Festivals: Slamdance Reviews

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Slamdance 2017 Review: KURO Spins a Spellbinding, Exquisitely Photographed Tale

Don’t you wonder sometimes ’Bout sound and vision … – David Bowie, “Sound and Vision” When you’ve seen a countless number of films over your lifetime, the effect can be somewhat numbing, especially after viewing many examples of standard variations...

Slamdance 2017 Review: Psychedelic Fun and Cosmic Questions Abound in AUTOMATIC AT SEA

After his satire on the utopia of Gen Y, The Woods, Matthew Lessner returns with a new feature, Automatic at Sea, a psychedelic chamber piece with flair.   A boy meets a girl. The boy invites the girl to his...

Slamdance 2017 Review: WEATHER HOUSE Roofs Absurdism and Minimalism For Timely Allegory

The initial setup of Weather House, the directorial feature debut by Frauke Havemann (co-directed by Erik Schefter) remains basic throughout the whole duration of the film. A group of people whose relations are not disclosed and who could easily be...

Slamdance 2017 Review: AEROTROPOLIS, An Elegantly Made Portrait of (Sub)Urban Alienation

Li Jheng-neng's debut feature is an elegant, microbudget vision of urban/suburban anomie, which has qualities that will be familiar to intrepid art filmgoers, especially those conversant with the films of Li's fellow Taiwanese countryman Tsai Ming-liang.

Slamdance 2017 Review: DIM THE FLUORESCENTS, Work is Theater

In the tradition of films that pull back the curtain on the inner workings of showbiz, writer/director Daniel Warth’s Dim The Fluorescents shows us the ins and outs of… corporate training seminars. It’s not the most exciting place to be,...

Slamdance 2017 Review: DAVE MADE A MAZE With Entertaining Traps

With its explosion of creativity, its thrilling concept and its lovely characters, Dave Made A Maze is a fine example of how a creative team can overcome the restrains of a tight budget to offer a fun ride.

Slamdance 2017 Review: WITHDRAWN Maxes Out its Miserabilism for Introspection

Aaron (Aaron Keogh), who left his mother's home, lives with Adrian in a basement-like apartment that permits each of them to live their own lives, clean their clothes, make their food, watch never-ending conspiracy videos and tutorials on Youtube, as...

Slamdance 2017 Review: Laugh At Awful People in NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE

Neighborhood Food Drive’s synopsis should be a clue as to what kind of film it is: “Awful idiots fail at throwing a party over and over”. Director Jerzy Rose definitely wasn’t out to make a feel-good comedy with those emotional...

Slamdance 2017 Review: WEXFORD PLAZA, A Small Slice Of Real Life

Wexford Plaza plays out its story on a small and intimate scale, a picture of suburban life which probably repeats itself in many an abandoned strip mall. Joyce Wong didn't feel the need to go big, and this affecting little slice of life is all the better for it.

Slamdance 2017 Review: CORTEZ, A Quietly Affecting and Beautifully Acted Debut

It's not easy to find cinema that transports the viewer into a place filled with people who genuinely seem to have existed before the film begins and long after it rolls credits. Cortez offers just that.

Slamdance 2016 Review: IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW Offers Prime Post-Snowden Intrigue

Nathan Williams' debut feature steps onto the independent film stage with the calm, steady aim of a confident marksman ready to make the shot. A meticulously crafted tale of government secrets and whistle blowers in a post Edward Snowden world,...

Slamdance 2016 Review: EXCURSIONS, The Best Worst Trip

Sometimes you just have to get away. Far, far away. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. And sometimes those trees seem to get to talking to you. Fuck. Filmmakers Daniel Martinico & Hugo Armstrong came to Slamdance...

Slamdance 2016 Review: EMBERS, Fresh And Fascinating Sci-Fi

When we talk about ourselves we are building the conversation off a varied, often strange and impressionistic collection of moments stored over the culminating years of our lives. When we talk about ourselves, we talk about our memories. The time...

Slamdance 2016 Review: DRIFTWOOD, On The Strange Life Of Objects

Against the onslaught of the crashing surf we arise into a world of soft, foaming white. From a distance, we can make out an approaching figure. Soon we see it's a she, a young woman, soaked to the bone, shivering...

Slamdance 2016 Review: DEAD HANDS DIG DEEP Only Scratches The Surface

There is much within Jai Love's Dead Hands Dig Deep (which premiered at Slamdance 2016 tonight) that is meant to shock us --- from footage of genitals and other body parts being pierced with screws and bolts, to a flap of skin...

Slamdance 2016 Review: MAD Finds The Humor In Sadness

Robert G. Putka has built up a smart and sharp filmography of shorts over the last half decade, emphasizing rich, rude and raw performances, deriving his drama and comedy with character first. MAD, his feature debut, is as charming as...

Slamdance 2015 Review: YOSEMITE Beautifully Captures The Fearful Majesty Of Boyhood

What is it about childhood that makes us adults so wary of who we once were? Perhaps it is that great fear of the unknown, a shadow, a whisper of adulthood that scares us as children into submission of these...

Slamdance 2015 Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, DIY Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That...

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do...

Slamdance 2015 Review: BIRDS OF NEPTUNE, Of Malady And Mysticism

Cinema has a way of acting like an echo chamber. it locks us into a space where we are asked to face up to ourselves through the guise of others: Our own doubts, and fears projected on the screen, looking...