Historical Review: Bel Powley Carries ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ on Her Shoulders

The autobiographical graphic novel, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” written by Phoebe Gloeckner, was adapted by Marielle Heller, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film of the same name. Refreshingly, “Diary” has sweeping, elegant shots of some of San Francisco’s lesser known views, perspectives and sceneries. Heller did a fine job of taking the viewer […]

EXCLUSIVE: R-Rating and Violence in ‘Logan’ Defended by Mangold, Jackman, Stewart and Kinberg

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: During the first press conference of “Logan” after its world premiere at The Berlinale, Mangold, stars Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman and producer Simon Kinberg justified the film’s violent nature. Mangold made an important distinction between making a film and watching a film, highlighted the paradox of some of […]

Film Review: In ‘Table 19,’ Russell, Kendrick and an Adept Ensemble Add to the Duplass Brothers’ Nonpareil Filmographies

“Table 19“ is further proof that the Duplass brothers can do no wrong. Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass have consistently consummated what very few filmmakers have been able to do in their careers: they have complete creative control over all of their projects. They have joined independent royalty along the likes of Richard Linklater, Quentin Tarantino and […]

Frank & Lola

Film Review: Occasionally Lazy Storytelling in ‘Frank & Lola’ Is Overcome by Shannon and Poots’s Chemistry

Michael Shannon is one of the best actors working today. He is not somebody that chooses his roles recklessly just to earn a paycheck. He is a thespian devoted to his craft. At first glance, one might think “Frank & Lola” is somewhat of a peculiar choice for Shannon, especially since he is putting his trust in first […]

Berlinale Review: ‘Logan’ Redefines a Tired Genre by Diminishing Excesses and Finding Its Humanity

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: A visceral, violent, sensitive and heartbreaking film, “Logan” overwhelmingly exceeds the hype. James Mangold‘s second entry into the standalone “Wolverine” franchise marks Hugh Jackman‘s last time dawning the now-iconic adamantium claws. The tone of “Logan” is set immediately, with the film’s setting portrayed as a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland in the year […]

EXCLUSIVE: Stanley Tucci and Armie Hammer Discuss Art, Food, Stardom, Politics and ‘Final Portrait’

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: After the premiere of “Final Portrait,” which was extremely well-received at audience and press screenings alike last weekend, I had the opportunity to discuss all things art, food, inspiration, stardom, politics and activism, as well as the film industry narrative shift toward streaming services and the making of “Final Portrait” with Stanley […]

Berlin Critics’ Week Review: ‘California Dreams’ Is an Ambitious Blend of Documentary and Fiction

2017 Berlin Critics’ Week: From director Mike Ott (“Actor Martinez,” “Lake Los Angeles”), “California Dreams,” a docu-comedy, is one of the first of its kind. It is wonderfully funny, bleak and depressing, blending fiction with reality; the film uses real people not trained actors. It stars Cory Zacharia and follows the lives of five people – Cory, Patrick, Neil, Kevin (A Dog […]

Berlinale Review: ‘Weirdos’ Is a Beautiful Coming-of-Age Ode to the 1970s and American Counter-Culture

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: “We are all weirdos. That’s what makes us beautiful.” This quote from the film, “Weirdos” by Bruce McDonald (“Pontypool,”Roadkill”) consummately encapsulates the main theme of this eclectic period piece. Set in 1976 Nova Scotia, Canada, on the cusp of America’s bicentennial, the film follows two days in the life of two teenagers who embark […]

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With ‘Vaya’ Director Akin Omotoso

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: After outstanding critical reception following its Toronto International Film Festival and its premiere last week at the Berlin International Film Festival (or “The Berlinale”) on Feb. 11, “Vaya” is on pace to be a festival circuit hit, and might even garner major awards attention as the year progresses. Awards Circuit had the chance […]

Berlinale Review: ‘Final Portrait’ Provides Perfect Perspicacity Into the Life of Swiss Artist Giacometti

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: Actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci (“Big Night,” “The Lovely Bones”) undertakes his fifth directorial effort with “Final Portrait,” a film about Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), the esteemed and eccentric Swiss painter and sculptor. Based on James Lord’s biography, “A Giacometti Portrait,” the film follows Lord (Armie Hammer), an art critic, […]

Berlinale Review: ‘DISCREET’ Another Step Forward for Auteur Travis Mathews

2017 Berlin International Film Festival: “DISCREET” follows the metaphysical journey of an emotionally compromised man named Alex (Jonny Mars). It is Travis Mathews‘ feature follow-up to the critically acclaimed and uncompromising film, “Interior. Leather Bar.” The tone is immediately established through creepy visuals and odd, whispery and snapping sound effects. The film begins with a young […]

Berlinale Review: ‘Vaya’ Offers Rare Glimpse of Life in Johannesburg

2017 BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: The film “Vaya,” by acclaimed South African director Akin Omotoso (“God is African,” “Man On Ground”), which debuted last year at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), takes place in”Jozi,” or “Joburg,” or Johannesburg. Our very own staff writer Shane Slater briefly covered this film when it debuted last September. As Berlinale […]