THE GREEN KNIGHT – Review by Martha K Baker

The hero is King Arthur’s nephew, and the tale defines the chivalric romance with themes of honor and humility. The film is dark. Very, very dark. Also turgid and confusing. The Green Knight issues a challenge to all viewers: if you can sit through this thing without longing to have your own head lopped off, you deserve to be knighted. But don’t be greedy: once a knight’s enough.

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QUEEN OF THE BEACH – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Shooting a video in India for a church mission, Canadian filmmaker Christopher McDonell stopped by the beach in Goa to clear his head like so many other tourists drawn to the lush shores. He wound up making a friend who would captivate him for roughly a decade. Shilpa Poojar is just nine years old and selling clothing at a small booth to support her family when McDonell meets her in 2008 in his documentary, Queen of the Beach. She has responsibilities beyond her years, but Poojar also is precocious with charisma to spare.

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LIMELIGHT – Retroview by Jennifer Merin

Filmmaker Billy Corben’s glitzy documentary, Limelight, follows the rise and demise of New York club lord, Peter Gatien, who ruled the city’s nightlife during the 1980s, until his trend-setting establishments, including the eponymous Limelight, were shut down by officials who accused Gatien and his crew of employees of using the popular premises to distribute illegal drugs.

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MATERNA – Review by Rachel West

Materna’s strength lies in unifying culturally diverse stories and while fimmaker David Gutnik makes some choices that aren’t always successful, the film is effective in exploring the themes at hand as he offers what is ultimately a unique and refreshing perspective on both motherhood and womanhood.

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ANNETTE – Review by Leslie Combemale

From the first moments of the ambitious, sometimes stubbornly weird, sometimes magical film Annette, from director Leos Carax and writer/composers Ron and Russell Mael, known together as Sparks, you already know you’re in for something different and original. Carax talks directly to the audience, breaking the fourth wall, then the entire cast and crew get together and walk through the night streets singing ‘So May We Start?’.

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WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED – Review by Diane Carson

What We Left Unfinished documents the recovery of Afghan Films. In troubled, war-torn countries, the arts often slip from discussion and concern. And yet, as one wise Afghan director observes in filmmaker Mariam Ghani’s surprising, informative documentary What We Left Unfinished, “You can’t do as much damage to the enemy with an F-16 or other air power as you can with a really good film.”

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VAL – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Before he earned the nickname “Iceman” and became a 1990s icon as Batman, Val Kilmer loved goofing around in front of and behind a camera. He’s collected a treasure trove of footage throughout his life that the documentary Val pieces together into an immersive narrative about his love of art, acting, and family.

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A DARK FOE – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

A Dark Foe follows FBI Agent Tony Cruz whose obsessive dedication to his work life is thwarted by childhood trauma and a chronic case of nyctophobia (fear of the dark). Haunted by the murder of his mother and the abduction of his sister when she was only a child, as revealed early in the film, as an adult his paths cross with the man responsible for his own tragic losses, which are simultaneously linked to a stream of vicious serial killings and a sex trafficking ring.

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