A- Documentary Directed by Denali Tiller When I saw this film before it screened at last year's SFFILM Festival, I assumed it would have a theatrical release, and therefore wrote the review below. But that release never materialized. Instead, PBS's Independent Lens picked it up and will broadcast it on April 1. And no, it … Continue reading Tre Maison Dasan: Three children of incarcerated parents
B Animated family fare Written by Benjamin Renner and Jean Regnaud Directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert Note: I saw this family comedy last year before it screened at the SFFIM Festival. It never got a theatrical fun in the Bay Area. It appears it won't get one. But it will be available on … Continue reading The Big Bad Fox & the joys of simple animation
A- Crime drama Written and directed by Zhangke Jia At first you think this is going to be a gangster movie. At one point you decide it's becoming a revenge flick. Slowly, you realize it's something very different; something much more subtle. For most of Ash Is Purest White's long runtime, there's no conventional plotline. … Continue reading Ash Is Purest White but love is for the worthy
A Drama/Thriller Written by Wolfgang Fischer and Ika Künzel Directed by Wolfgang Fischer You can find a lot of movies about a vacation gone wrong, where the protagonist (or protagonists) must fight for their lives and the lives of those they love. But Wolfgang Fischer does something much more interesting in Styx. Aside from one … Continue reading Styx: How many can you save?
A Showbiz documentary Directed by Samuel D. Pollard Sammy Davis, Jr. held the spotlight as an ever-present part of the entertainment world when I was a kid. But until I saw Samuel D. Pollard's documentary, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me, I had never really thought about him and didn't recognize his incredible talent. … Continue reading Sammy Davis Jr. had to be himself
D- Not really quite a thriller Written by Johanne Algren and Isabella Eklöf Directed by Isabella Eklöf The setup feels like a thriller: A beautiful, spoiled, not-too-bright blonde belongs to a gang of drug dealers, and they're all vacationing on the Turkish Riviera. Will a deal go down badly? Will a rival gang attack? Will … Continue reading This Holiday isn’t much fun
C+ Animated family fantasy Written by Eduardo Benaim, Gustavo Steinberg Directed by Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, Gustavo Steinberg This Brazilian cartoon has two important messages for young children: We need to overcome our pointless fears, and we should listen to the birds - especially the wild pigeons that both beautify our cities and make a … Continue reading Tito and the Birds tells us to love courage and pigeons