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2012 Film Challenge Awards Announced

Judges have spoken and the results are in! Announcing the winners of the 2012 National Film Challenge.

Doc Challenge returns in 2013

International Documentary Challenge is back for another year of fast filmmaking in 2013, February 28-March 4, 2013.

A sound in the middle of the night awakens a couple, an intruder moves through a downstairs room, a gun is loaded, it is aimed at the burglar and a shot goes off. Thus begins director Jim Mickle's "Cold in July," a gritty slice of life in 1989 East Texas where hidden agendas and ugly revenge rule.

Published in Film Reviews

A documentary about the pictures side of Hunter S. Thompson's words does not appeal much to readers who think Hunter S. Thompson was a louche excuse for a man and a writer. So that's not a good reason to see "For No Good Reason" to see the excellent film about Ralph Steadman.

Published in Film Reviews

"Fed Up" is this year's "Inconvenient Truth." You know you're going to have big data thrown at you, and you know you're going to have your heart strings thwacked, but you may not be ready for how angry you become at the successful efforts of food lobbyists on good sense.
 

Published in Film Reviews

All the ingredients are there for a dramatic, heart-punching story of immigrants in the Twenties of the Twentieth Century. Two Polish sisters, Magda and Ewa, arrive at Ellis Island in 1921, separated when Magda is found to have tuberculosis and is quarantined. Ewa must find shelter when the women's aunt and uncle do not show.

Published in Film Reviews

Forget Jon Favreau's other movies as actor, writer, or producer. Forget "Iron Man" and "Swingers." Just enjoy "Chef." It's relatively predictable, plows no new acreage, and is so foodie that it's pornie, but it's a delight, too, with Favreau just dandy as writer, director and actor.

Published in Film Reviews

What is daily life like for a group of high school teenagers drifting in and out of each other's lives as they experiment sexually, push boundaries, and engage in some downright dangerous behavior? "Palo Alto" offers its ideas for a cross section of privileged young men and women, searching and rebelling, desperate to find themselves.

Published in Film Reviews

Four-time world champion ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine is nothing if not debonair. His movements are graceful; his air, elegant. His every step has purpose. So when he decides to do something, he puts his foot down. "Dancing in Jaffa" proves it's not that simple to pursue a dream.
 

Published in Film Reviews

It is rare that a film addresses so many -isms so well, but "Belle" does this and more. "Belle" considers not only the damage of racism but of sexism in a country so classist as to be, well, classic. "Belle" does that, too, and in so doing, it raises the whole issue of color as related to gender.

Published in Film Reviews

That's God's Pocket as in Hell's Kitchen and the Tenderloin area -- they're all neighborhoods within larger cities, and they are not the most attractive real estate. They are seedy and sordid, populated by generations of drifters and grafters. They are often fiercely championed by the natives, who look down on anyone not from there. 

Published in Film Reviews

If you don't follow baseball, you might not have known about the advent of Indian players in the major league. You might not have known about an agent named Jamie Bernstein, who needed an influx of money to keep going. After losing a client who would have been worth millions, JB plops on his bachelor couch, flipping through channels.

Published in Film Reviews

If you were lucky enough to watch "Hung" on HBO a year or so ago, then you've already seen a good take on the concept that women will buy sex from clean and sober gentlemen. You will also have seen a better version of this theme than you get in John Turturro's "Fading Gigolo."

Published in Film Reviews

Landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the largest Allied operation of World War II, was choreographed and orchestrated and designed to a T -- with a few unpredictable contingencies, the weather for one. Who knew what it would do nor what the enemy, the Nazis and its Axis forces, would do.
 

Published in Film Reviews

So it's directed and written by Jim Jarmusch. So it's witty and pretty -- and dark. "The Only Lovers Left Alive" is still, at base, a bloody zombie movie. So if you love those blood-sucking franchises, you might like "Only Lovers." If you like decadence, you'll eat up "Only Lovers."

Published in Film Reviews

The documentary "Particle Fever" goes inside the world of theoretical and experimental physicists in their search for the Higgs boson. This particle, if found, would potentially change perspectives on scientific understanding of the universe. Enter the Large Hadron Collider and experiments to which over 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries contribute. "Particle Fever" follows six of them from 2007 to 2012.

Published in Film Reviews

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