Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

Many have wondered, not without reason, why did the Denis Villeneuve’s original film need a sequel. In truth, it didn’t, but it would be hard to argue that the first film is some kind of once-in-a-lifetime release, even though it is really good. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is in many ways a rehashing of the same story, which now adds a bigger global angle that came along with the introduction of a strong political overtone. From a certain vantage point, it could be said that the Stefano Sollima story is more critical towards the real-world War on Drugs, but in either case, it makes little difference.

This film is primarily an action thriller, based on tense scenes and short but violent gun battles. It is geopolitical to the core, so there is plenty of headline-like elements that connect Mexican cartels, Somalia ship hijacking, ISIS and the CIA. But, like the plot itself that revolves around the kidnapping of a cartel boss for the purpose of starting a war in the Mexican underground, Sicario: Day of the Soldado feels like a cross-section of all these geopolitical issues. Furthermore, the plot as well seems to be a cross-section of a broader story that is never fully shown to the viewers. If the movie was not good in its primary genres, all of this would end up being frustrating. Because Sollima, the film is well-made - it is just hazy in its narrative but still engaging just as much as the one Villeneuve made three years ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Crowdfunding Push: The Great Heartbeat

The realm of human emotion and experience is one of the huge uncharted frontiers we’re, as a species, are only starting to discover. A new documentary movie is looking for support to make one such exploration -  The Great Heartbeat aims to look into the realm of love and its impact on the way we function both a society and individuals. Here is how the campaign for the same film defines itself:

The Movie is Called The GREAT HEARTBEAT is about spreading LOVE throughout the world In Unity. A Human Journey to Remember Who we Really Are and in every step of the journey we find that the Connection that everyone has in common in the world is LOVE and through that HEART Space that Sacred Place finds that people are the Greatest Gift to this world and in Love & Unity with the Creator is the Bridge to Peace on Earth. A Quest to bring that Vision to Reality ONE Connection at a time.  

Monday, December 10, 2018

Indie Showcase: Paraplegics List (2015)

This independent action horror is a good example of the long tradition of experimental films in these genres. Instead of going for a tried and tested formula of making a low-budget but a standard movie (like Last Shift, for example), the director of Paraplegics List Shafeeq Muhammad decided to take a different approach with this release. Here is how the film defines itself:

Three urban detectives in conflict with each other must hunt down a mythological clown killer who preys on the unsuspecting disabled all while balancing their personal lives. In the meantime, recent savage tortures/killings go on unresolved in the Chicago Hood crime scene. Time is running out as more victims become more frequent and they try to avoid being a part of the paraplegics list.

The plot reads as a strong homage to the entire movement of exploitation flicks of the 1970s and 1980s, especially because of the horrendous idea of a serial killer hunting the disabled. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Forbidden Power is out on Vimeo on Demand!

Movies, Films and Movies already covered the Forbidden Power film a few months back. This science fiction mystery thriller by Paul Kyriazi is definitely a release that has easily set itself apart from the rest of the global independent scene thanks to both its topic and the ambitious delivery. On the festival scene, it already got a range of nomination and won Best Special Effect and Best Young Performer on the AOF MegaFest.

Now, the same film has appeared on a new online streaming platfrom. The entire Forbidden Power is now available on Vimeo on Demand, where it can be watched or streamed to a smart device. Overall, I'm genuinely impressed with this Vimeo service so if you did not try it out so far, checking out Forbidden Power is the perfect moment.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Film Review: Dark Fortune (2016)

Copyright: Corinth Films
There’s a strong and hard-to-pinpoint sense of terror that runs deep in Dark Fortune. At moments, this hard-hitting family drama could be even confused for a toned-down horror film, all thanks to that existential fright that reverberates through not just the plot, but the characters themselves. In the film, the feeling of being scared of something is almost visceral for the viewer. The same emotion does not come from monsters, but something much worse - buried memories that have so much hidden power over the lives of those who suffer from them.

The film, directed by Stefan Haupt, is set in Switzerland where a psychologist Eliane gets an emergency call. Her hospital just received Yves, a young boy who is the only survivor of a car crash that took the lives of four other people - his parents and siblings. Now, he is alone, left with only his aunt and grandmother, who are actively feuding about his future.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Film Review: Dede (2017)

Copyright: Corinth Films
There is a deep-rooted and ancient strength locked in the sight of mountains. These distant and seemingly eternal elements of our world seem to have seen it all - they have been a silent witness to humanity in all of its struggles, glory, and despair. Through all of it, the mountains and their frozen peaks remained unmoved by the stories of mankind. They simply witnessed them. In the Dede movie as well, the entire tragic story plays out framed by the mountain peaks of Georgia. Located in the heart of Eurasia, this country and its isolated province of Svaneti is the setting in which a simple yet heartbreaking story of the movie takes place. It starts with an event that is never mentioned or shown in the film - the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the onset of the Georgian Civil War. In Svaneti, two fighters arrive in a small village, looking for the women that promised to David, one of the pair. His comrade, Gegi, follows him, but knows that a difficult time is ahead - the girl in question, Dina, does not want to become a part of the marriage arranged by her grandfather.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Sorry to Bother You (2018)

You can’t deny that this movie is different and it does not take too long for it to drive this point home. In the alternative world of ultra-capitalism, Cash, the main character, played by ever-more relevant and popular Lakeith Stanfield, just tries to get by. However, this soon brings him to a company working on the process that would eventually change entire humanity and not for the better. With this plot, Sorry to Bother You moves between a grotesque social drama and a weird dark comedy.

The cast and the acting continue to be uneven throughout the film, making it hard to gauge who is what type of person and what do they actually want. I’m not sure if this is intentional or a strange by-product of so many things being odd, but for me, it made the film something that failed to engage. The grotesque nature of the world reverberates with the characters, including Cash, so why empathize with anyone - maybe all that is strange to me as a viewer is normal to the inhabitants of the alternate world - it’s all make-believe inside of a bigger make-believe. The critique of the real-life greed as a driver is plain and called for, but the space in which it was delivered simply did not manage to impress me on any level.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Short Film Review: Them! (2018)

The great thing about the indie short movies is the fact that they are able to explore spaces that most feature-length films, especially those made in the studio system seemly cannot do. Them! is a short sci-fi comedy that definitely goes to weird places and does the same pretty fast. Here's how the film describes itself:

Them! is a sci-fi movie. A lady hears her dog yelp and it wakes her up. When she goes downstairs to see what is the matter, she is horrified to see the dog being eaten by a Roomba and they have multiplied.

The film, directed by DeNoise Studios and starring Susie Butler, cannot be easily described beyond the word “strange” at first viewing. The plot is condensed and so is the runtime of the film, which is short even for a short feature. However, aside from its overall strangeness, there are multiple threads to the piece. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Hold the Dark (2018)

The worlds of Jeremy Saulnier are dark and deadly, but ultimately, like any vampire’s castle, too alluring to miss out on. Even as the protagonist enters into the creaking halls of that place of horror, we know they’re as good as dead (or most of them, at least). In Blue Ruin, a lost man embarks on a doomed quest. In Green Room, a punk-rock band goes to a gig they should have turned down. In Hold the Dark, an expert on wolf behavior sets off to an isolated village in Alaska to find the remains of a boy taken by the same creatures.

There is nothing to find in the film, like in the previous ones, expect pitch black desperation, cruelty and an unmissable sense of nothingness. Yet, the ride itself is still what allows us to usher them on, into the twilight. Here too, the experience of the movie and the twist and turns its plot embarks upon so elegantly and completely unexpectedly, make it a worthwhile experience. It is reassuring to see that the creative universe of Saulnier is completely inoculated from the spellbound power of bigger and bigger budgets. Hold the Dark has a lot to offer even though what that thing exactly is remains lost to me.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Web Series Showcase: Fruit Bat (2018)

The famous though goes: an author has a writer's block and she/he ends it by writing something about - vampires. No one can deny that the world did not have its share of vampire fiction in almost any and every imaginable form. From crunchy kid snacks to video games, count Dracula and other like him have marked the pop culture landscape ever since Bram Stoker got us hooked on these creatures of the night.

However, few would deny that there has been somewhat of a saturation in the bloodsucking market. When this happens, the airwaves are ripe for one of the most important genres - parody. This is exactly the thing that Alex J. Murphy and Javahead Productions decided to do with his work. Here is the description of an upcoming web series of short films called Fruit Bat:

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Short Film Review: Happened in the Present (2018)

The internet proved that entertaining and extremely low-budget movies, featuring a medium-length runtime can be made today. Just a decade or two earlier, films of this type, lasting between 20 and 40 minutes were considered an impossible venture outside of student exercises. Movies like The Defector are a perfect example that this is no longer true. Now, a new film called Happened in the Present show that this formula can be applied to a YouTube work of art and end up as something regular viewers can easily enjoy.

This film is the work of Mark Sarko, a director and hip-hop artist based in Germany that has clearly been around the entertainment industry. The plot presents a process of unorthodox investigation that begins with a body turning up in the bathtub of an apartment. From these, a duo of oddly mixed individuals starts their search for the truth behind this event, mostly using music and weird analytical capabilities.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Documentary: Imagine Nation (2018)

Electronic Dance Music or EDM is one of the unsung heroes of the ongoing digital revolution. From its modest beginnings decades ago when first audio engineering pioneers started experimenting with modifying guitar processors to the birth of DJ and computer music production, the EDM has been growing constantly and consistently all over the world.

Imagine Nation is an impressive new documentary taking a look in this domain and doing it at a festival that holds a very special place for the EDM culture. Here how the film describes itself:

What started as a small city festival in Atlanta has blossomed into one of the largest EDM festivals in North America. Viewers are immersed into the event's eye-popping stage production, insane pyrotechnics, diversified line-up of headliners from around the world, a wide array of stage performers, Avant Garde art installations, stunt riders, and carnival rides.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Upgrade (2018)

First, let's talk about the weakest part of this film - in the beginning, the movie stumbles with its exposure and buildup. The main character Gray, an anti-technology car mechanic living in a futuristic near future, seems like a fish out of the water, but not in any intended way. Sure, the plot is clearly going to an ominous place but it appears to be taking its sweet time to get there in the first 20 minutes. The screen time for this part of the story feels somehow wasted and there is no meaningful connection neither between Gray and his wife Asha, nor between him and the life he’s living.

But, with the intro into the story ending and the actual plot beginning, the movie switches gears. The biggest improvement at that point is the introduction of STEM, a self-conscious chip that bridges Gray’s damaged spinal cord and turns him into a flesh-based robot. STEM is a combination of KITT from Knight Rider and HAL 9000 and it quickly transforms the film into a brilliant action movie. With some exceptional cinematography from the director Leigh Whannell and smart and funny script (which is miles away from the awkward and sloppy opening), Upgrade is sure among the top action films of the year so far.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: I, Tonya (2017)

It would be a complete waste of time to watch this movie and figure out it is only a complex showreel for Margot Robbie where she demonstrates her acting talents. Fortunately, the film is not this but a dark comedy that happens to be rooted in reality. For those in the US, the story of Tonya Harding is probably well-known and the film uses this fact. It quickly rewinds her life up and down as it builds towards the key element – the entire scandal with the wounding of Nancy Kerrigan.

Here, the film for me falters. I, Tonya am neither a film about this haunted yet brilliant person nor is it about a wacky crime in the sports world of the 1990s. It is something in-between and that is why it works as something in-between bad and good. No one is to blame for this and it does not hamper the film too much, but it does end up making the movie feel like a really expensive afternoon TV release. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Indie Showcase: Sinking Sand (2018)

The plot that is based on crime and punishment is as old as time itself, even before a particular Russian novelist used it for one of his famous books. After all, it is something we're all instantly interested in, no matter what the actual story or the setting might be.

The appeal of the concept is clear and also the reason why centuries pass and it remains as fresh as ever. Sinking Sand is a new indie thriller-drama that is utilizing the very same idea. Here is how the movie explains its plot:

After a loving wife murders a blackmailer to protect her husband’s flourishing law career, she must watch as he prosecutes another for her crime.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Hostiles (2018)

There’s something about this film that I can’t quite put my finger upon. It is something elusive, barely visible and still impacting the entire experience of watching it. But, while I cannot pinpoint it, what I am certain is that it stops the film from being really impressive. Instead, it makes it linger between the average and the good categories, as something that belongs in neither one. Its story is about a late 19th century US army captain who escorts a family of native prisoners to their new home. He does this after many years of bitter US-Native fighting and crooked peace deals, now apparently nothing more than a jaded and violent officer, masterfully played by Christian Bale.

Now, why is the film lacking in such distinctive, slight and yet undeniable manner? It is not that the film features or forces some particular type of political message that would make it feel fake, even though it does tend to pile blame more towards the white settlers (no argument here from the historical perspective). The problem lies, for me, in those little cracks and fissures that appear from time to time, mostly in the script. A sappy moment here, an injection of banality there. At the same time, unlike small masterpieces of new-western like Bone Tomahawk, the film takes itself excruciatingly seriously. Thanks to this, it ends up missing the mark for me - not completely, but evidently. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Indie Showcase: Forbidden Power (2018)

Forbidden Power seems like an ambitious movie that is mixing an interesting blend of genres. Here is how the film described its plot:

After a one night affair with a mysterious woman, a young man wakes up alone, empowered and with a cryptic message. He uses his power in business and then searches for the women to find out where her power came from.

The movie is written and directed by Paul Kyriazi, an industry veteran with more than four decades of movie business experience. This is probably the reason why he decided to combine things like science fiction, thriller, action, and mystery, each of which is a big challenge for independent production.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: A Quiet Place (2018)

The thing that makes A Quiet Place such an original experience is the fact that it takes away a single element of regular cinematic work - speech. It keeps many of the other sounds, like ambiance noise and even music. Yet, when it comes to human speech, the thing we hear so much in almost any movie genre - there is almost none. At the same time, the plot is full of an intensity of character interaction, especially those coming from Emily Blunt, all of whom are members of a US family stuck in a post-apocalyptic setting where making a loud sound means a certain death.

With this reduced process of storytelling, the movie managed to be a small marvel of cinematic greatness. Devoid of speeches and dialogues, it creates an engaging thriller/horror story while building a family drama in the background. Mixing all of this in some gorgeous cinematography, A Quiet Place is really a great example of successful innovation coming from mainstream Hollywood production.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Film Review: Brokedown (2018)

There is one word that perfectly describes the new indie thriller-horror Brokedown by Pole Star Studios - this word is “rough”. At first, this might sound like an overly simplistic description of a film that clearly has a lot of time and effort invested into it. Its runtime of about 90 minutes is packed full with a complex script and a storyline of multiple threads that weave into a single cohesive mesh at its very end. There is a clear sense that the film’s director and writer, John Reign, just like the cast, placed a lot of time and effort into the film. Yet, in spite of this, the roughness of the movie is the thing that left the biggest impression on me.

The movie premise is simple and will be familiar to most of the fans of the US cinematography. In it, a punk-rock couple of Stormy and Jason head off from a concert Jason just had. Immediately after it, in the midst of a heated argument, he proposed to his girlfriend and they decided to speed home to share the news. However, in their return journey, they come across a gas station deep in a place that can be only described as mountain hillbilly central. An altercation with a group of local men sets the stage for a bloody and tension-riddled film.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Mute (2018)

It's hard to tell for sure where Mute was trying to go and what was its director, the brilliant Duncan Jones, trying to do. As a cyberpunk tale set in the undefined period in, I guess, the future, it has all the hallmarks of a noir story. The movie showcases a mute main character that gets his love taking from him, a group of odd persons from the margins of society as supporting characters and some weird new pieces of tech everyone is using.

The result is something that is an unholy mix of Strange Days and Southland Tales, but which features all of the failed quirkiness of the later film. It might sound strange, but Mute is a movie that is somehow completely devoid of charm and it kind of needs it. In fact, it needs it bad, like many science fiction films that are high concept pieces. This one is a film like that, but it has a lot of charm. Jones maybe did not intend this, but the movie is still a high concept (at least parts of it try to be one). This is why watching the film, at least for me, seems like a waster experience from start to end.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Indie Showcase: AnyBodies Game (2018)

A new indie feature-length film is on its way in less than two months and it promises to bring a mixture of drama, action and suspense thrills. The name of the movie is AnyBodies Game and here is how it describes itself:

While a group of friends are enjoying life they mysteriously began to receive bloody letters and prank phone calls. They all began to take the threats serious after the death of one of their own friends. Who could do such a thing when the finger is pointing at all of them? This could be AnyBodies Game.

The trailer shows an ambitions piece written and produced by Ann P Productions. It holds plenty of characters and a plot that seems to be constantly going through twist and turns.
With a strong element of mystery, AnyBodies Game appears to tackle the horror thorpe of a group of friends being hunted by an unknown assailant. The first thing that comes to mind with this setup in the series Scream, but with a setup that is taken into the modern time and complemented with a natural approach to acting.

The movie is set to have its theatre premier on July 5th, 2018. For more information about this event and the movie, check out the AnyBodies Game official website.

Sunday, May 27, 2018 – An Upcoming Streaming Service Specializing in Action Movies!

For me, action movies are the bread and butter of filmmaking. They, along with thriller and drama, are the essential genres and a perfect place where up-and-coming filmmakers learn the trade and get a foothold in the big-time movie business. However, unlike the other two genres, action often ends up being a butt of the joke and many people tend to see it, in general, as mindless fun which rarely comes with any deeper meaning. I disagree with all of them and that’s why I’m happy to see initiatives like the recent Here is how the upcoming streaming service describes itself: will be a Global Streaming Broadcaster specializing in independent Action Movies and Subgenres made by creative filmmakers around the globe. Global Streaming means that ACTIONFLIX movies can be watched in all territories around the world, on any platform (iPhone, laptops, tablets, Apple TV, Xbox, etc.). The filmmakers will not only share movies but most importantly, also share stories about the making of these productions. We’re creating a community where audiences and filmmakers come together around their common love for this genre.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Film Review: Cold November (2017)

Growing up is never easy and sometimes, it can take us on unique journeys, both outside and inside. Cold November is a movie that explores this notion and does it remarkably well through a seemingly simple setup. The film follows Florence, a 12-year-old living and growing up in a rural part of the US. Interestingly, her family has followed a tradition of the women going to a deer hunt as a sort of rite of passage for entering into adulthood.

Florence is near that point, so she and her mother, grandmother and cousins decide to follow the same tradition. Yet, this process will not come easy for Florence or her loved ones in a tale of nostalgia, change and our ever-inadequate abilities to deal with it, no matter if we are kids, adults or something in-between.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

The original Blade Runner movie is one of my favourite cinematic works of art. Ever since I was a teenager I really enjoyed Ridley Scott vision over distance and cold future. At the same time, Denis Villeneuve is one of my favorites new directors, especially when it comes o science fiction. Two years ago I was completely blown away with The Arrival, so naturally my expectations were high for Blade Runner 2049. Now, after seeing it, I have a hard time putting my finger on it.

The movie is visually stunning and it provides an engaging experience in that sense. However at the same time narratively, it's slightly all over the place. While it's easy to connect with Joe, who is basically trying to figure out what’s happening (like the audience) the rest of the characters fall flat. These include Decker who is who is played by an ever older and less interesting Harrison Ford. All of them are distant but what is worse, they end up feeling irrelevant. The same is true for the plot, which simply does not hold up to the immense visual grandeur of the movie. Maybe Blade Runner 2049 will age better just like the original, but for now, the two are not on the same playing field.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

English National Ballet's Dance Journeys

Sadlers Wells, London – April 18, 2018

English National Ballet presents Dance Journeys Matinee Takeover, showcasing the choreographic voice of young people on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells during the Company’s Voices of America season. Dance Journeys, supported by John Lyon’s Charity, gives young people the opportunity to work as a professional company, gain an in-depth experience of the production process leading to a performance and igniting a passion for dance.

Our special Matinee Takeover programme also features inspiring performances from English National Ballet Youth Company, English National Ballet School, and English National Ballet performing an extract from William Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata 2016.

100 young dancers from west London schools: Copthall School, Friern Barnet School, Hammersmith Academy, Hampstead School join English National Ballet’s ENBYouthCo to work together as one Dance Journeys Company to perform Chrysalis at Sadler’s Wells.

Chrysalis takes its inspiration from Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings, is artistically directed by Jo Meredith, and choreographed by Morgann Runacre-Temple and Luke Brown, Katie Cambridge, Lucy Evans, Georgia Heighway and Danielle Teale with input from English National Ballet Youth Company’s Principal Dancer and soloist, Isabelle Evans. The work is set to an original score by composer Thomas Hewitt Jones, recorded by young musicians from the Royal College of Music Junior Department Contemporary Ensemble and conducted by Jacques Cohen.

Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet said: “By nurturing and encouraging new talent through projects such as English National Ballet’s Dance Journeys, we can further develop our art forms, attracting new audiences and offering the chance to create art and artists of the future.”

Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, Engagement Director, English National Ballet said: “Dance Journeys positively impacts on young people far beyond the project, it raises aspirations, increases confidence and develops greater resilience and life skills.”

Dance Journeys Matinee Takeover also sees ENBYouthCo perform Life of the Party, choreographed by New Adventures company member Tom Jackson-Greves. A playful reaction to Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth, this piece looks at the ideas of loneliness and memory from the perspective of a group of young people.

English National Ballet School students Vania De Rosas, Victor González Pérez, Lauren Mitchell, Kirica Takahashi, and Valerio Zaffalon, perform their choreography Volts, inspired by the work of William Forsythe.

Completing the programme is English National Ballet, performing an extract from William Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata 2016 from the Company’s Voices of America programme. Originally created in 1996, and recently reworked by Forsythe for Paris Opera Ballet. Approximate Sonata 2016 is a series of pas de deux that deconstruct the classical ballet vocabulary and is accompanied by a new version of the original score by Thom Willems.

Indie Showcase: My Tiny Universe (2004)

As a rule of thumb, movies are not that good of a way to predict the future. If they were, we would be at least having one or two flying car companies instead of another social media app that just came out. However, sometimes, away from the spotlight of the big prediction and blockbuster visions of the future, some movies do nail the future in an eerie fashion. My Tiny Universe, which was made almost 15 years ago, seems to be one of those films. Here is it’s plot:

Dickie Bates is a washed-up actor. Bobby Devillin is a sleazy A-list producer. Luring Devillin to his home, Dickie pushes the big-shot's weak-points by toying with the one thing that matters to him - his cell phone. The actor's small home is soon filled with an irrepressible crowd of characters in this fast-paced satire of life in Tinseltown.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Two Paragraph Review: Annihilation (2018)

Annihilation is the movie about change, more precisely the horror that lies in the same change when it's unknown. The brilliant book on which the movie is based showcases a type of horror which is hard to explain but very easy to experience. In this new rendering of the story Alex Garland, the film’s director and writer tried his best to capture the same essence even though I bet he fully understood that he will at least partially fail. However, the full result of his effort is not a fail by any means.

Instead, it's one of the best sci-fi movies based on a horror premise that was made recently. This is seen in the fact that the movie gains steam as it progresses. For me, that's almost always a really good cinematographic sign and Annihilation is no different. While the initial character exposition scenes are shaky, once the main plot of the movie gets underway the film quickly finds its focus. Naturally, the great cast of the expedition further underlines this idea with their great performances. Natalie Portman, in particular, does an excellent job as the Biologist, which isn't a big surprise, but the rest of the women are not far behind. Thanks to them and Garland’s vision of the novel, Annihilation is a movie that is a must-watch for every sci-fi fan out there.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Indie Showcase: Ring of Silence (2018)

Human trafficking is a horrific process that oddly enough, is seemingly getting more prevalent in the modern world. The same is true for any country on the planet, no matter how developed it might be.

A new feature-length movie called the Ring of Silence explores this very idea and does so right in the hearth of the United States. Here is how the film describes itself:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Indie Showcase: Dead Again (2018)

The world is becoming a more interconnected place all of the time. The globalization trend has been steamrolling across the plant for many decades now, but its results have often been one-sided. This is especially true for the arts and culture, where it can often seem that creative work from all over the world is trying to mimic the trends from a few mostly Western locations. However, the exact opposite applies for the Dead Again indie film which is about to start its festival rounds. Here’s how the film presents itself:

Dejected by love troubles and job upheaval, Thomas comes upon a mysterious diary and begins to read its haunting tale of love and loss. Besieged by strange occurrences and with no one to trust, Thomas embarks on a treacherous journey to unravel disturbing details about the diary’s author and even his own past.

The director, a graduate of University of California-Riverside's Creative Writing program called Dave Silberman wrote and directed several hilarious, suspenseful, and thought-provoking short films. While teaching English for five years in Korea, he won a top prize in the "Seoul, Our Movie" competition awarded by Park Chan Wook. He created DEAD AGAIN, his first feature film, with a modest budget, total commitment, a bit of basic Korean and a lot of body language.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Documentary: A Lillie In A Valley (2018)

The modern age is seemingly a time of infinite change. From the end of the 19th century to this very day, the world seems to be constantly evolving in an unprecedented manner. But, imagine witnessing the same process almost from the start of the 20th century right through to the present moment. A Lillie In A Valley is a documentary that covers this exact concept through a story of a very special yet very regular lady living in the US. Here's how the film describes itself:

A Lillie In a Valley., “The story of Lillie B. Johnson”, is a non-fiction documentary film celebrating the life and services of Lillie B. Johnson, an African American woman who has been blessed to be on this earth for over a century as she turns 103 years of age. Born on April 16, 1912, Lillie B. Johnson has lived through many countless historical events including segregation and the civil rights movement, as well as lived to witness the inauguration of the first black president of the United States of America; all in which has took place during her lifetime.

As a pillar within the Wheeler County community, Lillie B. Johnson is valued and appreciated by an innumerable amount of family members, friends, and stakeholders within the rural South-East Georgia town. She has touched and influenced many generations of people who have went on to become successful in life. The story has true disposition in highlighting the importance of family as well as uncovering the true essence of what it means to value God, family, and love. This particular film captures the annual birthday celebration as family and friends prepare for the event that takes place on Lillie B. Johnson St.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

First Look: The Shard’s Wave (2019)

One of the most impressive abilities of the science fiction movies and works of art, in general, is to open up our perspective to what the world is and what it could become. Sometimes these visions are grim and terrifying. At other points, they might be uplifting and hopeful. But, in any case, they provide a glimpse into a world that could be a reality even today, just lying in someone’s mind before that same person makes it happen in the future.

The upcoming movie called The Shard’s Wave is precisely this - a film about perception and the future of our minds and souls. The movie is about two souls that are connected to each other through their minds. One belongs to a regular and innocent person, while the other one is something completely different: a criminal. The story of the Shard’s Wave is about how these connect with each other and change their other lives and the lives of people around them

As a sci-fi thriller that will be released both in English and in Tamil, the film looks really promising, even judging by nothing more than its poster that was recently released. See it below:

The film should be out in 2019 and for any additional information check out this Facebook post.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Indie Showcase: Trouble Is My Business (2018)

Some of the best films ever created over the course of the 20th century were purebred noir thrillers. From The Big Sleep to L.A. Confidential, there is no doubt that a classic noir movie can never get outdated in any shape or form. Trouble Is My Business is a new indie film that works in the cinematographic frame of this incredible genre. Here is why the film has to say about itself.

Detective Roland Drake falls for two beautiful Montemar sisters. One woman is dead and the other wants to kill him. “Trouble” is a new feature film that is a love letter to noir. Trouble Is My Business is a dark, doomed romance filled with mystery, murder and betrayal. Starring Brittney Powell and Vernon Wells. Written by Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell. Directed by Thomas Konkle. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Indie Showcase: Karma (2018)

Friendship and loyalty are things we respect throughout the world and seemingly ever since we became aware of ourselves as a species. However, can both of these ideas push people into horrible decisions and even worse actions? These are the questions that are raised by Karma, a new indie thriller created by SummerTyme Productions. Here’s the film’s synopsis:

It's Ciana's Birthday and she is lucky enough to have six friends to spend it with. After a celebration the seven of them cozy up on the beach to socialize, reminisce, and tell scary stories. Little do they know they're about to endure a real scary story of their own.
When one friend is attacked, the girls turn around and attack her attackers. Murder, mayhem, resentment, and betrayal consume them. With two overzealous cops on their trail as well as the Karma that the girls are enduring, they are becoming more and more frantic about the outcome of their situation and hope they can stop everything before it's too late.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Indie Showcase: Badsville (2017)

The noir movie genre is perfect for any period - it might have been born in the early 20th century, but it is still going strong. A perfect example of this is the fact that it works in so many different settings and time periods. In fact, it even works for those films that are apparently outside of real time and space. Badsville is a new indie release that apparently uses the same principle to great effect.Here’s how the film describes itself:

A violent greaser gang is ripped apart when their leader finds love and is determined to leave Badsville - a town where love doesn't exist.

The trailer, which is super-short, does a great job presenting a violent and desolate place where the main character appears and tries to stay above the water. Badsville is pleasantly “clean” in the terms of cinematography - the shots and photography are defined and steady, focusing on the characters. The moment when violence erupts seems to be a crucial part of the life in the fictional Badsville. However, even if the place is non-existent, the dynamic of the life in a place like this feels more than real.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Short Film Review: Side Effects (2018)

Zombie movies and the genre of comedy are not exactly strangers to each other. Ever since George Romero provided us with the first true vision of the brain-eating (or general human body-eating) brain-dead ghouls, humanity was hooked on this idea and rightly so. Unlike many other genres of horror, zombie one comes with a subtle disclaimer that this is not the most serious topic in the world.

Sure, they can come with truckloads of drama and The Walking Dead as a TV show epitomizes this premise. But, below the surface, we all kind of gets that walking corpses looking to eat the living aren’t exactly an expression of existential philosophy.

Jonathan Vargas as the writer and director of Side Effects, a short zombie movie, did not have any dilemmas about making his premise both zombified and ridiculous. In the movie, a small hustler and self-proclaimed ladies’ man ends up in trouble when he can’t repay the money he owns to the wrong people. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Indie Showcase: Pure the Movie Series (2018)

A new movie series is available on Amazon and it provides a gritty story set on the unforgiving streets of Buffalo, New York. Here is the official movie description of Pure the Movie Series:

Pure an action packed movie-series about the streets of Buffalo New York. The first part of this drama identifies with a hustler named Nevada who is wise beyond his years. After robbing one of the city's most respected gangsters, he and his crew had a plan to take over but in order to do so, they must work for the enemy.

As a tale about tough individuals who are fighting for their right to survive and thrive, Pure The Movie Series seems really interesting. For me, it carries a strong resemblance to works like the HBO TV show The Wire and many other great contemporary crime dramas.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Short Film Review: The Defector (2017)

Menacing. If The Defector was any single emotion, it would be pure, unfiltered sense of menace. Like a bus with that might or might not carry a suicide bomber, this short film expertly racks up the tension without doing too much. Instead, it allows its conflicting ideas to battle between each other in the mind of the viewer, while it desperately tries to latch onto some character. Who is justified in his action and who is the real menace? Defector leaves the audience guessing as the story quickly moves through its plot. 

The film follows the real-life figure of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt as he engages with his security chiefs about the Reds, individuals suspected of working against the state. However, Holt has his own agenda and begins to explore one of the secret treads, culminating in a single night of dangerous confrontation, which the film depicts.