same time terrifying.
The film follows the story of Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a go-getter who is doing anything to survive. When the film opens up, he is trying to parlay selling stolen chain link fence and copper wire into a construction job and gets shot down. After witnessing freelance cameramen cover the aftermath of a gruesome roadside crash, Lou turns his efforts to broadcast news. He teams up with Nina Romina (Rene Russo), the graveyard shift news manager at a station whose motto is “If it bleeds, it leads.” The rest of film follows Lou as he delves into dark ethical territory in order to get the juiciest footage.
Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is not a superhero movie. It’s a movie about what happens to superheroes after they hang up their masks. The film centers around Riggan Thompson, (Michael Keaton) a washed up actor best known for playing Birdman who attempts to mount a comeback by starring in a play he writes and directs. But when he loses a cast member right before the play is set to debut, he’s forced to bring on veteran Broadway actor Mike Shiner(Edward Norton). Thompson is forced to make adjustments to his play, all while dealing with a frustrated girlfriend, an upset ex-wife and a bitter daughter fresh out of rehab (Emma Stone) all while Thompson’s flustered friend/ manager Jake (Zach Galifianakis) tries to hold the play together.