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‘The Fabelmans’ examines an artist’s roots

When we look upon the works of gifted artists – regardless of the medium involved – we’re often tempted to wonder where the abilities that gave rise to them came from. To be sure, much of the credit obviously belongs to these creative types themselves, but still there are other influences that help to nudge their talents to the surface, inspirations that bring out their innate skills and enable them to flourish.

‘The Weasels’ Tale’ details the rigors of personal integrity

“The Weasels’ Tale” (“El cuento de las comadrejas”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Graciela Borges, Oscar Martínez, Luis Brandoni, Marcos Mundstock, Clara Lago, Nicolás Francella, Luz Cipriota, Anwar Yoma, Manuel Martínez Sobrado, Ayelén Dotti, Nicolás Fiore, Adriana Marcela Garibaldi, Dana Gabriela Basso. Director: Juan José Campanella. Screenplay: Juan José Campanella, Augusto Giustozzi, Darren Kloomok and José A. Martínez Suárez. Source Material: Augusto Giustozzi and José A. Martínez Suárez, screenplay, “Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico” (“The Boys Before Didn’t Use Arsenic”). Web site. Trailer. Operating from a standpoint of integrity can be difficult enough under the best of conditions, but, when extenuating circumstances adversely impinge upon it, that can make matters much more challenging. Indeed, it can be hard [...]

2021-02-15T23:58:26+00:00January 9th, 2021|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping Up the 2020 Chicago Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With moviehouses just now beginning to reopen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the Festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home or in the comfort of their vehicles at its drive-in performances. As has been the case with other such events this year, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future programs, even without the threat of a pandemic. It makes it possible to offer the Festival’s films to a wider audience and provides flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented [...]

2020-12-12T01:17:22+00:00October 26th, 2020|Movie Reviews|

‘Love, Antosha’ fondly applauds a life of creativity

“Love, Antosha” (2019). Cast: Anton Yelchin. Interviews: Irina Yelchin, Viktor Yelchin, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Martin Landau, Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, Bryce Dallas Howard, Frank Langella, Sofia Boutella, Mary Lester, Ian Cripps, Sophie Simpson, Nick Jones, Paul David, Nicolas Cage (narrator). Archive Footage: Anthony Hopkins, Larry David, David Duchovny, Mel Gibson, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, Robert DeNiro, Felicity Jones, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Dinklage. Director: Garret Price. Web site. Trailer. When we look upon the works of artists of any stripe, we often gape in awe, admiring their output and wondering how they came up with their creations. We may even somewhat [...]

2019-10-30T03:20:54+00:00September 10th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Luce’ ventures into the search for truth

“Luce” (2019). Cast: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Norbert Leo Butz, Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Omar Brunson, Noah Gaynor, Astro, Christopher Mann, Hannah Cabell. Director: Julius Onah. Screenplay: J.C. Lee and Julius Onah. Play: J.C. Lee, Luce. Web site. Trailer. What is truth? That’s a question scholars, philosophers and theologians have wrestled with for eons. But, after all these many centuries, it still lingers, nibbled at by many deep thinkers though never satisfactorily answered. Perhaps that’s because it can’t be adequately nailed down, be it due to an undefinable or transitory nature, a plethora of conflicting opinions, or some other inscrutable quality. For what it’s worth, however, the quest continues, this time on the stage [...]

2019-09-16T09:25:31+00:00August 19th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘This Changes Everything’ examines remedies for a glaring disparity

“This Changes Everything” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Marisa Tomei, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Chloë Grace Moretz, Meryl Streep, Zoe Saldana, Cate Blanchett, Gillian Anderson, Rashida Jones, Sharon Stone, Amandla Stenberg, Heather Graham, Rosario Dawson, Geena Davis, Mary-Louise Parker, Sandra Oh, Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, Rose McGowan, Brit Marling, Ellen Pompeo, Amber Tamblyn, Yara Shahidi, Jackie Cruz, Lena Dunham, Marg Helgenberger, Tracee Ellis Ross, Judd Apatow, Alan Alda, Paul Feig, Shonda Rhimes, Jill Soloway, Patty Jenkins, Catherine Hardwicke, Mira Nair, Kimberly Peirce, Lesli Linka Glatter, Julie Dash, Lynne Littman, Maria Giese, Cherien Dabis, Courtney Kemp Agboh, Callie Khouri, Anita Hill, Kalpana Kotagal, Melissa Goodman, Maureen Ryan, Howard Rodman, Clifford Alexander. Director: Tom Donahue. Web site. Trailer. Movies and [...]

2019-08-23T16:00:52+00:00July 29th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Us’ forces us to take a look at ourselves

“Us” (2019). Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Madison Curry, Ashley Mckoy, Napiera Groves, Alan Frazier. Director: Jordan Peele. Screenplay: Jordan Peele. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever thought what it might be like to meet yourself? How we see ourselves can be an eye-opening experience, especially if what we observe doesn’t match our expectations. What we encounter could be significantly different from what we believe about our being, our attitudes and our behavior. But, on closer inspection, we may be surprised to see that it’s exactly who we are at our core, a scenario that gives us much to assess, some of [...]

2019-04-24T15:59:37+00:00March 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi|

‘Pig’ asks, ‘What’s the price of popularity?’

“Pig” (“Khook”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Hassan Majooni, Leila Hatami, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Siamak Ansari, Ainaz Azarhoush, Ali Bagheri, Mina Jafarzadeh, Ali Masaffa. Director: Mani Haghighi, Screenplay: Mani Haghighi. Web site. Trailer. What does it mean to be liked? That can be a loaded question, depending on the context. But, in an age of omnipresent social media (and the social ostracism that often accompanies it, which can take myriad forms, again depending on the context), that question can become even more precarious. And, on top of all that, our responses to those circumstances can be truly mind-boggling. These are just some of the issues faced by an insecure citizen in an insecure society in the offbeat new Iranian [...]

2019-03-20T09:24:13+00:00February 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|
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