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Slamdance 2018: HUMAN AFFAIRS Review

Just recently I stated that, when it comes to films featuring cinematography from Sean Price Williams, it would be nearly impossible for me to view the overall project as anything less than worthwhile based on this simple fact alone.

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Slamdance 2018: BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS Review

Perhaps, the most hindering aspect of the film would be its structure, which is comprised of six separate storylines, shuffled throughout the film with occasional overlap and interaction, and (to a certain extent) the characters who inhabit that structure.

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STREAMING: Zach Fleming’s STAYCATION + Q & A

We sat down with independent filmmaker Zach Fleming to discuss his latest short, Staycation (available to stream). We also go a bit deeper, further discussing his other works, the supernatural, and some of his film's themes.

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TOP 50 of 2017 (#50 – #26): KEVIN RAKESTRAW

Here is a list of what I believe to be the best films of 2017; or, more specifically, the first half of my list of best films from 2017 along with one honorable mention for a grand total of 51 films. A mix of features and shorts, theatrical and online releases, anywhere from Mubi, Festival Scope, NoBudge, Vimeo, Flix Premiere, Topic, or Refinery29 (including one from our own website). Streaming links provided in some instances.

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2017 Performance Overview – Female (Lead/Supporting)

Yesterday saw the publication of what I believed to be the standout male performances from 2017 while today’s list is a rundown of the most impressive female performances of the year. And, much like yesterday’s list, this overview will also feature a number of omissions for various reasons, mainly my inability to see certain films. Cynthia Nixon in Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion comes to mind and one that I have seen show up on several lists.

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2017 Performance Overview – Male (Lead/Supporting)

As always, I’m sure there are a number of performances missing from my list due to the simple fact that I have yet to see them, performances such as Timothée Chalamet’s role in Call Me by Your Name or Gary Oldham’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. I’m sure that these two specific performances, along with others not mentioned here, will be discussed and praised sufficiently that their lack of inclusion will be overlooked.

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MAISON DU BONHEUR Review

directed by SOFIA BOHDANOWICZ            Canada            62 minutes

Towards the beginning of Sofia Bohdanowicz’s Maison du bonheur, Juliane Sellam (the focus of the documentary) explains the reasoning behind her early morning routine consisting of

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DRIFTWOOD Review

With Paul Taylor being a cinematographer, working on recent releases such as The Winds That Scatter and Wake Me When I Leave, it is not surprising that his first foray into directing would focus exclusively on visuals in order to convey his narrative, ridding the film from the constraints of dialogue effectively redirecting all focus onto the movements and body language of the actors in an attempt to present an unadulterated production of visual storytelling, stripped bare of the extraneous proving the power of purified imagery.

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TORMENTING THE HEN Review

Tension abounds in writer/director Theodore Collatos’s latest feature, Tormenting the Hen, as nearly every discussion and/or interaction is laced with potential avenues providing offense and/or judgments, even the more inconspicuous and trivial subjects up for discussion harbor the possibility of illuminating surprising truths and viewpoints. With his script, Collatos has crafted a proverbial minefield for his characters to navigate, one that is laden with opportunities to weaponize any and all words and the hazards of crafting conclusions about others with incomplete information.

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PRINCESS CYD Review

There is no denying that the two central characters end up learning a plethora of life lessons from each other, yet Cone’s message never has the feel of heavy-handedness, albeit direct and straightforward.

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SOME BEASTS Review

In his debut, Cameron Bruce Nelson has managed to present an effective portrait of humility in slow burn, a case study on the matter of adaptability as the nature of Sal’s situation remains in a constant state of flux, trying in earnest to readjust until finally realizing that he may not belong or be able to make do as nature decisively states its dominance emphatically. A bittersweet tale occupying the margins of the in between, in between the dusk of unrealized, cast off dreams and the threshold of promise and new beginnings.

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WEXFORD PLAZA Review

A diptych on the inner lives of supporting characters, each afforded the lead in their own half of the film, is how writer/director Joyce Wong decides to explore the ups and downs of the people that usually occupy the margins of a film in her debut, Wexford Plaza. A series of interactions, both intimate and social, taking place within the vacant spaces of a strip mall tilting towards dereliction, of well-meaning intentions unraveling the frayed strands of two lives to differing degrees.