BIFF 2018: House Of Hummingbird

Sometimes you can see great movies coming months in advance, and sometimes they land in your lap without you noticing.

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Shoplifters Cashes Checks Your Heart Can’t Handle

The film begins with scampy antics and slices of life, only to unravel as you spend more time with the players. Grandma collects cash from her in-laws, whose daughter claims to be in Australia when in reality she’s a sex worker in the city. Shota refuses to call Osamu his ‘father,’ even though he is. Or is he? Yuri’s diminutive frame is sullied with signs of physical abuse, which mirror scars that Nobuyo has; they bond over it, but to what end? Where did the scars come from?

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BIFF 2018: The Enigma Of Arrival

Every film takes inspiration from what’s come before, but one director’s shadow looms especially large over Song Wen’s The Enigma

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BIFF 2018: Sew The Winter To My Skin

Sew The Winter To My Skin is hard to put in a box. If I tell you it’s a South

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Lance Reddick Isn’t New To This, He’s True To This

Reddick’s uniquely imposing 6’4” height and distinct tenor of voice has lent itself to the characters he’s made famous; as Detective Broyles in Fringe, Reddick gave depth and balance to the show, always searching for truth and maintaining order; as The Wire’s Cedric Daniels, he maintains a non-malleable sense of honor and conduct that foils sharply with Baltimore’s ever-murky moral landscape

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BIFF 2018: Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy

Along with the ending of Stella Dallas and the drop in Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight, the Ip Man movies are some of the most cathartic experiences ever engineered by human beings. They’re kung-fu at its id-stroking apex. Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy continues the franchise’s streak of aggressive Wing Chun assaults on the brain’s pleasure center.

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MVFF18: If Beale Street Could Talk

There’s a moment in If Beale Street Could Talk, where Tish (Kiki Layne) tells her mother Sharon (Regina King) that she’s pregnant with imprisoned boyfriend, Fonny’s (Stephan James), baby. It’s the heartbeat of an early trailer of the film, and precedes a beautiful scene wherein the family calls Tish in versus casting her out. At Sharon’s behest, her father (Colman Domingo) and sister (Teyonah Parris) lovingly affirm her choice to raise the child as her own. It’s the kind of scene that feels exceptional in a media landscape that’s often bent on either bemoaning the destruction of or mourning the inherent brokenness of black families.

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Sandra Seeling Lipski’s Evolution! Film Festival Is Mallorca’s Best Kept Secret

n the Mediterranean Sea, just east of Spain’s mainland and north of Algeria, sits Mallorca, an island country filled with beautiful beaches, a rich, laid back culture and the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival. Sandra Seeling Lipski, founder and director of EMIFF, created the festival in 2012, including its sister festival in LA. This was after years of wearing all the other hats in the industry, from actor to director and writer, in both LA and New York.

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MVFF18: Border

Flaunting the strengths of both Iranian and Nordic cinema, Border combines profound poetics and formal rigidity to create a progressive and truly memorable film. As only a great film can achieve, the experience of watching the film corresponds with the message it intends to convey: that which feels foreign often contains the most wisdom.

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REELYDOPE Recap: Mill Valley Film Festival 2018

With great support from the Larsen Associates—our local partners in crime and media journalism—we present to you a sampling of some of the best films this year–and the Mill Valley Film Festival–offered. 

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Venom Is Pleasantly Messy, Weird And Unhinged

Hardy’s manic and perpetually afraid performance introduces the kind of pathos any Venom story needs. There’s no way to make this particular chapter cool, because it’d be a bit too beyond belief. Thankfully, Hardy takes this thesis and runs with it as a sweaty, dirtbag Sisyphus. His exclamations, haggard look and pure exasperation elevate Venom’s choppy, central narrative from simple body horror or MCU aping to something else: something enjoyable.

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BIFF 2018: Ten Years Japan

Black Mirror is in a rut these days. The sci-fi series felt like vibrant social commentary in its first two

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BIFF 2018: High Life

There is no evidence for life on Mars. Despite SETI’s best efforts, nothing has come back from outside the solar system. Except for Earth, the universe appears to be cold, lifeless, and desolate. Yet the romantic pull of space is as hard to resist as Earth’s gravity; most movies set in space are about wonder, adventure, and the discovery of the unknown. Even if it’s full of killer monsters (Alien), at least they’re a change of scenery, and even if space is empty (Gravity, The Martian), at least there’s a spectacular journey with a happy ending.

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Women Run The Jewels In Widows

Widows is quite possibly the best film—if not top five, were we to entertain a conversation about the films-yet-to-go-wide (If Beale Street Could Talk, Creed 2, Jinn, etc)—of the year. The reimagined heist film, co-written by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) and director Steve McQueen (Hunger, 12 Years a Slave), is just damn good.

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Telluride 2018: The Sausage-Making of A.O. Scott

Without access to the Press Orientation (including a private screening), Press Office (including, presumably, a snack bar), or Press Material, I was pressed for material. Fortunately, I could read over A.O. Scott’s shoulder.

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#SFFILM: Minding The Gap

There are plenty of amazing skate videos out there, but I’d bet that Minding the Gap is the only one that evolves into a deeply intimate portrait of parental abuse. Skating is known as an emblem of childhood escape, and that’s where the film starts, but by the end of the film you’ll have witnessed a searing, honest case study of childhood trauma.

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