BIG TIME ADOLESCENCE – Review by Sarah Ward

This isn’t just a movie about a kid attempting to be popular, endeavoring to woo his first girlfriend and stressing out his parents, although the template definitely fits. It’s a film about a teen who has grown up with one concept of maturity and one vision of approaching life with a casual, anything goes, “you only live once” attitude, but finds himself reassessing his choices — as well as the friend that’s shaped them.

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MAKE UP – Review by Sarah Ward

To first-time feature writer/director Claire Oakley, her debut film Make Up and the movie’s 18-year-old protagonist Ruth (Molly Windsor), the roar of the Cornish seaside is equally unnerving and alluring — a force that threatens as much as it calms, and entices while splashing its dangers anywhere and everywhere.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

A thorny knot of competing motives and pragmatic morality is at the heart of the quietly savage and occasionally weirdly funny Blow the Man Down. With their feature debut, writer-directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy give the crime-noir genre a radical, feminist rethink the likes of which I cannot recall seeing before…

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FIRST COW – Review by Diane Carson

First Cow is a thoroughly absorbing story of atypical, three-dimensional characters. Director and co-writer (along with Raymond) Kelly Reichardt shows again an extraordinary ability to capture the look and feel of nineteenth century America, as she did in Meek’s Cutoff. Moreover, Reichardt doesn’t flinch from presenting the dirt and squalor, the struggle for the basics of food and shelter, and the violence barely suppressed and ready to erupt at any moment.

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FEELS GOOD MAN (SXSW2020) – Review by Nell Minow

Feels Good Man is not just comic artist Matt Furie’s story, or even that of his creation, Pepe the frog. It is the story of us, and it illuminates some confusing and painful realities about the way we communicate, form opinions, and make vital decisions about the future of our country, and so much that doesn’t feel good, man.

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DARK CITY BENEATH THE BEAT (SXSW)2020 – Review by Nikki Baughan

Baltimore itself is the stage where rappers and poets perform on street corners, dancers hotfoot their way across bridges and through buildings, clubs host sweaty dance-off competitions, where crowds gather to watch those with the best moves crowned King or Queen. And in one poignant sequence, a tulle-clad dancer performs a beautiful mixture of ballet and club moves in the graveyard where Tamika Ray (aka FatGirl), a pioneer of Baltimore dance, lays buried.

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THE PLATFORM – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Outside a time of crisis, The Platform is a brilliant film that defines the wholly unique ability of science fiction to allegorize the human condition. But in the face of a devastating pandemic which already has caused incomprehensible levels of social, financial and political chaos around the world, The Platform is suddenly so much more than this. A powerful parable about community, responsibility and survival, The Platform is exactly the film we need right now.

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SINGLE (SXSW2020) – Review by Marina Antunes

Typically when the term “inclusion” crops up in the world of filmmaking, it refers to women or individuals of color but more and more we’ve started to see the term encompass other human characteristics, including disabilities. Single, Ashley Eakin’s third short film, tackles preconceptions about people with disabilities in the best way possible: with a laugh.

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