Festivals: Slamdance Reviews

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Slamdance 2018 Review: MAN ON FIRE, One Man's Ultimate Sacrifice and a Town's Reckoning With Its Racism

On June 23, 2014, a 79-year-old Methodist minister named Charles Moore drove to a nearly deserted shopping center parking lot in his former hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, poured gasoline on himself, and set himself on fire. The note Moore...

Slamdance 2018 Review: INGRID, A Self-Fulfilling Life

Many of us have likely had the dream of packing it all in: the modern world, the rat race, the rampant consumerism, and heading to a cabin in the woods, to get as far away from civilization as is possible...

Slamdance 2018 Review: FISH BONES, The Moments Between

Do we know the important conversations in our lives when they are happening, or only afterwards? Do we contemplate what we need to understand when we're at the crossroads, or at more seemingly mundane moments? Can we only know ourselves...

Slamdance 2018 Review: BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS Still Flock Together

We’ve all felt lonely and isolated at one point or another; it’s a feeling that comes and goes. But for the six wayward protagonists of Wendy McColm’s dark comedy/drama Birds Without Feathers, it’s an inescapable part of their lives, a...

Slamdance 2018 Review: HUMAN AFFAIRS, An Intimate Drama With Panoramic, Cosmic Scope

Human Affairs is nominally about the effect of an impending surrogate birth on the childless couple involved, but its title points to its far more panoramic scope. Bracketed by decades-spanning sequences of still photographs, Human Affairs visually and thematically places its three principal characters within...

Slamdance 2018 Review: THE RAINBOW EXPERIMENT, Educational Nightmares

I do not envy anyone working in the public school system in the United States. Teachers are overworked and underpaid, administrators are caught between helping the teachers and serving the parents; some students get lost in the shuffle, while others...

Slamdance 2018 Review: ROCK STEADY ROW Rewrites the College Experience

The elitism and sexism that tend to accompany higher learning takes a beating in Travis Stevens' delightfully anarchic free-for-all.

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...