International: US & Canada Reviews

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Review: OPERATION AVALANCHE, Reel Emotion and the Faking of the Moon Landing

There is a lure to the film camera that is almost primal. It draws you in, ever closer, a potent combo of machine and magic. Pressed against your ear and cheek, the click-whir miracle of celluloid is god calling you...

Toronto 2016 Review: I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE Leaves A Ghostly Impression

When Lily, an extended care nurse in white pumps and a mustard cardigan, arrives at this grand old country house to look after its aging and infirm owner, she chides herself on the first night, 'No snooping!' However, that discipline...

Review: CAMERAPERSON, A Moving Self-Portrait Of A Veteran Cinematographer

Kirsten Johnson's career as a cinematographer is a long and accomplished one in the documentary field. She is responsible for images of countless documentaries by filmmakers such as Laura Poitras, Michael Moore, Kirby Dick and many more. Her work took...

Review: Hanks Sticks the Landing, But SULLY Fails to Soar

Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood helms this big screen reenactment of the “Miracle on the Hudson", when US Airways flight 1549 made an emergency landing on New York’s Hudson River in January 2009. Tom Hanks plays Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who...

Blu-ray Review: BLUE SUNSHINE Rises on Blu-ray from Filmcentrix

Jeff Lieberman's Blue Sunshine is a fascinating bit of drug paranoia horror from the end of the era of free love. The film has recently been recovered and restored from the original 35mm negatives discovered in 2014. It's been on...

Review: EMBERS, Fresh and Fascinating Sci-fi

When we talk about ourselves with others we often talk about impressions we have of the world, our opinions of it. But more often than not we talk about our memories. The time you fell off your bike and scrapped...

Review: INTO THE FOREST Focuses on Individuals to Superb Effect

What will we all do when the lights turn off? Wait impatiently for them to come back on, trying to maintain a normal existence and the planned future? Begin raiding other people's homes? Go off in search of some semblance...

BiFan 2016 Review: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Takes Quirky Journey to Known Destination

There's a certain type of film that'e become prominent and popular among a lot of American indie filmmakers in recent years; I like to call it the Sundance Film (though not all have played at that festival). It's a social...

Fantasia 2016 Review: IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE Is A Talky If Slight Examination Of Western Tropes

In Sergio Leone's classic The Good The Bad And The Ugly, one of many iconic scenes involves a gunfighter sneaking up to murder Eli Wallach's Tuco in the bath-tub. The anonymous heavy lost his arm in a shootout with Tuco...

Fantasia 2016 Review: THE UNSEEN, An Exceptional Observation of Disappearance

In a cluttered single-wide trailer in a snowcovered, and anonymously dreary logging town in northern British Columbia, Bob Langmore finds himself disappearing. That it not to say that running away from his wife and daughter almost a decade ago to...

Neuchâtel 2016 Review: Jonas Cuarón Crafts a Savage Manhunt in DESIERTO

Having learned a few tricks working on his father’s multi-award winning space thriller Gravity, Jonas Cuarón brings the action down to earth to craft a similarly intense tale of human survival. The idea of putting up a wall between Mexico...

Review: HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE Is A Graceful Look At Two Interesting Men And What Inspires Them

The famous Serenity Prayer of american theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is as follows:  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Jay...

Fantasia 2016 Review: RUPTURE Turns Capture Into The Rapture

"Don't fight it. Let it happen. This confusion is all part of the process." This advice is repeated, often in a beatific manner, by the mysterious group of captors who are intent on, among other things, helping the audience navigate the...

Review: THE INTERIOR, Where Comedy And Horror Snuggle Together In The Wilderness

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior.    For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a...

Review: BREAKING A MONSTER, Growing Up at the Speed of a Double Bass Kick Pedal

Three young boys from Brooklyn, NY - Malcolm Brickhouse, Jared Dawkins and Alex Atkins- inspired by entrance music played for wrestlers at events and theme songs of their favorite anime shows started their own metal band, Unlocking the Truth  ...

Opening: YARN Knits Together Women Artist's Tales Around The World

Una Lorenzen's documentary Yarn opens in New York this weekend at IFC Center and continues to roll out across the States all Summer.   Meet the artists who are redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of...

Review: RIVER, Like Fire Running to a Powder Keg

As children, we are often taught that, when someone is in trouble, we should try to help, or if someone is being bullied, we should intervene. But sometimes, there can be unforeseen consequences that would endanger ourselves.  Jamie M. Dagg's...

Human Rights Watch 2016 Review: GROWING UP COY, Transgender Rights And A Family in the Eye of A Media Storm

At first glance, six-year-old Coy Mathis seems to be just like other little girls her age. She’s madly in love with Justin Bieber, and has his posters plastered over the walls in her room. Her favorite color is pink, and...

Review: GENIUS, A Theatrical Pageant That Goes Terribly Wrong

Elvis Costello famously quipped, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and while I hardly agree with the overall sentiment -- if I did, I wouldn't exactly be doing this -- his point is well taken. Success in one...

Review: POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING Affectionately Skewers The Music Biz

“Viral video” is an overused – and very often misused – term, but one group of guys who can genuinely be said to have created some of the best and funniest of these is the comic musical collective known as...