The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

You can use this homepage for posting comments, reviews, and other things that cannot be posted to the group. Of course spam is not allowed. Thanks!

To join the Dallas Movie Screening Yahoo Group:
dallasmoviescreenings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:
http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

Logo art by Steve Cruz http://www.mfagallery.com

Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Mar 31 - Apr 6



Amazing it's April! Well tomorrow, but still its now in the 4th month and we have hot days ahead.

Just a reminder everyone...please send your responses to other people in the group DIRECTLY to their email. Please don't hit reply because it goes to over 2000 people who are signed up here. And plus it's gets deleted by the moderators.

DIFF 2014 is coming up starting April 11. If you haven't signed up to volunteer, please do so. They will have an orientation soon to get psyched for the festival week. If you love movies, this is the best way to see some great films that you will probably not get a chance to see anywhere else.

http://dallasiff.org/schedule/
http://dallasiff.org/contact-us/volunteer/

Mar 31 - Apr 6

Tue - Apr 2

Shazam - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark
Marvel's Cloak and Dagger - 7:30 pm - Alamo Lake Highlands

Wed - Apr 2

The Best of Enemies - 7:00 pm - Angelika Dallas
Pet Semetary - 7:30 pm - Cinemark 17

Sat - Apr 6

Missing Link - 11:00 am - Cinemark West




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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Dumbo





Director: Tim Burton Studio: Disney

“Dumbo” flaps but the film itself soars a bit lower!

Animator Walt Disney made dreams come true to the animation and the film industry when crafting and producing such beloved animated features in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Tim Burton returns to direct this live-action remake based on the retellings of Walt Disney’s classic animated film, “Dumbo,” which was produced in 1941. The animated feature is exactly 64 minutes which is the shortest length Disney has produced, but Burton nearly doubled the time for more storytelling and give a little backstory for the adorable baby elephant with big flappy ears. Burton has previously helm 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland (which became his highest-grossing film to date),”2001’s Planet of the Apes,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Beginning from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and 1980’s “Batman films” through “The Nightmare before Christmas” and “Frankenweenie,” the main part about Tim Burton and his career is Burton’s dark streak which is a visual stamp. But for high or low, praised or panned, none of those films could have been directed by anyone else.

Here in “Dumbo,” the father (Colin Farrell) and the two children who are circus workers must care for the baby elephant (later dubbed as Dumbo) whose enormous flappy ears enable him to fly. As the struggling circus goes poorly lead by ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito), a persuasive entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) comes to acquire the circus to exploit the titular character.

Burton nailed his role as the director, relying on his VFX and animation skill sets to achieve a live-action hybrid, it also had to deal with human frailty. Burton brings the sparking dazzle with music composer Danny Elfman, screenwriter Ehren Kruger (first three “Transformers” films), and character designer Michael Kutsche who sets a new gold standard on eye movement and facial expressions.

After the success of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” the film had impacted the studio to produce such live-action remakes based on critical-acclaim animated films Disney has produced during and after Walt Disney’s lifetime. As of present, the world, the audience, and the studio have “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” Jon Favreau‘s “The Jungle Book,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Just to let the audience know we have two upcoming live-action remakes that are about to be release: “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” (also will be directed by Favreau).

Colin Farrell appears as Holt, the disabled World War veteran and the father of his two children (portrayed by Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) who lost their mother during his time at war. And what’s sadder is that not only he lost his wife, but also his arm. Aside from that, actress Eva Green (third collaboration with Tim Burton) rolls onto the big screen as a trapeze artist named Colette Marchant.

Supporting actor Michael Keaton (fourth collaboration with Burton) appears as Walt Disney-like impresario V. A. Vandevere who runs an amusement park called Dreamland which bears a striking resemblance of Disneyland and Tomorrowland while Danny DeVito (also fourth collaboration with Burton) appears as a boisterous ringmaster of the struggling circus. Keaton really makes his role meatier and memorable like his performances from “Batman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Beetlejuice” while DeVito makes his role sounded somewhat boring but with pleasant attitude. Their chemistry as circus partners really bring up the whole story and the film’s dynamics when it comes to entertainment. Don’t be alarm this the third time Keaton and DeVito appeared together after “Johnny Dangerously” (1984) and “Batman Returns” (1992).

Also appearing is the Oscar winner Alan Arkin who plays as the a Wall Street tycoon who will finance V. A. Vandevere’s plans if his circus show he integrated into his theme park became a remarkable success.

Although, what’s disappointing that the script over complicates on the villain and supporting actors as the performances from DeVito and Keaton became the main problems of the film, eventually crushes the heart for the Dumbo character as opposed of making this film as fun as the animated version. I think the director went a bit darker on the sudden reveal of Dumbo at the beginning which is the main climax of the film. And what’s worst is family separation become a major conflict to both circus performers, families, and Dumbo.

On the side note, “Dumbo” is good film but I will throw in some caution in there if you’re planning on seeing this film. I honestly don’t care what other critics would say whether it’s positive or negative, I just think this is a film with heartwarming moments but film doesn't always soar higher than ever. It maybe too scary and heartbreaking for a kids’ movie but on the inside, it’s a good family-friendly film Burton has to offer. It’s like “The Nightmare Before Christmas”-esque but with colorful animals and patterns of CGI usages. Although, I will highly recommend to watch the 1941 animated version as a pit stop before walking over to the “Dumbo” remake.

Running time: 112 minutes

GRADE: B
(Review by Henry Pham)


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The Highwaymen





Why hasn't anyone considered having Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson in a movie before this? The Highwaymen project was started in 2005 with the idea of putting Robert Redford and Paul Newman as the aging Texas Rangers. It wasn't until Netflix was in charge the the film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by John Fusco started shooting in March 2018. Louisiana and other historical sites including the road where the final shootout took place and the art direction, costumes and period cars all added to authenticity of 1934.

Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) was the archetypal Texas Ranger living a quiet life with his independently wealthy wide Gladys (Kim Dickens). The first female Governor of TX, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson (Kathy Bates) had disbanded the Texas Rangers in favor of the State Police and the FBI. However the crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde has left a trail of bank robberies and murders and she desperately wants them stopped. Lee Simmons (John Carroll Lynch), the prison warden, suggests getting the ex-Rangers involved since they had a reputation of not being excellent trackers and are not afraid of killing the bad guys. "Ma" agrees, but keeps her Texas State police and FBI to keep a close eye on their activities.

Hamer enlists his old partner Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) if somewhat reluctantly. Both men are much older than their heyday as Rangers. Their shooting skills and abilities to chase suspects are greatly diminished. But their skills on running down information and making educated guesses on tracking the Bartlett gang are still sharp. Even the police and FBI are a step behind their conclusions even with their new tech of wire tapping at their disposal. Costner and Harrelson are great as cranky old guys who bicker and annoy each other.

Bonnie and Clyde became social media stars of the 30's. They were insanely popular with robbing banks which at the time were the source of all that was bad in the 30's economy. Women would parrot the fashion of Bonnie with her slim dresses and jaunty berets. When they drove through towns, fans would surround their cars and adulation. They ignored the fact that the duo were also stone cold killers.

Arthur Penn's glamorized version of Bonnie and Clyde is probably what everyone considers the ultimate story of the infamous bandits. The Highwaymen tells the cold hard facts of the other side of the story. Not as flashy but the real life Hamer and Gault's efforts were able to get the Texas Rangers back installed in the state. Now all we need is to see Costner and Harrelson in something more worthy of their chemistry.
(Review by reesa)

Opens on NetFlix March 29.

Dumbo




Talk about unnecessary, n but for some unknown reason, the mighty mouse (Disney studios) has nothing but live action updates for the next couple of years.

As a matter of fact, live action versions of both “Aladdin” (with the powerhouse casting of Will Smith as the blue genie) and “The Lion King” are set for release in summer of 2019.

But, we’re here to talk about ”Dumbo,” the Tim Burton- directed tale of a flying elephant who gets ostracized from everyone in involved in his circus’s troupe.

Even emcee Michael Duffer gets a chance to trade in his usual tagline of “Let’s get ready to rumble” for something involving “Dumbo.”

Director Tim Burton has worked with Michael Keaton has worked with before, in 1988’s “Beetlejuice” 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s ”Batman Returns.” Finally, Burton is back to his form with his penchant for whimsical set pieces and scenes wherein his mind runs all over the place. It really shows when Dumbo looks at floating bubbles that are the shape of various elephants floating in the open air sky above.

Keaton has played the villain role before in “Pacific Heights” as well as “Desperate Measures,” both giant letdowns on his resume.

Also returning to Burton’s ensemble is actress Eva Green.

She was the lead in his amazing and inventive “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” in 2016. I liked that movie quite a bit since it made my end of the year ten best list in 2016.

In “Dumbo,” she is Colette, a circus performer and trapeze artist who spent time with Keaton’s wealthy investor V.A. Vandervere. Vandevere is essentially a grifter, a con artist of sorts only in it for the short gain. He does not care for the life of the animals, just as a way to make a buck for his own selfish gains and interests.

“Dumbo” works because it takes from the original tale and adds enough diversity to make it just a bit different than the original story.

It takes some ideas and liberties from the original tale but makes it work for modern times and sensibilities. Even though it is set in 1940s middle America.

Colin Farrell is great as Holt Farmer, a soldier who lost an arm in the midst of fighting in the Great War overseas. His wife passed away while he was gone, so the entire circus troupe served as a sort of surrogate family for his kids.

Later on in the story is Alan Arkin as J. Griffin Remington, an investor who wants to see the elephant fly as anyone and everyone in the public. He befriends Danny Devito’s Max Medici and offers to buy him a hot dog.

I wanted to dislike this movie, but I had such a good time with it I was still smiling when the end credits start to roll. Although not a masterpiece, “Dumbo” still works as a stand alone flick in the great Disney tradition.

Grade: B
(Review by Ricky Miller)




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Monday, March 25, 2019

This Week at Alamo Drafthouse North Texas (3/25 - 3/31)




This Week's Highlights...

Cereal Parties: Dumbo
- From director, Tim Burton, the remake of this animated Disney classic returns to the big screen with a full cereal buffet included! Join us Saturday morning at the Cedars location for the film that will make your heart soar! Pajamas are encouraged!

1999 Rewind and other Anniversary screenings
- 1999 Rewind: Relive an entire year of movies month-to-month and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of one of the greatest years in film ever! This week, catch the 1999 Rewind 20th Anniversary screening of The Matrix at the Richardson and Cedars locations and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels at Denton and Las Colinas.
- Other anniversary screenings include Phantasm (40th Anniversary) at Denton and Lake Highlands.

Hopped Up on Cinema: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Holy Ale! This month’s screening at Richardson includes suds from one of our favorite breweries and a commemorative pint as a souvenir! The Amarillo Ale pairs perfectly with the British humor of this classic comedy that dates back to the middle ages.


MONDAY | MARCH 25

Cedars
Screening: Champagne Cinema: Fried Green Tomatoes at 7:15PM; Cinemax's Warrior Series Premiere with Live Stream Q&A at 7:00PM

Denton
Screening: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) at 8:50PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Movie Parties: Scream at 7:00PM; Cream of the Cult: Female Trouble (1974) at 9:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) at 9:00PM; Thelma and Louise at 7:00PM

Richardson
Screening: The Matrix at 7:00PM; Perfect Blue (1997) at 9:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Glass Half Full at 8:00PM



TUESDAY | MARCH 26


Cedars
Screening: Jackie Brown at 7:00PM

Denton
Screening: Graveyard Shift: Tales from the Hood at 9:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Fist City; Buffy The Vampire Slayer at 8:50PM; Terminator 2: Judgement Day at 7:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Movie Parties: Twister at 7:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Fruits Basket [Dubbed] at 7:30PM; Hopped Up on Cinema: Monty Python and the Holy Grail at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Tiki Bingo - Glass Half Full at 7:00PM



WEDNESDAY | MARCH 27


Cedars
Screening: The Matrix at 7:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Denton
Screening: Movie Parties: Scream at 6:55PM; Phantasm (1979) at 9:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: Phantasm (1979) at 8:50PM; Silence of the Lambs at 7:00PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Champagne Cinema: Fried Green Tomatoes at 7:00PM; Jackie Brown at 9:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 8:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Jackie Brown at 7:00PM; Fruits Basket [Dubbed] at 7:30PM; Blacula (1972) at 9:00PM



THURSDAY | MARCH 28

Cedars
Screening: Movie Parties: Scream at 6:55PM

Las Colinas
Screening: Dance Parties: Hits of 1999 Video Dance Party at 7:00PM



SATURDAY | MARCH 30


Cedars
Screening: Cereal Parties: Dumbo at 9:45AM

Lake Highlands
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink Brunch - Vetted Well at 2:00PM

Richardson
Screening: Movie Parties: The Fifth Element at 7:00PM



SUNDAY | MARCH 31

Denton
Screening: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) at 1:00PM
Bar Event: Geeks Who Drink - Vetted Well at 7:00PM

Lake Highlands
Screening: All About Eve (1950) at 1:00PM

Richardson
Screening: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) at 1:00PM



First Run Movies Now Playing...
Us
Dragged Across Concrete
Gloria Bell
Captain Marvel [2D]
Wonder Park [2D]
Captive State
Five Feet Apart
Climax
Apollo 11
A Madea Family Funeral
How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World

Releasing This Week...
Dumbo (2019)
The Field Guide to Evil

Stay connected…
www.drafthouse.com/dfw
www.facebook.com/alamodrafthousedfw
www.twitter.com/alamodfw
www.instagram.com/alamodfw
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | www.drafthouse.com






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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Movies Scheduled for the Week of Mar 24 - Mar 30



The 13th Annual Dallas International Festival is coming up next month. Check out some of the films they will be screening at the Magnolia and Studio Movie Grill Royal during the festival week. http://dallasiff.org/movies/

If you would like to take part in the fest sign up here:
https://dallasfilm.charityproud.org/WebForm/Index/18?formCode=27c3c3d0-79c2-4f66-8b26-fe2ad8799444

They will have an orientation soon to explain which jobs are available and how you can earn tickets to the movies from your shifts. It's fun, you will meet some new folks, mingle with filmmakers, and get to pay back for all the great movies you get to see in Dallas for free.

So glad to see that Dumbo is spread out to different theaters so that it's not such a huge mess when only one theater is involved. Hope everyone has managed to snag some passes. If not please post your needs to the group, and please respond to those emails off the group and directly to the person wanting, offering or trading.

So much for rain, eh?

Mar 24 - Mar 30

Mon - Mar 25

EarthX Unfractured - 7:00 pm - Cinepolis Victory Square

Tue - Mar 26

Dumbo - 7:00 pm - AMC Grapevine, Cinemark 17, AMC Northpark
Aftermath - 7:30 pm - Angelika Dallas

Wed - Mar 27

Hanna - 7:00 pm - AMC Northpark





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Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Hummingbird Project




The Hummingbird Project
Director: Kim Nguyen

Casting: Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Mando, Salma Hayek, Sarah Goldberg, Anna Maguire, Frank Schorpion, Johan Heldenbergh, Kwasi Songui, Ayisha Issa. (English dialogue)


The Hummingbird Project is a fictional movie about two cousins, Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Atone (Alexander Skarsgard) who shake the financial frenzy thriller in the stock market world. Their goal is to reshape the global market of high frequency trading. Vincent, the fast-talking hustler and Atone, the fast typing coder attempt to reshape the global market of high frequency trading by installing more of 1,500-kilometer fiber-optic cable from Kansas to New Jersey. They know this could transport a high volume of digital data in millisecond, faster than the New York Stock Market competitions. But it must be in straight line and no option of going around the demographic areas of the it otherwise the process will become slow. The cousin's scheme would enable the edge on the competition that could make millions for them and their investor.

Everything is going well until the old boss, (Salma Hayek) finds out about their departure and tries to convince Atone to stay with the company. Of course, he chose to resign and she decided to get even with both cousins. Nothing seemed to go just right for them but as movie continues the audience will see a shift in the atmosphere of the movie.

This film served as great entertainment with its surprising twists. Kim Nguyen used actors/actresses that possessed strong characters in their perspective roles. Jesse Eisenberg fit the role perfectly as he elicits ambition, excitement and determination in this movie. Selma Hayek demonstrated she can be pretty, forceful, ruthless and determined and will not let anything or anyone stand in her way of controlling her domains on Wall Street. Although, Alexander Skarsgård character yielded some strong hidden acting skill he was very impressive.

The main idea about this movie is that life is filled with unknown surprises. This was illustrated by Vincent himself. He was just a young brilliant guy full of money-making ideas but soon learned a powerful lesson in family values and that money is not everything. This movie is worth seeing. I give this movie a 6 out of 10.
(Review by Dr. Dwanna Swan-Ar)


OPENS 3/22 AT ANGELIKA FILM CENTER DALLAS AND PLANO

OPENS 4/5 AT AMC FIREWHEEL TOWN CENTER 18, GRAPEVINE MILLS 30, MESQUITE 30, STONEBRIAR MALL 24


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Dallas Film Announces Full Lineup for 13th Annual Dallas International Film Festival








Dallas Film Announces Full Lineup for 13th Annual Dallas International Film Festival


DALLAS, March 20, 2019 – Dallas Film today announced the full lineup for the 13th annual Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) powered by Capital One. The films include five World Premieres, one U.S. Premiere, 37 Texas Premieres and 15 Dallas Premieres. The festival, which is the largest film festival in North Texas, will be held April 11 to April 18, with screenings at Magnolia Theater, West Village in Uptown Dallas; Studio Movie Grill, Royal Lane; and Dallas Museum of Art. For the first time at DIFF, all seats are reserved and tickets are available only through the Atom Tickets app or www.AtomTickets.com. Tickets will be available to pass holders beginning March 25 and to the public on March 27. For more information or to purchase passes, please visit go to www.dallasfilm.org or visit https://dallasfilm.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/Index/1710. “We are excited to offer DIFF supporters an exceptional lineup featuring more than 130 films from more than 35 countries,” said Jonathan Brownlee, CEO & president of Dallas Film and executive director of Dallas International Film Festival. “Each year we strive to improve the customer experience and we are pleased to announce that we will offer a music stage and live performances 7 of the 8 days of the festival. In addition, we are partnering with Atom tickets as the first film festival to offer reserved seating, which includes a section of premium seats for Star Pass holders.”

In addition to showcasing a diverse range of films, the festival boasts Q&A sessions with filmmakers, nightly red carpets, films produced by area students and veterans, award presentations, live music performances each night and engaging activities. Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to meet filmmakers and actors from both major and independent films. “At DIFF, we understand that film is the most relatable art form and connects individuals through shared experiences,” said James Faust, artistic director of Dallas Film. “Hundreds of hours went into hand selecting the films that will be screened at DIFF, and our goal is to offer a variety of fascinating, heartwarming, educational and insightful films that will be thought-provoking and relatable to DIFF festivalgoers. We have many engaging and entertaining events planned throughout the festival and are eager to provide a memorable festival experience for all who attend. The official selections include the following:

OPENING NIGHT FEATURE FILM

Movie Title: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Director: Joe Berlinger
Writer: Michael Werwie
Stars: Lily Collins, Zac Efron
Country: USA
Running Time: 109 Minutes

Synopsis: A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of Liz, his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.

PREMIERE FILMS

Movie Title: American Factory
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
Country: USA
Running Time: 114 Minutes

Synopsis: In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.

Movie Title: The Biggest Little Farm
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: John Chester
Country: USA
Running Time: 91 Minutes

Synopsis: A testament to the immense complexity of nature, The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The land they’ve chosen, however, is utterly depleted of nutrients and suffering from a brutal drought. The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and outsize idealism as they attempt to create the utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind– including an unforgettable pig named Emma and her best friend, Greasy the rooster. When the farm’s ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chesters’ hope – but as their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realize that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the intricacies and wisdom of nature, and of life itself.

Movie Title: Brian Banks
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Tom Shadyac
Country: USA
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Synopsis: The inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear) and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL.

Movie Title: The Death of Dick Long
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Daniel Scheinert
Country: USA
Running Time: 110 Minutes

Synopsis: Dick died last night, and Zeke and Earl don’t want anybody finding out how. That’s too bad though,
cause news travels fast in small-town Alabama.

Movie Title: Freaks
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Adam B Stein and Zach Lipovski
Country: Canada
Running Time: 104 Minutes

Synopsis: Kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat – or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

Movie Title: Frances Ferguson
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Bob Byington
Country: USA
Running Time: 75 Minutes

Synopsis: Frances Ferguson, the eponymously named character at the center of Bob Byington’s new film, is discontent. Like a lot of us, she does a bit of “acting out” and pays the price —an arrest, a trial, incarceration. And then a new identity, one that’s not terribly comfortable. Nick Offerman narrates this deviant comedy, based on actual events.

Movie Title: Her Smell
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Alex Ross Perry
Country: USA
Running Time: 134 Minutes

Synopsis: Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss) is a 90's punk rock superstar who once filled arenas with her grungy all-female trio Something She. Now she plays smaller venues while grappling with motherhood, exhausted band mates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom. When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success.

Movie Title: Non-Fiction
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Olivier Assayas
Country: France
Running Time: 106 Minutes

Synopsis: Juliette Binoche and Guillame Canet reunite with acclaimed director Olivier Assayas for this wry, slyly seductive tale of sex, lies, and literature. Set amidst the bohemian intelligentsia of the Parisian publishing world, Non-Fiction traces the romantic and emotional fallout that results when a controversial writer begins blurring the line between fact and fiction, using his real-life love affairs -- including a passionate fling with an actress who happens to be married to his editor -- as fodder for his explosive new novel. Balancing dry wit with keen observations on the tensions between art, commerce, and technology, Non-Fiction is a buoyant, breezy delight from a master director at his most effortlessly brilliant.

Movie Title: Ode to Joy
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Jason Winer
Country: USA
Running Time: 97 Minutes

Synopsis: Charlie suffers from cataplexy, a serious disease that causes acute narcolepsy in particularly emotional situations-in his case whenever he experiences joy. He develops a variety of techniques to deny himself pleasure and avoid heartwarming moments, but they’re put to the ultimate test when he falls in love.

Movie Title: Ophelia
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Claire McCarthy
Country: UK/USA
Running Time: 114 Minutes

Synopsis: A re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia's perspective.

Movie Title: Running with Beto
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: David Modigliani
Country: USA
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis: This behind-the-scenes HBO documentary film follows Beto O'Rourke's rise from virtual unknown to national political sensation through his bold attempt to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. Embedded with Beto for the final twelve months of his campaign, the film follows his journey in real time through intimate access to O’Rourke, his family, and a team of political newcomers who champion a new way of getting to know a candidate — one Texas county at a time. The film reveals the challenges and triumphs of an unconventional campaign as Beto navigates an onslaught of negative advertising, inevitable strain on his family, and the pressure of delivering for legions of supporters. This film is creatively and financially independent from Beto O’Rourke and his campaign. It will debut later this spring on HBO.

Movie Title: Them That Follow
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Directors: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
Country: USA
Running Time: 98 Minutes

Synopsis: In the rugged wilderness of Appalachia, the members of an isolated community of Pentecostal snake handlers led by Pastor Lemuel (Walton Goggins) risk their lives to attest themselves before God. Lemuel’s daughter Mara (Alice Englert) prepares for her upcoming wedding to the young believer her father has singled out for her under the watchful eye of Hope (2019 Oscar Winner, Olivia Colman), while scrambling to hide a secret that has the potential to drive her father’s church to ruin.

Movie Title: The Tomorrow Man
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Noble Jones
Country: USA
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis: Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come. Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. In a small town somewhere in America, these two people will try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.

Movie Title: Wild Rose
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Tom Harper
Country: USA
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Synopsis: A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

WORLD CINEMA

Movie Title: The Fall of the American Empire
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Denys Arcand
Country: Canada
Running Time: 127 Minutes

Synopsis: Pierre-Paul Daoust, 36, an intellectual with a PhD in philosophy is forced to work as a deliveryman to afford a decent living. One day, while delivering a parcel, he gets caught in a hold up gone terribly wrong: two dead and millions in money bags laying on the ground. Pierre-Paul is confronted with a dilemma leave empty handed, or take the money and run? This new Denys Arcand film takes a witty yet touching look at, as only Arcand knows how, the predominance of money in a society where all other values seem to have crumbled.

Movie Title: A Fortunate Man
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Bille August
Country: Denmark
Running Time: 162 Minutes

Synopsis: In the late 19th century, Peter Sidenius is an ambitious young man from a devout Christian family in
Western Denmark, who travels to the Danish capital of Copenhagen to study engineering, rebelling against his clergyman father. He comes into contact with the intellectual circles of a wealthy, Jewish family and seduces the elder daughter, Jakobe. Per, as he now calls himself, conceives a large-scale engineering project including the construction of a series of canals in his native Jutland, and lobbies for its construction. But just as Per seems to be about to make his dreams come true, his pride stands in the way.

Movie Title: Girls of the Sun
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Eva Husson
Country: France
Running Time: 115 Minutes

Synopsis: A Kurdish female battalion prepares to take back their town from extremists.

Movie Title: The Last Color
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Vikas Khanna
Country: India
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Synopsis: Nine-year-old tightrope walker and flower seller, Chhoti, savors her dream to save Rs. 300 ($ 4), so she can attend school. Choti befriends Noor, a white-clad widow who suffers a life of total abstinence and is disallowed from taking part in any festivities, especially Holi, the Indian festival of colors. Noor encourages her to face life with education, and dignity. Noor shares her fondest childhood memory of playing Holi. Chhoti promises Noor that, this Holi, she will finally splash Noor with her favorite pink color. But on Holi's eve, Noor passes away, and during a sweep, Chhoti is imprisoned by the corrupt police, led by the violent and bullying Raja. Will Chhoti be able to keep her promise?

Movie Title: Manta Ray
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
Country: Thailand
Running Time: 105 Minutes

Synopsis: Near a coastal village of Thailand, by the sea where thousands of Rohingya refugees have drowned, a local fisherman finds an injured man lying unconscious in the forest. He rescues the stranger, who does not speak a word, offers him his friendship and names him Thongchai. But when the fisherman suddenly disappears at sea, Thongchai slowly begins to take over his friend’s life – his house, his job and his ex-wife…

Movie Title: Midnight Family
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Luke Lorentzen
Country: Mexico
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Synopsis: In Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help.

Movie Title: Shadow
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Zhang Yimou
Country: China
Running Time: 116 Minutes

Synopsis: With SHADOW, director Zhang Yimou (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated. In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow”, a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.

Movie Title: Screwdriver
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Shrihari Sathe
Country: Palestine/Qatar/USA
Running Time: 108 Minutes

Synopsis: After fifteen years of imprisonment, Ziad struggles to adjust to modern Palestinian life as the hero everyone hails him to be. Unable to distinguish reality from hallucination he unravels and forces himself to go back to where it all began.

Movie Title: Sorry Angel
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Christophe Honoré
Country: France
Running Time: 132 Minutes

Synopsis: Jacques is an older writer from Paris. Arthur is a young student in Rennes. They instantly fall in love. But they'll have to face rejection and sickness to keep it that way.

LATINO SHOWCASE

Movie Title: El Corazón de Bolívar (Bolivar’s Heart)
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: Leonel Gonzalez
Country: Mexico
Running Time: 96 Minutes

Synopsis: Isabel and Antonio Condorcanqui are brother and sister who have been separated by the Chilean Dictatorship given the relationship they have with José Gabriel Condorcanqui or Tupac Amaru II, a revolutionary who supported the peasants against Spain. Military forces are in search of them afraid they continue the same ideals. Antonio is a present-day revolutionary who tries to follow Simon Bolivar’s doctrine of setting the pressed towns free. Isabel has been a victim of human trafficking at the hands of the Deep State. David Levin, an outstanding lawyer and Gloria Dolii Garcia, his assistant, defend Isabel so that so that she is not deported to her country of origin, Peru.

Movie Title: Re Loca (Super Crazy)
Premiere Status: U.S. Premiere
Director: Martino Zaidelis
Country: Argentina
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis: What would happen if you could suddenly say everything you really think? After years of living a monotonous life, full of ridiculous pressures and demands, a casual but magical encounter will allow Pilar (Natalia Oreiro) to go “Completely Crazy”and say and do everything that goes through her mind. Coworkers, friends, husbands and family; all shall suffer the wrath of this sudden transformation. Of course, losing your filter can also bring about some consequences…

Movie Title: Botero
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Don Millar
Country: Colombia
Running Time: 82 Minutes

Synopsis: BOTERO is the definitive profile of the world’s most popular living artist, 86 year-old Fernando Botero. It is a poetic chronicle of an inspiring life and a behind-the-scenes look at the power of a unique artistic vision.

Movie Title: Divino Amor (Divine Love)
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Gabriel Mascaro
Country: Brazil
Running Time: 101 Minutes

Synopsis: Brasil, 2027. A deeply religious woman uses her position in a notary's office to try to prevent couples from divorcing. Whilst waiting for a divine sign in recognition of her efforts, she's confronted with a crisis that ultimately brings her closer to God.

CZECH THAT FILMS

Showcasing the very best of contemporary Czech Cinema.

Movie Title: Golden Sting (Zlaty podraz)
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Radim Spacek
Country: Czech Republic
Running Time: 106 Minutes

Synopsis: Young Czechoslovak men learn to play basketball from American Mormons at a YMCA camp in 1938. When World War II erupts a year later, their coach is arrested and executed. A young lawyer named Franta steps in to manage the team. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, he visits the prison yard where their coach died, picking up a handful of soil and placing it in a box with national colors. The team carries this talisman to the European Championship in Geneva where the Czechs miraculously win in 1946. However, everything changes again with the communist coup in February 1948. Friendships are broken, several basketball players are persecuted, and Franta is arrested. The team will go to Paris to defend their title, but can they succeed?

Movie Title: Jan Palach
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Robert Sedlácek
Country: Czech Republic
Running Time: 124 Minutes

Synopsis: Jan Palach, an uncompromising young man, made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of rousing the nation from its growing lethargy and of protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This biopic describes the last months of Palach’s life, describing his path from an affectionate son, devoted friend and sensitive philosophy student to “Torch number 1.”

Movie Title: Suitor (Napadnik)
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Jan Hřebejk
Country: Czech Republic

Running Time: 113 Minutes
Synopsis: Set in the late 1950s, the communist regime controls Czechoslovakia, and a gap has opened between the pre-war and post-war generations. City girl Daniela meets country boy Mirek while staying at the garden store run by her aunt and uncle. Love begins to bloom, but Daniela’s father is furious. He has other plans for his daughter, intent on making the perfect match with an educated catch. This romantic comedy is the final installment of director Hřebejk’s Garden Store trilogy, following three families: an air radio operator, a hair salon owner, and a garden store proprietor against the backdrop of one of the most dramatic periods of the last century.

NON-FICTION COMPETITION

Movie Title: Before You Know It
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Hannah Pearl Utt
Country: USA
Running Time: 98 Minutes

Synopsis: A pair of sisters find out that the mother they thought was dead is alive and starring on a soap opera.

Movie Title: The Day I Lost My Shadow
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Soudade Kaadan
Country: Syria
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis: In Syria in 2012 a mother ventures into a war zone to find a gas cylinder so she can prepare a meal for her son. She discovers that in the besieged area the people there have lost their shadows.

Movie Title: International Falls
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Amber McGinnis
Country: USA
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Synopsis: Dee is stuck in a boring job and a broken marriage in International Falls, a snowbound border town at the end of the road. Harboring a secret dream of a stand up career, Dee encounters Tim: a burned out touring comedian who feels trapped by the very life Dee desires. As these two lost souls form an unlikely friendship, they'll be forced to face the harsh but funny truths of their lives.

Movie Title: Ms. Purple
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Rashad Ernesto Greene
Country: USA
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis: MS. PURPLE is a drama about two Asian American siblings, Kasie & Carey, who grew up and are stuck in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Their mother abandoned them when they were young and they were raised by their father who is now on his deathbed. They both have deep scars left from their upbringing that they are constantly trying to overcome as they struggle to navigate their own lives. Ultimately this story is about a mending of a relationship between a brother and sister and the regrouping of a family in the final days of their father’s life.

Movie Title: Premature
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Justin Chon
Country: USA
Running Time: 89 Minutes

Synopsis: The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah; her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love, against a changing Harlem landscape.

Movie Title: Sister Aimee
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Samantha Buck
Country: USA
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis: In 1926 America’s most famous evangelist is a woman. And she’s looking for a way out. Fed up with her own success, she gets swept up in her lover’s daydreams about Mexico and finds herself on a wild road trip towards the border. Based on true events. Mostly made up.

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Movie Title: Always in Season
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Jacqueline Olive
Country: USA
Running Time: 89 Minutes

Synopsis: When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

Movie Title: Caballerango
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Juan Pablo Gonzales
Country: Mexico
Running Time: 60 Minutes

Synopsis: In the Mexican village of Milpillas, a family remembers the last day they saw their youngest child, Nando, a lifelong horse wrangler. Exploring a rural community’s daily rituals, Caballerango evokes the presence of those who have parted.

Movie Title: The Disappearance of My Mother
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Beniamino Barrese
Country: Italy
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Synopsis: An iconic fashion model strives to escape the world of images and disappear for good, but her son's determination to make a final film about her sparks an unexpected collaboration and confrontation with the camera's gaze.

Movie Title: Hurdle
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: Michael Rowley
Country: USA
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis: As the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories approached its 50th year, Hurdle reveals an important and intimate story emerging from the hearts and actions of Palestinian youth. The new generation responds to a world of walls, checkpoints and arrests in an unexpected and inspiring way. Hurdle’s protagonists, Sami and Mohammad, begin teaching the creative practices of parkour and photography, respectively, to the youth of their communities as a means to overcome the personal and political obstacles that often feel inescapable. Though these young men are separated by a wall, they are united in leading the next generation toward freedom and self-determination through non-violent, creative practices.

Movie Title: Jump Shot
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Jacob Hamilton
Country: USA
Running Time: 73 Minutes

Synopsis: JUMP SHOT uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball. Introducing his never before seen leaping one-hander to the masses on a national level, Kenny quickly grew to be a fan favorite while leading his Wyoming Cowboys to the Collegiate National Championship in Madison Square Garden in 1943. But after playing on several losing teams in an unstable, emerging league now known as the NBA, Kenny disappeared into the Alaskan wilderness only to be forgotten by the sport he helped pioneer. Now, nearly sixty years later, the multitude of people he has touched along the way have forced Kenny’s humble reemergence.

Movie Title: Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Andrew Hevia
Country: Hong Kong/USA
Running Time: 68 Minutes

Synopsis: A hapless American expat in Hong Kong sets out to make a documentary about an international art fair but finds himself out of his depth. He turns the camera on himself and the film becomes a deeply personal and unexpectedly comedic story about authenticity, heartbreak and that time he got lost in a shopping mall.

Movie Title: Treasure Island (L’Ile au trésor)
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Guillaume Brac
Country: France
Running Time: 97 Minutes

Synopsis: It's summer on a leisure base in the tough Paris suburbs. A land of adventures, flirting and transgression for some, a place to hide out or take a break for others. With its beach and its hidden nooks and crannies, it’s like a childhood kingdom waiting to be explored, resonating with the turmoil of today’s society.

TEXAS COMPETITION

Movie Title: Adonis Complex
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Chad Werner
Country: USA
Running Time: 75 Minutes

Synopsis: Four friends rent a lake house from a fitness obsessed owner named Tad. As the drama of the friends' relationship unfolds, Tad's seemingly affable gestures take an eerie and sinister twist, turning their dream vacation into a nightmare. Mystery entangles this tale that unfolds like the Greek myth from which it derives its name.

Movie Title: Building the American Dream
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Chelsea Hernandez
Country: USA
Running Time: 75 Minutes

Synopsis: In Texas, construction workers face the deadliest conditions in the country. Building the American Dream follows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice and equality in an industry rife with exploitation.

Movie Title: Jaddoland
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Nadia Shihab
Country: USA/Iraq
Running Time: 90 Minutes

Synopsis: A visit to her mother’s home art studio in Texas prompts the filmmaker to explore the meaning of home and the search for belonging across three generations of her Iraqi family.

Movie Title: J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Sandy K. Boone
Country: USA
Running Time: 85 Minutes

Synopsis: What started out as an inside joke amongst two self proclaimed weirdos in Ft. Worth, Texas soon becomes much more than they bargained for when they decide to turn their conservative southern ideology on its head and invent a new religion all their own.

Movie Title: Seadrift
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Tim Tsai
Country: USA
Running Time: 68 Minutes

Synopsis: In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shoots and kills a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, TX. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence and ignites a maelstrom of boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities against Vietnamese refugees along the Gulf Coast. Set during the early days of Vietnamese arrival in the U.S. "Seadrift" examines the shooting and its dramatic aftermath, and reveals the unexpected consequences that continue to reverberate today.

Movie Title: Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Graham L. Carter
Country: USA
Running Time: 72 Minutes

Synopsis: Jerry and Carl have conned their way from one small Texas town to another and the plan for their final con goes haywire when one of them falls in love with Maureen. And there’s a bumbling P.I. out for vengeance and hot on their trail. A musical comedy based on “Two Gallants” by James Joyce and the songs of John Prine.

Movie Title: This World Won’t Break
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: Josh David Jordan
Country: USA
Running Time: 148 Minutes

Synopsis: A Texas troubadour's quiet life is upset by the realization that he isn't where he had hoped to be at this point in his career. He questions the decisions of putting off a family life in hopes to one day "make it" by isolating himself on the open road and playing small honkey-tonks. Too late to stop following the dream and too early in his career to be a legend, Wes Milligan's struggle for a better life begins to spiral out of control. In these darkest moments, he writes THE song.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Movie Title: Goldfinger (1964)
Director: Guy Hamilton
Country: UK
Running Time: 110 Minutes

Synopsis: Bond is back and his next mission takes him to Fort Knox, where Auric Goldfinger and his henchman are planning to raid Fort Knox and obliterate the world economy. To save the world once again, Bond will need to become friends with Goldfinger, dodge killer hats and avoid Goldfinger's personal pilot, the sexy Pussy Galore. She might not have feelings for Bond, but will 007 help her change her mind?

Movie Title: The Pursuit
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: John Papola
Country: USA
Running Time: 76 Minutes

Synopsis: Professional musician turned intrepid economist Arthur Brooks travels around the globe in search of an answer to the question: How can we lift up the world, starting with those at the margins of society? His journey takes him through the chaotic streets of Mumbai, a town in Kentucky left behind by the global economy, a homeless shelter in New York, a street protest in Barcelona, and a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. Along the way, he discovers the secrets not only to material progress for the least fortunate, but also true and lasting happiness for all.

MIDNIGHT SPECIALS

Movie Title: Diamantino
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt
Country: Portugal
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Synopsis: Diamantino, the world’s premiere soccer star (played by Carloto Cotta), loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets out on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, abuse at the hands of his evil twin sisters, and a deranged hunt for the source of genius..

Movie Title: Deadtectives
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Tony West
Country: USA/Mexico
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Synopsis: DeadTectives follows a team of hapless paranormal investigators on a reality TV series who go on a quest to Mexico’s most haunted house in the pursuit of better ratings. However, when the true dark secrets of the mansion begin to reveal themselves, the hapless presenters quickly discover that this house is no hoax. With zero ghost-hunting skills (or really any other applicable skills) the team has to figure out how to bust the ghosts and escape the house with their lives.

Movie Title: In Fabric
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Peter Strickland
Country: UK
Running Time: 119 Minutes

Synopsis: A lonely woman visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She's fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil.

NARRATIVE SHORTS

Movie Title: Ada
Director: Elenore Pienta
Country: USA
Running Time: 10:44 Minutes

Synopsis: Eleanore Pienta plays an eccentric woman trying to get from point A to point B and, in the process, finding New York City an obstacle course of casual hostility and bizarre behaviors.

Movie Title: Amor, Avenidas Novas
Director: Duarte Coimbra
Country: Portugal
Running Time: 20 Minutes

Synopsis: Lisbon, 2017. Manel is twenty years old, lives on Avenida Almirante Reis and idealizes love inspired by the relationship of his parents. Out of compassion, he hands over his double mattress to Nicolau and his girlfriend, who returned to Lisbon. Manel is alone with the mattress that he exchanged with his friends and on his way back home when he invades a film set, with a team entirely composed by girls. One of them, Rita, a beautiful production intern who helps with the mattress. They talk. This encounter has a profound effect on Manel who goes home to reconsider his life sinking into a magical feeling of passion.

Movie Title: As Told To G/D Thyself
Director: Kamasi Washington, Terence Nance, Bradford Young, Jenn Nkiru, Marc Thomas
Country: USA
Running Time: 22:09 Minutes

Synopsis: The story of the sacred youth and the stakes of a cosmic journey. Where the embodiment and the pain, pleasure and sublimation there-in are non-negotiable. Inspired by influential jazz musician, Kamasi Washington's, latest album; Heaven & Earth.

Movie Title: Aziza
Director: Soudade Kaadan
Country: Syria
Running Time: 13 Minutes

Synopsis: A dynamic take on the life of Syrian refugees told through black comedy.

Movie Title: By The Dark of Night
Director: Farah White
Country: USA
Running Time: 9:50 Minutes

Synopsis: A woman keeps a promise made long ago to help bury a body.

Movie Title: Cheer Up Baby
Director: Adinah Dancyger
Country: USA
Running Time:13:06 Minutes

Synopsis: A young woman who has been sexually assaulted by a stranger on the subway is rendered with psychological menace and sensory dislocation in this elliptical tale.

Movie Title: Chicle (gum)
Director: Lizette Barrera
Country: USA
Running Time: 13:50 Minutes

Synopsis: An ill-tempered teenager attempts to find peaceful solitude on the day of her grandfather’s passing until an estranged friend pays her a visit.

Movie Title: Company
Director: Doron Hagay
Country: USA
Running Time: 13:10 Minutes

Synopsis: A woman invites an old acquaintance to live with her after a devastating loss.

Movie Title: Deep Tissue
Director: Meredith Alloway
Country: USA
Running Time: 8:42 Minutes

Synopsis: Two strangers meet under mysterious means and discover they share a mutual fetish.

Movie Title: East of the River
Director: Hannah Peterson
Country: USA
Running Time: 13:20 Minutes

Synopsis: Teonna is unexpectedly suspended from school and is faced with a day on the streets of Washington, DC. Teonna encounters Malik, who is also out of school, and Sara, who left school because she saw more economic opportunity on the streets. The three set out for an adventure that takes them east of the Anacostia river. Created in collaboration with local high schoolers, East of the River is an unflinching portrait of the education and lived experience of teenagers finding their way through an overburdened public school system.

Movie Title: End (Fin)
Director: Yimit Ramírez
Country: Cuba
Running Time: 20:11 Minutes

Synopsis: Juan is dead. Surprisingly, he is given an opportunity: to relive a moment of his past life, but it will not be an ordinary moment.

Movie Title: First Act (Primeiro ato)
Director: Matheus Parizi
Country: Brazil
Running Time: 19 Minutes

Synopsis: "Stop the world, I want to get off". Two theatre students try to convince their colleagues to leave their classroom and join them in the protests against the dismantling of culture policies, that take over Brazil.

Movie Title: A Good Son
Director: Suzanne Weinert
Country: USA
Running Time: 11:39 Minutes

Synopsis: When Tommy, 75, asks his son Mike to put a Hefty bag over his head and suffocate him to death, neither of them believes the other will really go through with it. Until MIke’s son Chris, 17, comes up with a plan that will give both his father and grandfather the solution they’ve been looking for.

Movie Title: Gopherit
Director: Bryan Poyser
Country: USA
Running Time: 13 Minutes

Synopsis: A freelancer working for a job-matching website gets hired to help a dominatrix with her invoices but finds out there's more to the job than he thought.

Movie Title: Judas Collar
Director: Alison James
Country: Australia
Running Time: 15 Minutes
Synopsis: In outback Australia, a wild camel is captured and fitted with a tracking device known as a Judas Collar.

Movie Title: Manila is Full of Men Named Boy
Director: Andrew Stephen Lee
Country: Philippines
Running Time: 21:05 Minutes

Synopsis: On July 7, 2009, Michael Jackson’s funeral captures the attention of an entire nation when it broadcasts throughout The Philippines. That same day, Boy Manatad buys a “son” who can drink and smoke to impress his hyper-masculine father, Rodrigo. However, when Rodrigo and his friends take to the child as one their own, Boy is forced to come to terms with his own insecurities...and Michael Jackson.

Movie Title: The Minors
Director: Robert Machoian
Country: USA
Running Time: 10 Minutes

Synopsis: A slice of life film about a Grandpa and his Grandsons, the future and the past.

Movie Title: My Home Is A Dog That Lives Inside Me
Director: Adam Briggs
Country: Australia, Japan
Running Time: 13 Minutes

Synopsis: An old folk singer returns to a small seaside village, visits past people, plays to moments, and holds a small untidy concert.

Movie Title: okaasan (mom)
Director: Kana Hatakeyama
Country: USA/Japan
Running Time: 17:53 Minutes

Synopsis: In rural Japan, a mother and daughter attempt to reconnect after dealing with the loss of a loved one the previous year.

Movie Title: The One You Never Forget
Director: Morgan Fox
Country: USA
Running Time: 8 Minutes

Synopsis: 14 year old Carey nervously prepares for his first dance as his parents reminisce about their own. When Carey's mother (Tasha Smith, EMPIRE) tasks Carey’s father (Malik Whitfield, THE TEMPTATIONS) with getting a picture of Carey and his date, a moment of tension arises as Carey becomes elusive and tries to thwart his father's objective.

Movie Title: Outdooring
Director: Maxwell Addae
Country: USA
Running Time: 18 Minutes

Synopsis: A young man, Kobby Ankrah, attends his new nephew’s Ghanaian baby-naming ceremony with a plan to steal the money collected from their family to run away and keep a deep secret hidden.

Movie Title: The Procedure Part 2
Director: Calvin Lee Reeder
Country: USA
Running Time: 3 Minutes

Synopsis: A man is forced to endure another strange experiment.

Movie Title: Rapaz (Raptor Rapace)
Director: Felipe Gálvez
Country: Chile
Running Time: 13:02 Minutes

Synopsis: Ariel (38), se involucra en la detención de un adolescente acusado de robar un celular. Una masa de personas rodea al joven, algunos lo culpan, lo golpean, otros lo defienden. La policía no llega. Ariel debe decidir de qué lado está.

Movie Title: Ready For Love
Director: Dylan Pasture, Lauren McCune
Country: USA
Running Time: 14:53 Minutes

Synopsis: Amber Lynn Weatherbee knows that the right man is out there. Maybe he’s on The Bachelor? Ready for Love covers a decade of a woman’s life, as told only through her own video submissions to be a contestant on the bachelor.

Movie Title: Rearrangement
Director: Emilios Avraam
Country: Cyprus
Running Time: 8:55 Minutes

Synopsis: When Leonidas pursues a home renovation contract, he quickly comes to find that his potential new client is very insistent that everything must be done according to her demands.

Movie Title: Rock Paper Scissors
Director: Brian Lawes
Country: USA
Running Time: 6:40 Minutes

Synopsis: A boy and girl must exchange numbers at an intersection before the light turns green.

Movie Title: Slingshot
Director: Robin Haig
Country: Scotland
Running Time: 15:27 Minutes

Synopsis: Slingshot is the spirited tale of overlooked Kath who works in the ticket booth of a Scottish castle. She longs to join her village’s battle re-enactment but is thwarted by her annoying younger boss Gordon. When gifted a mysterious hagstone Kath finally summons her courage to answer the battle cry.

Movie Title: The Subject (Le Sujet)
Director: Patrick Bouchard
Country: Canada
Running Time: 10 Minutes

Synopsis: An animator dissects his own body, extracting memories, emotions and fears that will nurture his work. As he cuts into his skin with a scalpel, various symbolic objects recalling his past emerge. Reaching the heart after cracking his ribs, he succeeds in identifying the burden he’s been dying to cast off.

Movie Title: The Tiger (Tiikeri)
Director: Mikko Myllylahti
Country: Finland
Running Time: 10:21 Minutes

Synopsis: On a winter evening Dad returns home drunk. Tiger is in his room and Mom is sleeping on the couch. A quarrel breaks out. Dad has a shotgun. Tiger and Mom escape the house. Haunting silence falls. Tiger must return inside to see what has happened - and to take the first steps towards independence.

Movie Title: Toto
Director: Danny Lee
Country: USA
Running Time: 17 Minutes

Synopsis: The career of an embittered former horror star who longs for his glory days comes gruesomely full circle.

Movie Title: Yirga
Director: B.B. Araya
Country: USA
Running Time: 7:40 Minutes

Synopsis: The night before Yirga’s big move, she’s plagued by one problem. With her peace of mind at stake, she must take matters into her own hands.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Movie Title: A Film Crew Censors Itself
Director: Bentley Brown
Country: Saudi Arabia
Running Time: 4 Minutes

Synopsis: Despite the legalization of cinema in Saudi Arabia last year, film crews are still subject to “moral laws” governing “mixed-gender” work environments. Nestled away on a private beach film set, a film crew must censor its behind-the-scenes footage.

Movie Title: Ghosts of Sugar Land
Director: Bassam Tariq
Country: USA
Running Time: 21 Minutes

Synopsis: In Sugar Land, Texas, a group of young Muslim American men ponder the disappearance of their friend “Mark,” who is suspected of joining ISIS.

Movie Title: Gli Ani
Director: Sara Fgaier
Country: Italy
Running Time: 20:30 Minutes

Synopsis: A woman gives voice to Annie Ernaux The years’s text, a few collected fragments on the shores of a timeless Sardinia.

Movie Title: Lasting Marks
Director: Charlie Lyne
Country: USA
Running Time: 14:33 Minutes

Synopsis: At once heartbreaking and heartwarming, this documentary short tells the story of sixteen men prosecuted for sadomasochism in Thatcher’s Britain. Visually composed of newspaper clippings and trial transcripts, a friendly voice shares a perspective that was suppressed at the time – that of a participant in the infamous orgy.

Movie Title: Mack Wrestles
Director: Taylor Hess, Erin Sanger
Country: USA
Running Time: 25 Minutes

Synopsis: Mack Wrestles takes the audience behind the scenes as Mack Beggs, a gifted athlete from Euless, Texas, struggles against the outside forces that stigmatize transgender athletes.

Movie Title: Pelourinho: They Don’t Really Care About Us
Director: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Country: Ghana
Running Time: 9 Minutes

Synopsis: Inspired by a letter in 1927 from Pan Africanist W.E.B. Du Bois to the American embassy in Brazil, this colorful film explores how it was impossible for African Americans to travel to Brazil through a series of vignettes and reminds us of the inequality still faced by that country’s black inhabitants.

Movie Title: The Queen's New Clothes
Director: Ashley Bush
Country: USA
Running Time: 23:42 Minutes

Synopsis: Winn Morton - a visionary, 90-year-old costume designer who honed his craft on Broadway and with Ringling Brothers Circus- brings over-the-top fantasy and sparkle to a conservative debutante pageant in small town Texas.

Movie Title: Scenes from a Dry City
Director: Simon Wood and Francois Verster
Country: South Africa
Running Time: 12:44 Minutes

Synopsis: An impending water crisis grips Cape Town, South Africa.

Movie Title: To Be in Moab
Director: Stuart Ruston, Eamon Downey
Country: USA
Running Time: 20 Minutes

Synopsis: Moab, Utah is known for its breathtaking scenery, mountain climbing, hiking trails and roaring rivers. But for members of The Phoenix, a sober active community, the isolated landscape represents much more… Traveling from across the United States, 200 members gather for an annual rejuvenating weekend of exercise, recovery and gratitude as they share their stories of what led them to be in Moab.

Movie Title: Vesuvius at Home
Director: Christin Turner
Country: USA/ITALY
Running Time: 14:01 Minutes

Synopsis: A fantastical journey from the filmmaker’s childhood re-enactment of a false Pompeii, through a decades long obsession, to discover in the Sibyl’s Cave Pompeii’s symbiosis with cinema, memory, and Giambattista Vico's spiral of time.

Movie Title: Walled Unwalled
Director: Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Country: Germany
Running Time: 21 Minutes

Synopsis: In the year 2000 there was a total of fifteen fortified border walls and fences between sovereign nations. Today, physical barriers at sixty-three borders divide nations across four continents. As these walls were being constructed, millions and millions of invisible cosmic particles called muons descended into the earth’s atmosphere and penetrated meters deep, through layers of concrete, soil and rock. Scientists realized that these deep penetrating particles could be harvested, and a technology could be developed to use their peculiar physical capacities to pass through surfaces previously impervious o x-rays. Muons allowed us to see for the first time the contraband hidden in lead lined shipping containers and secret chambers buried inside the stone walls of the pyramids. Now no wall on earth is impermeable. Today, we’re all wall, and no wall at all.

SHORTS BEFORE FEATURES

Movie Title: First Person
Director: Michael Lang
Country: USA
Running Time: 3:53 Minutes

Synopsis: Don narrates a day in the life of Don. Don loves himself some Don, but doesn't care much for anyone else.

Movie Title: Lexington and Vine
Director: Scott Haze
Country: USA
Running Time: 14 Minutes

Synopsis: This documentary follows Mark Foster and the indie pop band “Foster The People” on tour with their third studio album.

ANIMATED SHORTS

Movie Title: Applied Pressure
Director: Kelly Sears
Country: USA
Running Time: 7 Minutes

Synopsis: Ease the pain from past physical and mental distress. The body remembers. Aches may linger. Lay prone, breathe deeply, release tension, let go of the pain.

Movie Title: Caterpillarplasty
Director: David Barlow-Krelina
Country: Canada
Running Time: 5 Minutes

Synopsis: Fusing elements of Kafka and Kubrick, Caterpillarplasty is a prescient, grotesque sci-fi satire that lifts plastic surgery to another level.

Movie Title: The Fall (La Chute)
Director: Boris Labbé
Country: France/Spain
Running Time: 14:22 Minutes

Synopsis: As celestial beings descend to Earth vitiating its population, the world’s order unbalances. Initiated by these terms, a tragic fall leads to the parturition of crucial opposites: Hell and Heaven’s circles.

Movie Title: Fuse
Director: Shadi Adib
Country: Iran
Running Time: 7:18 Minutes

Synopsis: A mousetrap snaps shut, a market place awakens. A group of men heatedly discuss how to kill the animal in the little box.

Movie Title: Heart Chakra
Director: Angela Stempel
Country: USA
Running Time: 7:23 Minutes

Synopsis: Mae's life is routinely disrupted by the advice from her online crystal healer and her devotion to horoscopes. Armed with healing crystals and numerology, Mae is ready to follow the predictions on an unexpected path to find her soulmate.

Movie Title: OBON
Director: Andre Hörmann & Anna Samo
Country: Germany/USA/Japan
Running Time: 15 Minutes

Synopsis: Akiko Takakura is one of the last survivors of the atomic bomb explosion of Hiroshima. During Obon she receives the spirits of her parents and is haunted by memories. Akiko’s childhood consists of constant rejections and beatings. Finally Akiko experiences fatherly love in the midst of Hiroshima’s ruins.

Movie Title: The Phantom 52
Director: Geoff Marslett
Country: USA
Running Time: 7:25 Minutes

Synopsis: Loneliness: a trucker who calls out on his CB radio waiting for a reply that never comes. A ghost that haunts the deserted highways. A whale that sings at a frequency no other whale can even hear.

Movie Title: RENEEPOPTOSIS
Director: Renee Zhan
Country: USA
Running Time: 9:55 Minutes

Synopsis: Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sadness, and mysteries of Renee.

Movie Title: Solar Walk
Director: Réka Bucsi
Country: Denmark
Running Time: 21 Minutes

Synopsis: Solar Walk shows a journey through space and the process of creation within an animated cosmic chaos.

Movie Title: There's Something in the Water
Director: Rory WT
Country: USA/UK
Running Time: 08:01 Minutes

Synopsis: Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, but its delicate eco-system is threatened by a seemingly unstoppable invasive species of floating fern: Giant Salvinia. There's Something in the Water is an 8-minute animated documentary featuring interviews with people who live and work on the lake, demonstrating the damage that has been caused, and how everyone can work together to try and fix it.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Movie Title: 40th Anniversary Screening of The Muppet Movie (1979)
Director: James Frawley
Country: UK, USA
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis: While living the quiet life in a swamp, Kermit the Frog is approached by a Hollywood agent to audition
for the chance of a lifetime. So Kermit takes this chance for his big break as he makes the journey to Hollywood. Along the way, Kermit comes across several quirky new friends including comedic Fozzie Bear, beautiful but feisty Miss Piggy and the Great Gonzo. But Kermit must also watch out for ruthless Doc Hopper, who plans to use him as his spokesman for his Frog Legs food chain.

EDUCATION

Movie Title: NTX College Shorts

Movie Title: NTX High School Shorts

DEEP ELLUM SOUNDS

Movie Title: After So Many Days
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: Jim Hanft, Samantha Yonack
Country: USA
Running Time: 87 Minutes

Synopsis: A raw personal account of Jim and Sam, a singer-songwriter duo, uprooting their lives in an attempt to play one show every day for a year, putting their music, health, career, and first year of marriage to the test.

Movie Title: Get Back Up
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Director: Norry Niven
Country: USA
Running Time: 97 Minutes

Synopsis: A riveting, emotionally charged rock doc like none before it. This decade long journal follows the band and phoenix-like implosion and spiritual immersion of their front-man, who was born with a genius like gift to create hit music.

Movie Title: Live from the Astroturf
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: Steven Gaddis
Country: USA
Running Time: 58 Minutes

Synopsis: Alice Cooper reunites with the surviving members of the original lineup of the band to perform a blistering set on a small stage of pink astroturf at independent music store Good Records in Dallas, TX, 40 years after the band parted ways. Store owner Chris Penn pulls off the near insurmountable task of organizing the event and keeping Alice's appearance a secret until the original shock-rocker hits the stage.

Movie Title: Negro Terror
Premiere Status: Texas Premiere
Director: John Rash
Country: USA
Running Time: 53 Minutes

Synopsis: ‘Negro Terror’ is a cinematic and musical portrait of a punk band’s rise from playing house parties to establishing their influential role within the vibrant and eclectic underground music community of Memphis, TN. Negro Terror as a band champion the history, music, and various politics of their beloved hometown and are far more than just another hardcore punk band with a provocative name. Their passion and music demonstrate that despite idiosyncratic personalities and sometimes opposing viewpoints three individuals can succeed as as an artistic and political collective focused on a common cause.

Movie Title: Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Story of the Saxon Pub
Premiere Status: Dallas Premiere
Director: Jeff Sandmann
Country: USA
Running Time: 71 Minutes

Synopsis: With iconic Austin venues closing each year due to rising rents and property taxes, the writing is on the wall for the Saxon Pub, a mainstay for live music since 1990. Soon being forced to a new space -- akin to closure for most clubs -- its owner Joe Ables, its regulars and staff and its beloved musicians such as local luminaries Bob Schneider, Patrice Pike, Guy Forsyth, Joe Ely, Hector Ward, Carolyn Wonderland, The Resentments, Johnny Nicholas, W.C. Clark, Robynn Shayne and others, turn to face the music until they learn their fate might not be sealed after all. Call it divine intervention or a stroke of good luck, the Saxon could live to see another day if it plays its cards right….


About Dallas Film
Dallas Film (www.dallasfilm.org), established as Dallas Film Society in 2006, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to celebrate the past, present and future of film in our community. The organization provides leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television, and digital media. Through a variety of screenings, educational programs, and festivals, Dallas Film raises awareness of the world’s most approachable and inclusive art form.







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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Gloria Bell





Sebastián Lelio won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2018 for his film A Fantastic Woman. His newest project which he wrote and directed had it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It's almost a scene by scene remake in English of his 2013 film Gloria in which Paulina García won the best actress prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

Julianne Moore plays the fifty something free spirit Gloria Bell. She's been divorced for a dozen years and works for an insurance company. At night she frequents a dance club for the disco dancing mid-life crowd. When we first see Gloria she is sitting alone at the bar. She is not someone that particularly stands out. Even when she approaches someone who she had met in the past, he can barely remember her. We follow Gloria in the everyday minutiae of her life. From her singing alone with the radio in the car of 70's dance music, to smoke breaks with a co-worker while complaining about the job. She visits her children, her son (Michael Cera), a new dad who has been left with the baby as his wife had taken off to find herself, and her daughter (Alanna Ubach), who teaches Yoga and has fallen for a Norwegian surfer. As much as she offers to help them, they insist on living their own lives. She also gets along with her ex-husband (Brad Garrett) and his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn). They share friends with Rita Wilson and Chris Mulkey. It's not a bad life, just very routine and unadventurous.

One night at the dance club she hooks up with Arnold (John Turturro). He's been divorced for about a year but is still very much involved with his ex-wife and two grown daughters who call him at every opportunity to help them out. Despite the early signs of this, Gloria and Arnold get along. Gloria revels in that exciting feelings of new love. They date, meet her friends and her kids, but he keeps getting phone calls and disappearing on her. They even try having a Las Vegas weekend which ends up with Gloria doing a morning walk of shame.

Julianne Moore is probably one of top actresses in the industry today. She can anything from playing the quirky villain in the last Kingsman film to this quiet sensitive performance of Gloria who lives for everyone else but herself. There is no CGI, car chases, shootouts or ghosts. This is a nice quiet performance of a woman finding her self and independence. There can be good stories of older women and hopefully we will see more. It's a slow start, but it's the kind of story that stays with you.
(Review by reesa)



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Carga





Viewers are thrown into the deep end of the pool from the get-go with writer / director Bruno Gascon’s film “Carga.” Gascon’s movie, suitably bleak and dreary, focuses on a human-trafficking network and a few of the people caught within it (both victims and perpetrators).

The key players are introduced within the opening scene – truck driver António (Vítor Norte), network leader Viktor (Dmitry Bogomolov), and victim Viktoriya (Michalina Olszanska, who also plays Viktor’s sister, and right-hand woman, Alanna). António stops on the side of a highway so Viktor and his men can unload the passengers, illegal immigrants hidden among the contents of António’s trailer with the assumption of safe passage into Portugal, into a large van. One of the passengers loaded into the van is Viktoriya, whose dialogue-less initial scenes require actress Olszanska to establish a connection with the audience solely via facial expressions. It is clear that António is uncomfortable with the situation, though it’s not clear how long this discomfort has been around. Was he once ok with what he was participating in? Or has he, in some way, been forced into being an unwilling accomplice? Sensing his discomfort, Viktor later calls António, threatening to harm his wife and granddaughter if he quits.

There isn’t much given in the way of backstory for any of these characters and none have any sort of character growth within the film. Viktoriya is the helpless victim with a strong survival instinct, Viktor is the evil boss, and António is the hapless old man caught in a spider’s web. One of the points director Gascon seems to be trying to make with “Carga” is that anyone could find themselves, a title card at the end of the film proclaims “it could be you,” in this situation. Michalina Olszanska, whose dual characters are on opposite ends of this trafficking network, visibly serves to represent that idea to the audience. Her performance is one of the film’s strengths, she so fully disappears into her roles that I didn’t realize the same actress was playing both women until the movie was over. “Carga” constantly shifts its focus between multiple characters, another way in which Gascon drives home the idea of “it could be you.” You don’t necessarily have to be the victim to be involved in this crime.

Viktoriya finds herself locked in a cold, run-down building along with the other women kidnapped by the traffickers. All of the men that were in the truck are shot dead in the courtyard, an act which Viktor makes sure happens in plain sight of the women. When they come to take away a young girl, who Viktoriya has been comforting, Viktoria is the only one to put up a fight for her. After the men have gone, she reprimands the other women for not putting up any sort of fight.

Technically, the film is well made. It’s well shot, one of the few things I liked about it. “Carga” takes on a blue hue with its photography, embellishing the hopelessness of Viktoriya’s situation while also further establishing the depressing mood of the movie. At times, the subtitles disappear into bright backgrounds, making them initially unnoticeable then, once their presence is noted, very difficult to read. This is something that really should have been noticed by the filmmakers before its release.

As previously stated, the actors do a great job at portraying their characters. Yet, their performances don’t help to sell the movie. Despite grasping her dire predicament, it was hard to empathize with Viktoriya. Gascon’s attempts at connecting the viewers with the traffickers also felt odd. António is the most engaging of the characters but the lack of information leaves you wondering whether or not you should care about the man.

“Carga” plods along aloofly to its conclusion, which goes in an expected direction once certain events start unfolding. Maybe a stronger final act would have helped the movie out, but I felt done with it far before it got to that point. “Carga” is a harsh and brutal film, though maybe not as hard to watch as you’d think considering the subject matter.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

Now available on DVD and VOD





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The Hummingbird Project






Writer / director Kim Nguyen takes on the world of high-frequency trading with his newest film, “The Hummingbird Project.” Nguyen’s movie follows two traders, Vincent (Jesse Eisenberg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård), who decide to quit their jobs at a high-profile firm in order to build a run of fiber optic cable – which must be placed in a perfectly straight line – between the stock exchange in Kansas City and New York City.

Vincent and Anton, who happen to be cousins, bring in an investor, Bryan Taylor (Frank Schorpion), to finance the project and a driller, Mark Vega (Michael Mando), to help with the construction. As the group sets out to work on the project, with hopes of beating Vincent and Anton’s former boss Eva Torres (Salma Hayek) with a faster connection (only 16 milliseconds instead of 17), it becomes obvious that they are in over their heads. A whirlwind of sub-contracts, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), property sales (they only ask each owner for a thin strip ten feet underneath their property), and equipment rentals (among other things) ensues. All of which costs ridiculous sums of money. Sums that quickly escalate with the arrival of each new problem.

Eisenberg plays yet another variant of his typical role – the smooth-talking arrogant hustler. He’s done it before but he plays the part well. Pairing the character with the neurotic Anton gives “The Hummingbird Project” its edge. Skarsgård, playing against his usual type, completely disappears into the role of the anxiety riddled, middle-aged Anton. It’s a transformation that requires the actor to walk hunched over with a funky gait and appear with a balding pate while also embodying the personality of someone who is extremely intelligent yet easily riled up. Eisenberg and Skarsgård have excellent chemistry, giving the cousins a believable dynamic.

Ex-boss Torres quickly catches on to what her former employees are up to (despite their NDAs) after sending someone to spy on them. Quickly, she hatches a plan to be the first to a faster connection, finding ways to undermine Vincent and Anton’s work. She pays particular attention to messing with the easily manipulated Anton. Hayek plays the part well. She coolly and venomously delivers her lines, making Eva a great (and oddly likeable) villain.

For the most part, the movie is finely paced. Nguyen sprinkles moments of humor throughout to help keep the movie light, in spite of the heavier topics it touches on (stomach cancer). There are some moments where things start to drag but they don’t last too long. The score from Yves Gourmeur, one of the more engaging scores from recent memory, creates the right mood for the film and helps to build the suspense and drive the story along.

While “The Hummingbird Project” focuses on some dense (and, at times, dark) material, it’s a fun, breezy thriller. After finishing the movie, it’s a little hard to believe that this isn’t based on a true story.
(Review by Bret Oswald)

OPENS 3/22 AT ANGELIKA FILM CENTER DALLAS AND PLANO

OPENS 4/5 AT AMC FIREWHEEL TOWN CENTER 18, GRAPEVINE MILLS 30, MESQUITE 30, STONEBRIAR MALL 24




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