By the end of Akira Kurosawa’s 1949 detective drama, Stray Dog, there is not a character that escapes the fray without rolling around in the mud, figuratively and literally. Every decision has consequences, and every action has a reaction. Some, more than others. For the young character of Detective Murikami (Toshirô Mifune), the mistake of […]Read More Akira Kurosawa Series – Stray Dog (1949)
“Reel Conversations” highlights filmmakers behind official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. On this episode of “Reel Conversations,” Thomas Manning speaks with Rebecca Kirsh, the co-director of the short film, “A Mind’s Eye.” A very personal project for Kirsh, she seeks to tell a story about one of her greatest fears: blindness. In this film, a […]Read More A Conversation with Director Rebecca Kirsh – Real to Reel Film Festival
Throughout years of film criticism, it has become cliché to say that a film “defies categorization” in reference to genre. Many times, the greatest films of this nature find a way to weave together distinct tones and elements from a wide array of classifications, developing something truly unique and memorable. Unfortunately, in other situations, the […]Read More New Satire “Greed” Misses the Mark
“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke WOW. This quote that flashed across the screen to close out JOJO RABBIT literally brought me to tears. What a moving story. A true testament to the powers of compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. It explores one […]Read More JOJO RABBIT – Taika Waititi’s Hitler Satire is Humorous, Tragic, Hopeful, and Uplifting.
From director D.C. Hamilton and screenwriter Brinna Kelly, The Fare is a film that almost defies categorization. At times, if feels like a science-fiction mystery, with shocking and striking narrative shifts. At other points, it appears as a romantic dramedy, following the bizarre development of the relationship between a pair of star-crossed lovers. This unconventional […]Read More Ambitious sci-fi thriller “The Fare” is now available on home video.
It blows my mind that a film barely 90 minutes long, and set in a single room for practically the entire runtime, can feel so epic and grand, yet so deeply personal and intimate. The vast range of human emotions and experiences which are explored through a relatively simple premise is astounding. This is perhaps […]Read More 12 Angry Men – A Slice of Cinematic Mastery
It was pretty awesome to have my first experience with Lawrence of Arabia be on the big screen, thanks to a bring-back event. Wow, this film is the true definition of a sprawling epic. Director David Lean is a mastermind, adapting the remarkable true story of British war hero Thomas Edward Lawrence with stroke after […]Read More Lawrence of Arabia – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore
From the opening shot of director Alexandre Moratto’s Brazilian coming-of-age drama, Socrates, audiences will recognize that they are in for a very personal, brutally honest, and unrelenting emotional journey following the life of a struggling young teen in São Paulo. Inspired by his time volunteering with the UNICEF-supported Querô Institute in Brazil, a “non-profit that […]Read More “Socrates” – Not for the Faint of Heart, but a Deeply Personal and Significant Commentary on Society
Joining “Rocketman” and “Yesterday” in the category of music-based narratives this summer, “Blinded by the Light” is easily one of the best films I have seen this year. Director and co-writer Gurinder Chadha offers this story inspired by true events, detailing one young man’s struggles to hold onto his cultural roots, while still searching for […]Read More “Blinded by the Light” – Another Wonderful Music-Based Feature in the Summer of 2019
Oscar-nominated actor Greg Kinnear makes his directorial debut with the new film Phil, and also stars in the lead role as the eponymous character. Phil McGuire is a fairly successful dentist who runs his own practice, yet struggles with deep depression and all of its accompanying horrendous aspects. He is desperately searching for some form […]Read More “Phil” – Greg Kinnear’s Directorial Debut is a Respectable Effort that Ultimately Struggles with its Rich Subject Matter