Dalida (2016)

Dalida tells the story of the Italian-Egyptian singer who made her life in France and was, and still is, hugely popular in French-speaking countries and other parts of the world. She was and still is a musical icon who became almost mythological after her suicide in 1987. For the unfamiliar, Dalida was and probably still is as big of an icon to some as Cher and Madonna are in the US.

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Death Metal (2016) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017]

Panhandling plus satanic riffs equates to all out of carnage and bloodshed in writer/director Chris McInroy’s return after Bad Guy #2 with horror short Death Metal. Lars spends his day in the park, strumming his guitar with a tip jar at his side. Instead of money, it’s insults that are thrown his way. After lamenting to his father, and being completely negligent, Lars returns with an evil axe that makes him sound like he actually can play the instrument well.

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No Roads In (2017) [Oceanside International Film Festival 2017]

No Roads In is a music documentary but also one about how music can transform lives.

Written by Christopher Leeson and directed by Josh Wong, this documentary follows a band as they record an album in an abandoned home in the Canadian Prairies.  One of them finds this place while driving and brings the rest back to record a more natural, organic album in terms of sound and how it comes to be.  The film follows these men and looks into their lives through interviews and music.  The men shown include Adam Naughler, Jon May, Blake Reid, Aaron Young, and Jason Valleau who all work on the album together and have their lives and hopes discussed by themselves and others.

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You Have to See This! NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell (2007)

“New York wasn’t burning. It was burnt!”

Director Henry Corra’s exploration of what New York was in 1977 is quite fantastic and a surprisingly rare chronicle of the political and economic turmoil that ironically bred timeless art and music. As a born and bred Bronxite, 1977 is a mythical year, and a period of the decade that I’ve heard about very often from elder family members. In particular, the night of the infamous black out of New York, my mom and uncle were stuck in the edge of downtown Manhattan and had to brave their way home during the mass looting and rioting. “NY77” garners a very unique tone that balances out the inherent importance of the year, the depressing living conditions of the city, and the obvious fun that was had by most, who managed to endure poverty with laughs and creativity.

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Baby Driver (2017)

Edgar Wright has proven himself to be one of the most unique and creative living directors today and the man has only honed his craft to deliver a great spin on a classic crime tale about love, and redemption. “Baby Driver” is a remarkable turn for Wright who creates a pulp masterpiece. “Baby Driver” is a powerful and emotional tale about a truly engaging protagonist who is sinking in to a world of violence and murder, and has no idea how to get out. We’ve seen movies about getaway drivers before, but “Baby Driver” works to the benefit of Wright’s strengths including dynamic characters, sharp humor, and amazing editing.

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