Film Festival Reviews - International, Independent, Cult

Slamdance 2015 Review: YOSEMITE Beautifully Captures The Fearful Majesty Of Boyhood

What is it about childhood that makes us adults so wary of who we once were? Perhaps it is that great fear of the unknown, a shadow, a whisper of adulthood that scares us as children into submission of these... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, DIY Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: BIRDS OF NEPTUNE, Of Malady And Mysticism

Cinema has a way of acting like an echo chamber. it locks us into a space where we are asked to face up to ourselves through the guise of others: Our own doubts, and fears projected on the screen, looking... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: FEMALE PERVERT Cuts Cute With Gender Roles

Sex. We wouldn't be here without it. And we sure do like it. But who wants to talk about it? Especially all those particulars...Filmmaker Jiyoung Lee is ready to though, and her intelligent, equally charming and cheeky examination on female... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: RATTER, A New High Mark In Cyber-Suspense

Since the very beginning of the medium, cinema has been inextricably linked to voyeurism.For to see, we have to look. And sometimes that's in wrong or uncomfortable places. We are, as an audience -- at home, in the theater, sitting... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: TIRED MOONLIGHT, An Effervescent, Enchanting Debut

Britni West's debut feature is sure to be the most enchanting feature at this year's Slamdance. An ode to small town America, every moment in West's film is is one of effervescent discovery, culling childhood wonder and adult wanderlust with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2014 Review: SOMETIMES I DREAM I'M FLYING Considers The Form Of Ballet With Grace

I recently told a friend that one of my dreams was to see The Rite Of Spring performed as full-on a ballet. I said that really just thinking of Stravinsky's music -- as most of us probably do -- and... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2014 Review: LOVE STEAKS Is Bold, Brash And Beautifully Ugly

A flash in the pan. Hands on a middle aged body. Scented oils. Grease. Steaks sizzling. Hips. Thighs. Raw meat. Chakras. Auras. A slab of frozen lamb. The fizz-boom-fizz of industrial music kicking our ears in. The images keep pummeling... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2014 Review: ELLIOT Will Make You Believe In Canada's First Action Hero

Yes. You read that right. Canada's first action hero. China has Jackie Chan and Jet Li. America has Arnold and Sly. Europe has Jean-Claude Van Damme. And if Elliot Scott has his way, Canada will have... Elliot "White Lightning" Scott.... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2014 Review: COPENHAGEN, A Heartfelt Ode To The City, To Sorrow, And To Change

William is a twenty-something American traveling in Europe. Except he's Canadian 'cause "that's still a thing right?" He's obnoxious, rude, a veritable asshole, putting anything he's got left (a potent mix of self-loathing, male ego and hormones) into drinking and... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2014 Review: LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON Finds Forgivness In Darkness Alight

I've never been one to articulate very well my stance on documentaries as a storytelling medium. Ironic perhaps given my standing here at Twitch, but I can count on own my two hands the number of docs I've reviewed (though... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: DIAMOND ON VINYL Strikes A Provocative Groove

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation and Brian de Palma's Blow Out are two films in the American cinematic canon that present to their audiences worlds of conspiracy and voyeurism through the provocative role of the audiophile. No less important or... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: DOMESTIC Finds Its Bliss

Adrian Sitaru's third feature Domestic begins with the residents of an apartment building in modern Romania gathering in the lobby to discuss with their building president Mr. Lazar (Adrian Titieni) the pesky presence of one mangy mutt whose been hanging... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: Atmospheric JUG FACE Is Ultimately Half-Baked Horror

The Deep South can be a very strange place for outsiders. Mired in traditions and rituals which may now seem foolish or outdated, it is still a ripe place to cull old legends anew, projecting them up on the silver... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: THE DIRTIES Asks The Question 'Can You Laugh With The Boy Holding The Gun?'

The short answer is, "Yes."The slightly longer answer is, "Quite a lot, but with a hell of a caveat."And the longest answer is the rest of this review.Looking like the freshest-faced 16-year old you could imagine, Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY Is A Riveting Investigation On The Death Of Privacy

A mere click of the mouse is all it takes for you to strike an almost Faustian bargain with one of the mega corporations on the planet. With that click we get access to fantastic email service, genius music players... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: KOHLHAAS Wonderfully Captures The Comedy And Tragedy Of Filmmaking

We all have visions that we hold dear, ideas and ideals that we keep close to our hearts, ready to share in that moment when we absolutely must go forth and claim our stake in the world. As German author... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: HE'S WAY MORE FAMOUS THAN YOU Is Excessive, Obnoxious And Hilarious

He's Way More Famous Than You is a zany bit of fame-whore lambasting, with co-writer and star Halley Feiffer fearlessly taking aim at just about everything under the Hollywood/celebrity sun, most notably herself, and more importantly her appearance in "Noah... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2013 Review: JOY DE V. - Bright Lights, Big City & The Lost Soul

Nadia Szold's feature debut Joy de V. charts the speed of dreams; the layers and shapes, patterns and cadence of a fever dream. Of a man met with madness that may be of his own doing, by the flick of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
 
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