Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

LA Film Fest Review: VICTORIA, A Poem In Action

"You just had to be there" In a post-FOMO (fear of missing out) age this phrase is tantamount to death. "You just had to be there." It's what I said to Twitch Editor Ben Umstead as we walked out of... More »
  

LA Film Fest 2015 Review: TOO LATE A Confident, Stylish Debut

There is a classic Hollywood feel that prevails throughout Dennis Hauck's debut feature Too Late. Namely this is due to the fact that it's shot on good old 35MM film -- a feat almost never attempted in today's world of... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

LA Film Fest Review: I AM THALENTE, Skating On Passion, Finding Purpose

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound some of us move out of the way... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2014 Review: LAKE LOS ANGELES, Of Loneliness And Limbo In America

Director Mike Ott wraps up his trilogy of films set in the Antelope Valley of Southern California with this, his beguiling fourth feature, Lake Los Angeles. Getting a lot of mileage out of a simple, near fairy tale like story,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2014 Review: Cross-Cultural Mystery MAN FROM RENO Both Delivers And Disappoints

Touted as a thriller leading up to its world premiere last Sunday at the LA Film Fest, Dave Boyle's fifth feature is, in many ways both refreshing and frustrating, far less a typical pulse pounding number, and more a good... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2014 Review: CUT BANK Balances Expertly On A Razor's Edge Between Thrills And Laughs

It's no easy task to write a crime thriller script that is both tense and comedic. But even when a writer is able to pull it off on the page, an even more difficult task awaits a director to... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

LA Film Fest 2014 Review: JOSSY'S Playfully Parodies Power Rangers

If you're a regular reader here at Twitch then you are probably aware of one of Japan's fastest rising directors: Fukuda Yuichi. Already a household name in his native country thanks to several TV shows, Fukuda broke out on the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2014 Review: UNCERTAIN TERMS, Between Romance And Delusion

We are walking down a serene wooded path. With our back to us is a redheaded girl, her hair in a long, tight braid, her shoulders slumped forward. She's walking through the woods, pondering her very existence: Why is she... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: TAPIA Takes a Hard Look at One Hard Dude

Johnny Tapia, the man, is a haunted character whose entire life and body is shaped by the violence that surrounds him. Tapia, the film that tells his story, is a similarly grim affair. Like James Toback's Tyson, boxing is... More »
By Dylan Sharp   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: DELIVERY is a Refreshing Twist on Found Footage Horror

The found footage style of filmmaking exploded into the public consciousness with The Blair Witch Project back in 1999. The form grew, matured and is now well on its way to being passé. While filmmakers like those behind the... More »
By Alex Koehne   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: GOODBYE WORLD Waves Farewell in Fantastically Entertaining Fashion

Man has always been fascinated with the end of the world but filmmakers seem extra intrigued recently with World War Z, It's A Disaster, This is the End, After Earth, Oblivion, The Fifth Season, and Cloud Atlas all tackling... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: RAIN is Contemporary Ballet Stripped Bare

It may be hard for a movie like Rain to get noticed. Many documentaries employ the TV formula of souped-up editing techniques (jerky pan of a photograph! brightness filters!), loud rock snippets and old heads reminiscing in order to... More »
By Dylan Sharp   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: WINTER IN THE BLOOD Captures The True Western Spirit

Winter in the Blood focuses on a young, alcoholic Blackfoot Indian somewhere in central Montana as he struggles to maintain his sanity while constantly reliving traumatic events from his past. While Chaske Spencer plays the part with an intense and... More »
By Dylan Sharp   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: NOBODY'S DAUGHTER HAEWON And The Endearing Art Of Wandering

I've got a confession to make: Until last night I'd never seen a film by Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo (In Another Country, Woman Is The Future Of Man). So Why was that? My reasons in the past were fleeting, entirely... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: Mumbai Drama I.D. Can't Establish Credentials

To comment on Indian cinema growing beyond the Bollywood aesthetic that has defined it for so many years would be almost passé at this point. With films like Gangs of Wasseypur crashing onto the scene with great flourishes of... More »
By Alex Koehne   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS Sure Is Pretty, But It Ain't Quite Divine

As someone who spends a good portion of his days talking and writing about cinema, there comes an interesting moment when certain difficulties as to how to communicate rear their ugly head in either form of discourse. Sometimes it is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: EUROPA REPORT Is Mushy But Enjoyable Sci-Fi

Ecuadorian filmmaker Sebastián Cordero has a handful of titles on his directing resume, the best known probably 2004's John Leguizamo-starring non-comic journalist drama Cronicas. All of his films have been in Spanish and none venturing into what we would... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: ALL TOGETHER NOW, In The Woods, Rocking Out, And Philosophizing The Night Away

Multi-thread narratives or group narratives prove to be an interesting corner of cinema to explore. The best ones I find rarely rely on compelling plots, but are often loose and meandering affairs, with existential wit to spare and a cornucopia... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2013 Review: SHORT TERM 12 Is The Rare Film That Gets Child-Adult Relationships Right

As someone who has spent much of his adult life working extensively with children and teenagers (from being a kindergarten aide to high school substitute, to a 1:1 aide at home and in school) I am always very wary going... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2012 Review: RED FLAG

In his achingly personal film RED FLAG, writer-director-producer-actor Alex Karpovsky (Tiny Furniture, HBO's Girls) plays a narcissistic indie filmmaker named Alex Karpovsky who hits the road to take his latest film (nature mockumentary Woodpecker, which Karpovsky actually directed in 2008)... More »
By Lainna Fader   
  
 
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