FOR MADMEN ONLY (SXSW2020) – Review by Lois Alter Mark

I was a little wary about watching For Madmen Only because I had never heard of its subject, Del Close. But with the perfect timing of the comedians it celebrates, narrator Michaela Watkins begins this fascinating documentary by reassuring viewers, “If you never heard of Del Close, well, congratulations. That means you’re not a comedian, which, all in all, is probably good news for you.”

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EVERYONE TOGETHER (SXSW2020) – Review by Sarah Knight Adamson

From the outset, Everyone Together’s preliminary scene draws you in—the outlandish costuming, the unique setting, and the deliberate overacting by its main stars—all establish an off-balanced tone, in this pilot for a proposed episodic series, centering on a dysfunctional family’s search for love.

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WE DON’T DESERVE DOGS (SXSW2020) – Review by Tara McNamara

We Don’t Deserve Dogs is a documentary that shows how dogs are truly man’s best friend all across the globe, in a series of vignettes. People in one location in one country share their experience with how one dog has impacted their lives. Usually, the animal helped them with a positive transformation, but not always. Ultimately, as all dog films, it’s not really about the dogs. It’s about the humans.

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FINDING YINGYING (SXSW2020) – Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

Yingying Zhang left China for America to pursue her dream. She was enrolled in the University of Urbana Champaign College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences in Illinois. She liked studying, enjoyed being independent, and wrote in her own diary. Everything was going according to her plans when one man, viciously and heartlessly, took everything away from her, including her life.

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RED HEAVEN (SXSW2020) – Review by Pam Grady

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano may seem like an unlikely setting for space exploration, but for a group of intrepid scientists and would-be astronauts, it becomes exactly that in this NASA experiment captured by filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe in this fascinating documentary.

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ECHOES OF THE INVISIBLE (SXSW2020) – Review by Tara McNamara

Echoes of the Invisible is as heady, vast and ambiguous as its title indicates. It has a lofty goal: to help us understand our place in the universe. To do so, it takes us on journeys ancient and present, up into the cosmos and down into the ocean’s icy depths, through deserts and rainforests to identify the world’s most persistent living organisms and exploring our interconnectedness: stranger to stranger, neighbor to neighbor, one nationality to another, and us to our ancestors and the earth around us.

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THE DONUT KING (SXSW2020) – Review by Sarah Ward

Alice Gu’s documentary delves into the reverence afforded to the humble doughnut while charting how Ted Ngoy played a part in that status. And, likely to the surprise of most watching, it explores how his instant fondness helped completely change the lives of many of his fellow Cambodian Americans fleeing genocide, while also pondering the importance of a nation such as the US aiding refugees in need — and the contributions they make to society in return.

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I WILL MAKE YOU MINE (SXSW2020) – Review by Lois Alter Mark

What happens when someone you once loved is the person who actually created the soundtrack of your life?
I Will Make You Mine follows three women connected by their past romances with singer/songwriter, Goh Nakamura. They’ve never quite gotten over him, and when he comes back into their lives at once, each woman must come to terms with what she wants from him and from her own life.

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