Quadrangle – A Short Film by Amy Grappell (2013)

Director Amy Grappell digs deep in to her childhood and touches upon a part of her young life that normally might hurt others or inspire discomfort. In 1969, Amy Grappell moves from Brooklyn to Long Island with her mother and further. Both parents were struggling with their own marriage and were working hard to stay together. After meeting another couple at a local beach club, both her mother and father Paul and Deanna eventually found kindred spirits in Eleanor and Robert, both of whom were also struggling with their own marriage at the time.

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We Are the Flesh (Tenemos La Carne) (2017)

Emiliano Rocha Minter’s “We Are The Flesh” is arthouse, horror, fantasy, surrealism, experimental. It’s also droning, boring, and at barely eighty minutes goes on way too long. “We are the Flesh” begins as something of a post apocalyptic tale where two wandering Mexican teenagers find a demented older man living by himself in isolation as a hermit in a humongous building. Everyday he forages for resources, and makes new resources which he trades for food by some unseen entity behind a wall. The minute the pair finds him, they’re taken in to his bosom, and are dropped in to demented world that is either Eden or Damnation. Quite clearly, Emiliano Rocha Minter seeks to take all kinds of imagery and use it as a sense of multipurpose provocative metaphor and symbolism, and pretty much all of it is a chore to sit through.

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Five Movies to Watch Instead of “Fifty Shades Darker”

Despite the truly awful 2015 adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” audiences are being handed the sequel to the erotic stinker next month with “Fifty Shades Darker.” Sure to attract its hardcore following and some surefire curious audiences, rather than pumping more money in this pseudo-erotic wannabe arthouse junk, I thought I’d suggest five titles you can watch instead. These are five very erotic and entertaining films that explore the ideas of BDSM and sado-masochism, I suggest experimenting with over the watered down dreck hitting theaters in February.

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Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (1970)

It was the end of an era, the literal end of a movement, and the end of what many would know as “Woodstock.” We never did see the Woodstock here in further decades, did we? We instead saw much more corporate interference, much more MTV generation, and in the last festival, ultimate destruction. At least we have what is one of the most riveting and unique concert movies ever filmed. It’s a chronicle of a generation thought of ancient now, and looked back on mostly with fondness, as a decade where there was hope for peace, and hope for a better tomorrow. It was before America gave in to the seventies, where it became all bout decadence and hedonism.

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Chasse-Galerie La Légende (2016)

La Chasse-Galerie, or the Flying Canoe (aka The Bewitched Canoe) is a well-known legend from Québec about a group of travelers making a deal with the devil to get home.  In this cinematic version of it set in 1863, a group of men travelling home are slowed down by a snow storm.  After they request help, the devil gives them a flying canoe to take them home but with some conditions that come with harsh punishment if not followed.  After one of them cheats the devil, vengeance is taken on his descendant 25 years later.

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Mon Roi (My King) (2015)

A woman finds herself in physical rehab after a major skiing accident; there she heals from this accident and from her past relationship with her wild ex. Written by Etienne Comar and Maïwenn with the latter directing as well, the story of “Mon Roi” follows a woman going through a good part of her life led by her love and passion for a man who may very well be quite destructive.  As she works on being able to walk again, literally and metaphorically, her past is seen through a series of long flashbacks.  This is handled in a way that works perfectly here, showing her life basically from the moment she met him and keeping these long flashbacks in chronological order. This actually leads to almost forgetting that the main character is thinking back on these moments until these scenes at the rehabilitation center become longer.

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Turnabout (2016)

If Richard Linklater and Neil Labute got together to write a movie, you’d pretty much get E.B. Hughes’ stellar drama “Turnabout.” While E.B. Hughes sums up the film quite simplistically in most of the press materials, “Turnabout” will very much surprise anyone going in to it expecting a drama about a suicidal man and his long lost friend. “Turnabout” feels a lot like Linklater’s “Tape” except so much wider in scope, in the end. While director Hughes starts “Turnabout” like something of a man experiencing a revelation, he injects small doses of menace here and there to completely undercut every expectation we have when the film begins.

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Two Lovers and a Bear (2016)

In the very Northern part of Canada, where not much happens and people do as best they can to survive and entertain themselves, two damaged but passionate souls in love are trying to make it and better their lives. Written and directed by Kim Nguyen, based on an original idea by Louis Grenier, the film follows the lives of two young adults fighting inner demons and rough past and trying to love each other and do what is best for each other.  Their struggles feel rather real and the way they push and pull at each other grabs the viewer and brings them in.  The characters built feel like actual people, filled with issues and difficulties, self-loathing and worries.

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