Beef (Robert “Meatball” Lorie) and Conan (Paul Chamberlain) are best friends who gracelessly and humorously carry out a Don Quixote and Sancho Panza–style journey in The Strongest Man, a 2015 Sundance film in the “NEXT” section. “I think I have a hard time not putting some comedy in there,” says Kenny Riches, the film’s writer and director.
On paper, this film comes across as pretty damn intellectually daunting—the type of film that goes over your head. But something about the director’s rhythmic narration set to images of dew-flecked spider webs succeed in transporting the audience into this strange world that appears to have remained unchanged since the 1920s. … read more
David Robert Mitchell’s dissection of the paranoia and emotional detachment that plagues our suburbs is the genesis of this fresh interpretation of the horror genre. It Follows feels like a natural progression of the teenage horror film—one that uses the complexity of today’s young people as a canvas for some expertly-crafted, psychosexual drama. … read more
Set in Lithuania and spoken in Lithuanian, Sangailé (Julija Steponaityté) is a timid, adolescent young woman who marvels at such stunt planes, but she fears heights on account of her vertigo. Austé (Aisté Diržiūté) coaxes her to hang out with her and her friends group; eventually, the two girls become lovers as Austé, an aspiring fashion designer/photographer, threads her way into Sangailé’s heart by making clothes for and taking photos of her. … read more
Chorus is shot in a dreary black and white that underlines the turmoil with which Irène (Fanny Mallette) and Christophe (Sébastien Ricard) have suffered for 10 years, since the disappearance and presumed death of their son in Quebec. … read more
Things of the Aimless Wanderer, a film in the New Frontiers section of Sundance programming, challenges traditional approaches to narrative filmmaking. This drama offers three disjointed accounts of what became of a disappeared black girl in an East/Central African country (likely Rwanda) after she had a fling with a white, American journalist/travel writer—presented as “Working Hypotheses,” each claimed to be based on a “true story.” … read more
Censored Voices recollects recordings from Israeli soldiers of the Six Days War, originally recorded by Amos Oz. This documentary reveals their true feelings—as opposed to proclamations of national pride—about the pressures of Zionism and the horrors and hypocrisy of war. … read more
Homesick is an interesting character study of Charlotte, who must work to forgive her mother and—for lack of better words—grow up by delving into this queerness. It’s an interesting, fun drama that thrives in the discomfort it engenders with Charlotte’s and Henrik’s transgressive love. … read more