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To Dust Review: A Funny, Affecting Mix of Hasidic Jew, Harried Professor, Hog, & the Horror of Grief

New indie release To Dust is equally strange, darkly funny, and insightful about the all-too-often mind-altering and devastating effects of grief. Filtered through a fable of sorts, it questions both the logistics of death and the inability to accept its reality and meaning by those left behind. Director and co-writer Shawn Snyder, raised a reform …

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Capernaum Movie Review: Indelible Indie on the Invisibility of Street Children

Capernaum is one of the five films nominated for a foreign film Oscar this year, and has the distinction of having won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. This heartbreaking film is challenging viewing. Director and co-writer Nadine Labaki hired non-actors who had lives very close to those represented in the story, …

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Rust Creek Review: An Escape Thriller With an Everywoman You Can Root For

Director Jen McGowan’s Rust Creek, released in January both in theaters and on demand, is a compelling, exciting, and surprisingly unusual thriller.  Female moviegoers have had to learn to accept that they aren’t going to be represented three-dimensionally in a large percentage of films released. This is particularly true in thrillers, which are often made …

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Cinema Siren Interviews on MPAA’s The Credits

The Credits, an arm of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), is a group that facilitates in-depth analyses of what makes film-making great. By partnering with many great writers and interviewers, The Credits provides insightful glimpses into a myriad of subjects and figures within the film industry. As one of these interviewers, Leslie Combemale …

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IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Review: Barry Jenkins Brings Baldwin’s Words to Beautiful Life

A few years ago, the film Moonlight reflected aspects of life for marginalized people of color in a poignant, authentic way that brought attention to its writer/director Barry Jenkins as a filmmaker of note. His new release If Beale Street Could Talk reaffirms the attention and accolades he got were not only deserved, but a portent …

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Bathtubs Over Broadway Review: Terrific Doc Celebrates Tractor Tunes and Sunscreen Serenades

On rare occasions, the truly bizarre and the utterly charming intersect. Just such a case can be made for Writer/producer/editor Dava Whisenant’s directorial debut, which mines the strange world of industrial musicals in the new documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway. These productions had their heyday in the 50s through the 70s, and were populated by talented …

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Anna and the Apocalypse Review and Exclusive Interview

This holiday season, as with them all, film fans are barraged with Oscar contenders, Hallmark Christmas movies, as well as Disney and superhero blockbusters, all vying for attention and box office dollars. Anna and the Apocalypse, which was created on a tiny budget by a scrappy group of Scottish filmmakers, enters the fray with lots …

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