IFFBOSTON 2021 PANEL DISCUSSION: STATE OF LOCAL CINEMAS

Honored to have been asked to moderate this IFFBoston panel discussion about the state of local arthouse cinemas featuring friends Ian Judge from the Somerville Theatre, Ned Hinkle from the Brattle and Katherine Tallman from the Coolidge Corner Theatre. We discussed Covid-19 closures and coping methods, as well as what audiences can expect from the New Normal.IFFBoston, 05/08/2021

WRATH OF MAN

“It’s really a whole mood, this picture. Men sit quietly and brood in the chiaroscuro cinematography, with an omnipresent cello score by Christopher Benstead that sounds like he’s scraping the bottom of the instrument. I’m an easy lay for this kind of thing, when a filmmaker marries a visual idea to a storytelling conceit. They used to call it directing.” – North Shore Movies, 05/06/2021

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FILMS OF ENDEARMENT

“That our parents existed before we arrived is a source of endless mystery and fascination, a curiosity that only intensifies as one moves into middle age. Koresky gets this better than most writers, and his wonderful new book is about how the movies we share with our loved ones can help us better understand people we’ve known our entire lives.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/05/2021

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IFFBOSTON 2021

“The festival kicks off with a powerful portrait of a political moment and one of the most rousing concert films you’ll ever see, featuring peak performances by Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, The Staple Singers, Gladys Knight and the Pips, B.B. King and Nina Simone. I guess the next best thing to an opening night party is all of us dancing in our living rooms.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 05/04/2021

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CRISIS

“Well-researched and even more well-meaning, Crisis provides plenty of sobering statistics but the drama is stilted and schematic. Traffic suffered from some similar screenwriting woes that were transcended by its killer cast and Soderbergh’s alchemical camera savvy. The characters here feel as muted and colorless as the gunmetal grey cinematography.” – North Shore Movies, 05/04/2021

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WITHOUT REMORSE

“The gnarly centerpiece of Clancy’s novel found our protagonist interrogating an operative by imploding him with a deep-sea diver’s decompression chamber. The movie goes one better by having Jordan set a Russian official’s limo on fire, then jump into the backseat and torture information out of the guy while the car is slowly engulfed by flames. Awesome.” – North Shore Movies, 04/30/2021

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FOUR GOOD DAYS

“What’s welcome is a worthwhile role for Mila Kunis, a fine actress we see too little of these days outside of whiskey commercials. She emphasizes an addict’s animal cunning, eyes always alert for a fresh angle. Looking at her ravaged visage it’s a miracle Molly’s made it to 31, but thanks to Kunis’ abrasive energy you get a sense of how she’s survived.” – North Shore Movies, 04/29/2021

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LIMBO

“Most movies concerning refugees depict them as faceless, huddled masses defined by their suffering, whereas in Limbo these are idiosyncratic, sometimes extremely annoying individuals. Sharrock’s trying to make a comedy about a serious subject usually only addressed in documentaries. He doesn’t always succeed, but when his jokes land they leave a mark.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/29/2021

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OSCARS 2021: THANKS, BUT NO MANKS

“We’ve got movie theaters, their employees and crew members who work on Hollywood films suffering catastrophic financial losses, but have any of these obscenely wealthy luminaries lifted a finger to help them out? The only show of support I can recall was Gal Gadot and her dopey friends singing ‘Imagine’ off-key from the grounds of their gargantuan estates.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/23/2021

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MORTAL KOMBAT

“The movie provides gratuitous violence in abundance if not ebullience –mostly in constricted closeups, cut together only semi-coherently– dutifully disposing of guts and limbs. The famous video game catch-phrases are trotted out for moments people probably would have applauded in a crowded theater, but at home on HBO Max elicit far more subdued reactions.” – North Shore Movies, 04/23/2021

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