• two-days-one-night-cannes-2014-5

    PFF23 Review: Two Days One Night

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    In the haunting Two Days, One Night, directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne add a profound level of morality drama to their customarily brilliant trove of social reality themes explored since their outstanding first film, Le Promesse (1997). What is unique this time is they are working with an actress who is emerging as one of […]

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  • the-last-five-years-toronto-film-festival

    PFF23 Review: The Last Five Years

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    The intermittently uplifting yet often pretentious The Last Five Years contains hardly any dialogue that is not sung. Pleasantly containing several songs of depth and wit, the film struggles with the thinnest of story lines and its pleased-with-itself structure. Anna Kendrick, who is very good, presents her character, Cathy’s story backwards from the end, while […]

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    PFF23 Review: Human Capital

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Human Capital blends a razor-sharp depiction of Italian class tension with an engrossing mystery. Based on a novel by American author Stephen Amidon, the film unfolds in separate chapters, each of which repeats the same events from the different perspectives of various characters. The film, deriving its title from the world of insurance, boasts powerful […]

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  • girlhood-karidja-toure-assa-sylla-lindsay-karamoh-marietou-toure

    PFF23 Review: Girlhood

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    When Marieme establishes footing in a girl gang outside of Paris, she seems content to gain an identity she never was able to get from her traditional, broken family. A brother who treats her terribly eventually forces her to abandon her three girlfriends in the gang because she violates what he perceives as a cultural […]

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  • Mommy-Movie-660

    PFF23 Review: Mommy

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (he made and starred in I Killed My Mother at 19) seriously gets in you face with the extravagantly jarring Mommy. The brutal arguments between out-of-his-mind, tantalizing, violent-zero me, ADHD 15-year-old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Platt) and his tough yet unconditionally compassionate mom Diane (a great Anne Dorval) have to be seen […]

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Recent Articles

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Apr
24

Tribeca Talks: Stories By Numbers – David Simon Reveals Project No One Will Let Him Make & Other Highlights

At this afternoon’s Tribeca Talks: Future of Film Series, panelists including film critic Anne Thompson, FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver, The Wire & Treme creator David Simon, and House of Cards‘ show runner Beau Willimon discussed the importance and effect of number crunching on storytelling. For a panel called, “Stories by Numbers:  Mining Narratives From Big […]

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Apr
24

Tribeca Review: Gueros

Nowadays it is very easy to identify a coming-of-age story when you see one.  Usually it makes its’ presence known by compounding the audience with a number of clichés that range anywhere from montages of flashbacks or an elder character attempting to guide a younger, seemingly lost character onto the path of self discovery and […]

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Apr
24

Video Interview: Whoopi Goldberg for Keep On Keepin’ On

Whoopi Goldberg spoke with Pretentious Film Majors’ Devin Southard at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the new documentary produced by Quincy Jones, “Keep On Keepin’ On” about jazz legend Clark Terry and his student Justin Kauffman. Whoopi shares why documentaries are important, the need for Clark Terry’s story to be told, and discusses some […]

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Apr
24

Tribeca Review: Garnet’s Gold

There was a brief period in my early childhood where I went through a phase of wanting to be a pirate.  Sailing on ships seemed cool and pillaging villages looked like a lot of fun, but the big appeal came from searching for lost treasure.  Having the chance to go on a larger than life […]

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Apr
22

Tribeca Review: Chef (Jon Favreau directs)

While Chef may have had a relatively light premise its star studded cast was still enough to lend it some legitimacy. What keeps you engaged with the relatively shaky premise of this film is its heavy use of of technology and social media along with a number of geographic culture shocks that provide occasional laughs, […]

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Apr
22

Steve Hofstetter Interview

Recently, I was able to sit down with comedian and YouTube star Steve Hofstetter before he did a stand-up show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia.  We had a great conversation while he ate his dinner and prepped for the show.  It was a lot of fun, and the show was terrific.  Steve’s set […]

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Apr
21

Tribeca Review: Below Dreams

An uncommonly loose portrait of life in New Orleans, Garret Bradley’s debut feature film uses a documentary-like cinema verite style to create a movie that values tone over narrative. Weaving together *but just barely) the lives of three very different people, only connected by the city they share, Below Dreams’ naturalistic approach to scene structure […]

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Apr
21

Tribeca Review: In Order of Disappearance

Stellan Skarsgård has a unique set of skills in Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance, and among them is operating a snow blower. Set against the sparse, snow-soaked landscapes of Norwegian, Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s In Order of Disappearance casts Skarsgård in the old-guy-after-revenge role that’s been popularized by Liam Neeson […]

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Apr
21

Review: Joe

There comes a point in David Gordon Green’s Joe where main character Joe (an excellent Nicholas Cage) starts to act as if he might be insane. Hardly restrained up to this point, the film proceeds to take two steps forward and one step backward in terms of finesse. Green, whose sharp-focused observations ultimately fail to […]

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Apr
11

Review: Draft Day

Its blaring print advertisement quote compares Draft Day to Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. If you go in looking for a shred of either film, you’ll feel as cheated as this film’s Cleveland Browns fans feel after a pre-draft day trade. Brown’s GM Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner) gives up three future first round […]

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Dom-Hemingway-Photo-Nick-Wall
Apr
11

Review: Dom Hemingway

There hasn’t been an actor playing this “against type” since Bill Murray as FDR. In Dom Hemingway Jude Law stars as a blustery Cockney smart-ass safe-cracker with bad teeth and a few extra pounds on his gut. Law, usually solidly cerebral (the excellent Side Effects, Anna Karenina), here is big on balls and small on […]

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Apr
4

Review: The Unknown Known

Although it’s disappointing politically that the bedeviling Donald Rumsfeld fails to emulate Robert McNamara in Errol Morris’ documentary, The Fog of War, it makes for compelling cinema in Morris’ new film The Unknown Known. Whereas McNamara gave plenty of mea culpa heft to his turn in the spotlight, Rumsfeld is instead intent on making sure […]

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