Sundance Interview: ‘The Fits’ Director Anna Rose Holmer & Star Royalty Hightower

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A fresh new female voice on the independent film scene, Anna Rose Holmer made a quiet splash at Sundance with her dreamy, evocative and wholly mesmerizing debut feature THE FITS. The film’s US premiere in the NEXT section followed its international bow at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, in a partnership with the prestigious Venice […]

Marya Cohn on Exploring the Nexus of Sex and Power in ‘The Girl in the Book’

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With a few rare exceptions (The Diary of a Teenage Girl is the latest example that comes to mind), the intricacies of the developing sexuality of girls and women has been gratuitously simplified on screen, often by male directors with an innately outsider perspective. That’s part of the reason it’s so refreshing to see writer/director Marya Cohn’s new […]

Sundance 2015: Directors Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo on ‘SEMBENE!”s Rich Legacy

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Though it’s a cliché for a Sundance Film Festival premiere to be called “a labor of love,” never has the term been more apt than with Sembene!, Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo’s impassioned biopic of Ousmane Sembène, “the father of African cinema.” Samba Gadjigo is a Senegalese man who credits Sembène’s early writings with helping a teenage Gadjigo find […]

Sundance 2015: Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon Rescue Vidal/Buckley Debates from Obscurity in ‘Best of Enemies’

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Largely forgotten by history, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. squared off in a series of crackling debates on ABC in 1968, which scored high ratings, got the country talking, and left both men forever scarred. When you read the description of Best of Enemies, which had its world premiere this week in the […]

Sundance 2015: Charles Poekel, Kentucker Audley & Hannah Gross Talk Brooklyn Indie ‘Christmas, Again’

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Charles Poekel‘s debut feature, screening this week at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, offers a melancholic slice-of-life look at a Brooklyn neighborhood holiday staple: the open-24/7 Christmas tree stand. When you live in New York City, there are certain hallmarks that signify the beginning of the holiday season, chief among them the singular smell of […]

Comedian Pat Shortt Is Good Craic in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ on Broadway

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This piece originally appeared on The Huffington Post. Pat Shortt & Daniel Radcliffe in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan / Credit: Johan Persson Though he’s relatively unknown on American shores, comedian Pat Shortt has been racking up fans in his native Ireland for decades. After graduating from art college in the 1980s, Shortt and his buddy […]

Griffin Dunne and Justin Schwarz Go West in ‘The Discoverers’

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Griffin Dunne (After Hours) stars as Lewis Birch, an academic purveyor of not-quite-popular history whose principled refusal to cater to the lowest common denominator has left him without a publisher. Still reeling from his divorce, he doesn’t quite know how to relate to his teenaged kids, portrayed by Madeleine Martin(“Californication“) and Devon Graye (“Dexter“). When the trio’s planned road trip from […]

‘Brothers On The Line’: New Documentary Explores Dramatic Fight for Worker’s Rights

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I’ve always felt confident about the American history education I received in various public schools (my 12th-grade civics teacher Sharon Levin comes to mind). But after watching Sasha Reuther‘s riveting documentary Brothers on the Line, I realize that every education has a significant gap or two, and one of mine involved the fascinating and rich history of […]

Rory Culkin And Lou Howe On The Tormented Soul Of Tribeca Drama ‘Gabriel’

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From the opening scenes of Gabriel, the debut feature from writer/director Lou Howe, the audience is immediately tossed into the ongoing tumult that is the life of the title character, a troubled young man brilliantly played by Rory Culkin. We’re not given any clues to the drama, other than a years-old love letter from a girl named Alice, to […]

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Juggles It All In Tribeca Drama ‘Alex Of Venice’

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When actresses and audiences alike lament the lack of interesting roles for—and movies about—women as central characters, Alex of Venice should be held up as a shining example of what could be. The independent feature, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as the title character, […]