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MISS STEVENS Review

The introverted Billy (Timothée Chalamet) is explaining this peculiar band name to the prim and proper Margot (Lili Reinhart) as the song “Sister Golden Hair” plays on the car radio. They’re both high school students and, along with the flamboyantly gay Sam (Anthony Quintal), are headed to a weekend drama competition. Their school no longer formally funds such pursuits, so it’s been turned into an extracurricular field trip, and the kids are chaperoned and driven both ways by Rachel Stevens (Lily Rabe), a young English teacher.

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THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT Review

Many of us outsiders are absolutely captivated by North Korea and its regime of dictators – myself included. We hear one bizarre story after another, and things only seem to be getting weirder and more horrific as the years pass.

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OPERATION AVALANCHE Review

When I first saw Matt Johnson’s feature debut, The Dirties, at the Sarasota Film Festival way back in 2013, I realized that he had restored what little faith I had left in an already dying found-footage genre. By blending a strong technical presence, an unending and ever-entertaining comedic wit, and a gut-punch ending, The Dirties became one of my favorite films of the year and left me eagerly anticipating Johnson’s follow-up.

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A FAMILY AFFAIR Review

I went into A Family Affair cold, not knowing what to expect other than what was in the trailer. This movie, as it turns out, is essentially a portrait of a 95-year-old woman told by her 30-year-old grandson. But what differentiates this from any old home video is most certainly the filmmaker Tom Fassaert’s cinematography and at least one major secret that his grandmother is hiding.

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SNOWDEN Review

Edward Snowden is a very intelligent man, he had a very interesting government job, and he did something historic by releasing thousands of classified documents to the press. We know that going into Snowden, and that’s pretty much all we know coming out of it, too.

While it’s somewhat refreshing that noted cinematic rabble-rouser Oliver Stone focuses mostly on the man and not his famous act, there’s a disconnect between the portrait painted and the motivations for informing the American public that their government is spying on them. Contextualization is elusive as the director and co-writer (with Kieran Fitzgerald) takes us through a series of events in a perfunctory manner. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a steady performance – and his voice isn’t nearly as distracting as the trailers suggest, but we never get a sense of what really makes this guy tick.

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BLAIR WITCH Review

The words “found” and “footage” appear in the opening text of The Blair Witch Project and the film that follows ushered in a subgenre that’s been omnipresent ever since. Sure it wasn’t the first, but the 1999 flick brought the technique to the mainstream and most found footage movies since have faltered with justifying the style and/or using it effectively. For every [REC] and Cloverfield there are seemingly dozens of indistinguishable queasy-cam snoozers. Blair Witch, the sequel to the granddaddy of modern pseudo-documentary horror, belongs with the indistinguishables.

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Criterion Announces December 2016 Titles

The Criterion Collection has announced their planned releases for this December, with Luis Buñuel‘s The Exterminating AngelLaurie Anderson‘s Heart of a Dog, John Huston‘s The Asphault Jungle, and Federico Fellini‘s Roma. Take a look below for details on each of the December

Tom Ford’s NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Teaser Trailer Starring Amy Adams

Focus Features has released a new teaser trailer for Tom Ford‘s (A Single Man) upcoming thriller, Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen.

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Joel Potrykus’ THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK Trailer

Buzzard turned out to be one of my favorite indies of last year, and director Joel Potrykus is back in 2016 with his next feature, The Alchemist Cookbook, and Oscilloscope has released a new trailer for it this week. The film stars Ty

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OTHER PEOPLE Review

If you’ve been around long enough, you have inevitably been in a stressful, overwhelming situation. And at some point you realize that your prior belief in regards to such stressful, overwhelming situations – that this kind of scenario, whatever it may be, only happens to “other people” – is undeniably false. Bad things happen to everyone, and you and your loved ones are no exception. It’s a hard truth, but it’s one everybody picks up on sooner or later.

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UNSUNG INDIES: Albert Birney and Jon Moses’ THE BEAST PAGEANT

There are a number of aspects to the feature-length debut of Albert Birney and Jon Moses that can be seen (and should be seen) as impressive achievements in the realm of DIY creativity and execution; so many, in fact, that deciding upon the most crucial of these executions in terms of rendering the film an overall success is an impossible task as all of these imaginative facets are integral to the film’s overall charm and allure. The handmade sets, the creature costumes, the original music, the animation techniques, among others all coalesce into one of the more singular films to surface in the past decade (or so); one overloaded with imagination and fantasy.