Tagged with indie films

Review: Eighth Grade, 2018, dir. Bo Burnham

Review: Eighth Grade, 2018, dir. Bo Burnham


“Hey,” says the movie, “let’s all go back in time to our adolescence, when our skin resembled pizza bathed in grease and battered with a meat hammer, and everything we liked actually in retrospect really, really sucks, and social interaction felt as risky as giving yourself a half dozen paper cuts and sticking your limbs … Continue reading

Review: Pet Names, 2018, dir. Carol Brandt

Review: Pet Names, 2018, dir. Carol Brandt


If you don’t listen closely enough, you might miss the quiet explanation for Pet Names‘ title, but that’s okay: You’re almost guaranteed to catch it. Pet Names is a tiny movie about tiny problems, but it’s beautifully made and completely engrossing; I can’t imagine anyone with a taste for this kind of cinema, character-driven, relationship-driven, unfussed and … Continue reading

Review: Weirdos, 2017, dir. Bruce McDonald

Review: Weirdos, 2017, dir. Bruce McDonald


And here I go, festing yet again! This time I’m remotely reviewing a title that played at this year’s Berlinale (also known as the Berlin International Film Festival), Weirdos, directed by Bruce McDonald, who is probably best liked for his 2009 horror film Pontypool. Weirdos isn’t Pontypool by a damn sight, either in terms of content or in … Continue reading

Review: Moonlight, 2016, dir. Barry Jenkins

Review: Moonlight, 2016, dir. Barry Jenkins


I’ve not yet stumbled upon a review of Moonlight that has found a way to associate the film’s message with the central philosophies of the Black Lives Matter movement, mostly because that movement is not germane to the film’s messages and because, I suspect, any white author writing about Barry Jenkins’ extraordinary second feature is smart … Continue reading

Review: Blue Jay, 2016, dir. Alex Lehmann

Review: Blue Jay, 2016, dir. Alex Lehmann


Proof that Sarah Paulson is the best: She coaxes a great performance out of Mark Duplass in Blue Jay, this wonderful, itty bitty widdle indie moobie that you can rent or buy in iTunes. I think you should! I obviously liked it, judging by the review I wrote for Paste Magazine, and you know that that’s … Continue reading

Review: Goat, 2016, dir. Andrew Neel

Review: Goat, 2016, dir. Andrew Neel


I can picture a cut of Goat that leaves out the extraneous stuff, the stuff that has net zero impact on the plot, and I can also picture that cut of Goat being much, much better than the cut we got. Oh well. The cut we got is still pretty solid, excess material aside. Goat, by the way, … Continue reading

Interview: Ira Sachs, “Little Men”

Interview: Ira Sachs, “Little Men”


I didn’t put Ira Sachs’ Little Men on my top ten of the year thus far list, but if I’d revisited it before seeing Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, it might have ended up at least in the ten slot, and possibly higher. It’s one of the films in 2016 that comes as close to perfect as possible, … Continue reading

Interview: Anna Rose Holmer, “The Fits”

Interview: Anna Rose Holmer, “The Fits”


My love for Ann Rose Holmer’s extraordinary debut, The Fits, is well documented as of my report from Independent Film Festival Boston. So naturally, I took the opportunity to chat with her about the film as the greatest of honors. I won’t bore you with a lead-in. This is one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done … Continue reading

Review: Felt, 2015, dir. Jason Banker

Review: Felt, 2015, dir. Jason Banker


“If there’s one objective statement to make about Felt, the third film by Jason Banker, it’s that it’ll make you deeply uncomfortable. Felt is easier to admire than to straight-up love, a symptom of the ways it uses unease as a tool for setting atmosphere and tone. But whether we like or dislike movies like … Continue reading

Interview: Sean Baker, Tangerine

Interview: Sean Baker, Tangerine


“If you keep up with the buzz humming off the festival circuit, then no doubt you’ve heard of Sean Baker’s Sundance hit Tangerine, which he shot using a handful of iPhone 5s (outfitted with anamorphic lens adapters). But please, make no mistake:Tangerine isn’t a movie about iPhones. It’s a movie about Alexandra (Mya Taylor) and … Continue reading

Review: Heaven Knows What, 2015, dir. Josh & Benny Safdie

Review: Heaven Knows What, 2015, dir. Josh & Benny Safdie


“If you’ve ever strolled down a bustling metropolitan city sidewalk, you’ve probably caught glimpses of homelessness in the corner of your eye. Maybe you’ve noticed sleeping bags nestled in doorways and highway underpasses; heard panhandlers beseeching passersby for change; walked swiftly past long queues outside of overcrowded shelters. Rather than discretely observe these folks while … Continue reading

Review: Appropriate Behavior, 2015, dir. Desiree Akhavan

Review: Appropriate Behavior, 2015, dir. Desiree Akhavan


“The delightful byproduct of living in a post-Girls pop-culture-verse is that even if you don’t care for Lena Dunham, or if you find her creative output too preciously self-effacing (or self-aware, or self-interested, or any other self-[blank] adjective you can muster), her influence is likely to inspire other media that does tickle your fancy. Case … Continue reading