A major international hotel chain some years ago positioned its appeal to travelers as “the best surprise is no surprise.” The premise was that most vacationers want the predictability of home wherever they go. That line didn’t play well in Manhattan, where surprise is the order of every day. Most of us moved here to… Read more »
Lunar New Year is a traditional Spring festival in China, and also a prime time for movie-watching. People often spend this national holiday at the cinema with their families. While the pandemic is still ongoing in China, the excitement surrounding this year’s Chinese New Year film season has been higher than ever. Over the week-long… Read more »
In his short story collection “Puck of Pook’s Hill,” Rudyard Kipling said, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” There are many stories around the world that revolve around mothers. The Korean film “Wedding Dress,” the British film “Philomena,” and the American horror movie “Mama” are all stories with themes of mothers protecting and loving… Read more »
Inspired by actual events, Krystin Ver Linden premiered her directorial debut, “Alice,” at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film focuses on the stories of Black Americans held in servitude over 100 years after the abolition of slavery. Unfortunately, Ver Linden’s mixing of a period drama of a Southern plantation with a 1970s Blaxploitation film… Read more »
Based on the medieval poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Director David Lowery retells the story of Gawain, the youngest knight of the Round Table and the nephew of King Arthur. While the original Gawain is a model for chivalry and bravery, actor Dev Patel’s Gawain is a drunk with commitment issues. He’s also… Read more »
“The Fallout” (2021), Megan Park’s feature directorial debut, explores the emotional impact of a school shooting on high schoolers and how their trauma responses differ from one another. Jenna Ortega plays the leading role, a 16-year-old named Vada, and gives a heart-wrenching performance. While at first this movie may sound like an overdone school shooting… Read more »
“Framing Agnes” (2022), Chase Joynt’s directorial feature debut, offers the audience a critique of the media’s portrayal of transgender and gender-nonconforming communities. Joynt’s movie is the result of a collaborative process, one that was recognized by two NEXT awards at Sundance.
Senior Film Critic Kurt Brokaw picks his virtual favorites from the 2022 New York Jewish Film Festival. Selections include documentaries on the history of a film about the Nuremburg Trials, artist Lily Renée Phillips, ehtnomusicologist Moisei Beregovsky, a musical about Bernie Madoff and a short about a bar mitzvah in the middle of an arial bombing.