DUAL (MIFF 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

At the film’s core lies that good old fashioned science fiction chestnut “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” when it comes to technological progress. But, of course, being a Stearns film the way science fiction manifests is notably without the whistles and bells so typical of the genre elsewhere. Rather, the basic premise – that we can pay to replace ourselves with genetically engineered doubles when we die to help assuage the pain and grief of our family and friends – comes into view almost matter-of-factly. Here, it is the tension between the film’s main character and her “replacement” that drives the narrative.

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Riley Stearns on Female Leads, Dueling and DUAL (Sundance FF 2022) – Pamela Powell interviews

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival is in a virtual mode again this year. On the upside, everyone has access to purchasing tickets to an event that was once rather exclusionary, limited to those who could attend the festival in the quaint town of Park City, Utah. The film Dual, written and directed by Riley Stearns, is a part of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival’s US Dramatic Competition category. Here’s what he has ti say about writing a female lead, the Covid challenge and Dual.

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THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE – Review by Diane Carson

The Art of Self Defense is a movie at war with itself. Though billed as a satiric comedy on destructive hypermasculinity, it lacks the wit and insight to skewer its target with anything approaching a gratifying, substantive critique. At best a cartoonish lampoon, it exaggerates its nerdish protagonist and lacks needed, nuanced development.

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