THE ART TALENT SHOW – Review by April Neale

What sets apart an artistic masterpiece from an overlooked oil or charcoal on canvas leaning in a sea of forlorn artworks waiting for someone to fall in love with it? Filmmakers Tomáš Bojar and Adéla Komrzý chronicle a busy Czech art institute during entrance exam week. The Art Talent Show documentary is a wry, clever, eye-opening look at a world few of us enter. With the gamut of ideas and free-range artsy behaviors being tossed around, the jitters of being judged and the process of judging are rooted calmly in Šimon Dvořáček’s steady lensing. Even the banality of entering a gallery and beginning the registration and application process is given an artful framing and interesting POV to show that art, and what we consider artful, can be found in just about any situation or subject matter.

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THE PAINTED BIRD – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Painted Bird transmits the distinct and unrelentingly dangerous sense that something wisely restrained has emphatically been let off the chain. It’s a difficult film; upsetting, cruel, vicious and absolutely harrowing. But it is also probably a masterpiece, and a vital reminder of the fundamental dignities upon which the entire concept of human rights exists.

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