Day: March 30, 2015

Film Review: ‘Mavis!’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of Film First Gospel music great, rhythm-and-blues icon, civil rights activist and all-around living legend Mavis Staples is celebrated with the infectiously joyful enthusiasm of a passionately devoted fan in “Mavis!,” a spirited and captivating bio-doc that richly deserves the exclamation point in its title. Director Jessica Edwards adroitly entwines archival material, newly […]

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Film Review: ‘Quitters’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of SXSW If you were to somehow distill into a single movie character the most insufferable attributes of Holden Caulfield, Max Fischer and the self-absorbed grown-up version of Antoine Doinel, you might come up with someone like the charisma-challenged protagonist of helmer Noah Pritzker’s debut feature, “Quitters.” Pritzker and co-scripter Ben Tarnoff earn […]

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Film Review: ‘Young Tiger’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of Films Distribution Although immigrant stories abound in French cinema, Cyprien Vial’s impressive debut, “Young Tiger,” about an illegal Punjabi teen in France, ranks as something of an anomaly in that it deals with the nation’s seldom-seen Indian Sikh community. Closer in tone to the Dardennes’ “La Promesse” or Ken Loach’s “It’s a […]

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Film Review: ‘In Her Place’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of TimeLapse Pictures An urban woman arrives at a failing farm to watch and wait until an erratic teen gives birth to the child she’ll adopt in Albert Shin’s confident, acutely observed “In Her Place.” If elements of other directors come to mind — Polanski, Bergman — it’s because Canadian helmer Shin, working for the first […]

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Film Review: ‘Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. (1980-90)’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of Jim Saah “Salad Days” provides a solid, borderline exhaustive survey of the Washington, D.C., hardcore punk scene of the 1980s — possibly the nation’s most influential such milieu, if not tied with Los Angeles. Scott Crawford’s feature is playing mostly one-off dates around the country, with longer runs booked at San Francisco’s […]

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Film Review: ‘Dukhtar’

March 30, 2015

Pakistan’s 2014 Oscar entry, “Dukhtar,” is a handsomely made, nicely modulated fugitive drama with forceful social overtones that decries the ongoing practice of marrying child brides in tribal regions of the country’s mountainous north. New York-based scripter-helmer Afia Nathaniel certainly doesn’t shy away from challenges, since the film’s exceptional location work in remote areas of the Punjab […]

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Film Review: ‘A Girl Like Her’

March 30, 2015

Image Courtesy of Parkside Releasing The causes and consequences of teen bullying get a potent if not entirely persuasive airing in “A Girl Like Her,” a mix of found-footage thriller, mock-doc realism and public service announcement that rings true almost as often as it rings false. There is much to admire in writer-director Amy S. Weber’s well-acted, […]

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