Reviews

Office

Colin Stacy
Office
Even as kings and queens and pawns and pieces are toppled, the kingdom and those who bolster it will always stand. The elite survive. The film’s narrative of human consequence is softened by its musicality, which plays as sincere melodrama.

Collective:Unconscious

Colin Stacy
Collective:Unconscious
Even though Collective:Unconscious often wears its conceit on its sleeve, it’s lucid enough to present a true, cohesive thematic vision.

Disorder

Colin Stacy
Disorder
As tension heightens, the single observant perspective’s effectiveness lessens. We certainly do experience the PTSD-rattled psyche. We feel the paranoia; we sense the strain. A soldier can leave the battleground but the warzone never leaves him.

Hooligan Sparrow

Colin Stacy
Hooligan Sparrow
Underneath the fleeing and paranoia, there is a subtext of a land lost. It’s a lament for a homeland and a portrait of a crazed, corrupt, many-tentacled beast of a government. So much imagery is spent of the travel, that if you took out the protests, invasions, and abuse, it’d be something of a Chinese reverie.

Tower

Colin Stacy
Tower
To bring focus on the victims and to draw attention away from the tower, Maitland doesn’t allow the shooter to dictate where Tower goes. We witness people being shot, but we also hear the stories of what they were doing that day.

Sonita

Colin Stacy
Sonita
Sonita is about this young rapper and her dreams. But it also lets its text push into an enthralling incarnation of the heart of documentary/nonfiction filmmaking. What emerges is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve seen on film.

Too Late

Elijah Davidson
Too Late
Too Late also consists almost entirely of five 20+ minute, unbroken takes. A credit tag even stipulates that “there were no hidden cuts used in the making of this motion picture.” This could be a gimmick too, but these long takes also work for the film’s themes.

Elvis & Nixon

Elijah Davidson
Elvis & Nixon
Make no mistake, it is fun to watch Elvis wield his celebrity to get what he wants and to watch people be so excited to meet him. Elvis & Nixon is a funny movie. At this stage in his career, the celebrity had overtaken the man, and he could get away with anything simply by virtue of being Elvis.

April and the Extraordinary World

Andy Singleterry
April and the Extraordinary World
In many ways, it looks and feels like an older cartoon, with hand-drawn animation and a leisurely pace, like the Japanese anime of Hayao Miyazaki, but April and the Extraordinary World doesn’t have the child-like wonder and verve of Miyazaki. While most animated films stretch beyond reality, this one just presents an alternate one.

White Girl

Colin Stacy
White Girl
Wood and her crew have crafted a modern fairy tale that manages to weave together complex social themes into a world where each moment constantly resets perceptions. Wood isn’t misanthropic. In fact, she clearly has compassion and empathy for every one of these characters.
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