MGTB 8

MEN GO TO BATTLE Review

Setting, what is essentially, a buddy comedy within the timeline of the Civil War seems like a novel idea (and it is) but what makes Zachary Treitz and Kate Lyn Sheil’s film truly distinctive is their ability to blend a somber exploration of human inadequacies in and around the antics of the bumbling Brothers Mellon; where rejection is catalyst for bad decisions and one’s inability to connect with the world might lead them to join the Union Army.

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HER WILDERNESS Review

Minimalist may be the sturdiest of descriptors for Mosley’s sophomore effort with dialogue sparse and connectivity between actions remaining faint and ill-defined. All possibilities of potential meanings/readings hold an embedded residence with the viewer which is true of most films, but even more so with Mosley’s since he leaves everything open to interpretation. All character motivations and development (even the interconnectivity of the characters themselves) are represented as merely vapors, dispersed over the course of the film.

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MICROBE & GASOLINE Review

Considering Gondry’s reputation, born out of these inclinations and affinities, a certain expectation might exist when going into a film titled, Microbe & Gasoline; a film centering around two adolescent males and their budding friendship that leads the two of them to construct a homemade gardening shed/go-kart hybrid vehicle to gain independence, spending the summer gallivanting around France in search of adventure.

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THE CIRCUS ANIMALS Review

The passion behind Nicholas Bateman’s feature-length debut, The Circus Animals, is certainly evident throughout; one could go insofar as labelling the passion palpable or tangible, in a way, since it saturates every character interaction within every scene. It’s a film that admittedly wears its heart on its proverbial sleeve as every opportunity to thrust the emotion to the forefront is met with an eagerness that is situated as one of the film’s main strengths and, ultimately, its weakness all at once.

GDD 8.5

UNSUNG INDIES: Aaron Schimberg’s GO DOWN DEATH

An unidentified war rages in the vicinity of an unidentified location within an unidentified time period in Aaron Schimberg’s directorial debut, Go Down Death, a cinematic adaptation based on the fabricated writings of folklorist Jonathan Mallory Sinus; a fluid traversing of vignettes, punctuated by mortar shells and rocket explosions, hosted by a collection of eccentrics killing time in their own ways.

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UNSUNG INDIES: Sophia Takal’s GREEN

With Green, her directorial debut, actress/producer Sophia Takal has taken the surface-level simplicity of the film’s thematic frame and transformed it into a nuanced exploration of inferred motivations and assumed objectives through a gradual probing of seemingly harmless interactions (both verbal and nonverbal), examining the psychological impact of insecurity, envy and jealousy.

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IN A LONELY PLACE Criterion Blu-ray Review

1950’s In a Lonely Place marks the second film from Nicholas Ray’s oeuvre to garner the Criterion treatment (Bigger Than Life from 1956 being the other) and one can only hope that the Criterion Collection are working their way towards acquiring more of Ray’s work.

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UNSUNG INDIES: Theodore Collatos’s DIPSO

Collatos presents a man in the throes of recovery, pinned in between a collection of loved ones concurrently assisting and compounding the difficulty inherent within because of their mutual affections of shared coping mechanisms, within a healthy dose of naturalism; scripted scenes are almost indistinguishable from the rawness of the realism-infused ones with drunken antics and familial dialogues accompanied with the debris of reality playing out in faithfulness rendering identification of the borderlines a murky endeavor.

Doron Max Hagay’s MONICA – CHAPTER 2 is now available

Doron Max Hagay’s MONICA – CHAPTER 2 is now available

Last year, writer/director Doron Max Hagay dramatized the details of Monica Lewinsky’s life as seen in a New York Magazine article. And, back in March, he then condensed that six-episode miniseries into a film, titled Monica - Chapter One. And now, he’s back with the first 3 episodes of Chapter Two

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BARCELONA Blu-ray Review

The opening three films of Whit Stillman’s directorial career are now all available on The Criterion Collection as a Bluray box set which includes Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994) and The Last Days of Disco (1998); although, for whatever reason, I’m only covering the release of his sophomore effort - Barcelona - the follow-up to his critically-revered debut Metropolitan which garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

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10 OUT OF 10: THE PARK

A sequence of tableau vivants plotted out along the route of the camera, but unlike traditional tableau vivants Maroufi does not simply present these configurations from a distance to be admired for the picturesque qualities of their imitations;

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PSYCHOPOMP Review

There is an undeniable absurdity to professional pursuits of Allie and Ino, the central duo of Psychopomp, but the absurdity of this short is compounded by the level of seriousness that is concentrated into their endeavors.

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THE TOURIST Review

The visual style of The Tourist is a shuffled deck of tandem suits - realism through hidden-camera-uncomfortable and soft-focus travelogue/introspection - in a back and forth succession as Sonnenblick’s inner monologue pulsates with a seething resentment and anger that, at first, appears surface level given his current situation before gradually revealing itself to be a much more deep-seeded operating mode. Though, Sonnenblick is able to periodically meld that resentment and anger into some genuine comedic expressions during his rambles.