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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Break in Postings

Dear Readers,

I know how infuriating it is to follow a blog that one minute is chugging along fine, the next coming to a screeching halt. You keep checking over and over since in the past there were always new posts, but then, all of sudden there's nothing. I am guilty of pulling one such screeching halt. 

I am taking some time off from the Bone Saw and film writing, maybe only temporarily. Maybe not.

If you've arrived at this page and are looking for an update, sorry, there will not be one for awhile. I thought it best not to be so rude as just to quit without notice. 

Until the future,


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Who Am I? (Kein System ist sicher) - Kino German Films 2015

This was my favorite film of the entire festival. An American remake is in the works, but this original German version will be hard to beat.

Who Am I? purveys time moving in such a way as the viewer sees it only as a signifier; The movement is only the representation time itself. “My name is Benjamin, and this is my story”—the protagonist takes the viewer through a series of frenetic episodes that have all already occurred; the entire film is told through flashbacks. The actual span of time unfolded is unidentifiable [...]

Check out the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/kein-system-ist-sicher-kino-german-festival-2015/

Monday, April 27, 2015

Neckie Youth- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

By never staying still, dodging the inevitable becomes routine. Grief, movement, love, confusion are some of the elements that proliferate in this gorgeous film by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, a first time filmmaker who also wrote, and stars in the film. People walk, drive, climb, and are always moving away from the position where it is most painful to be, in surrender [...]

Find the full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/tribeca-film-festival-2015-review-necktie-youth

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dream/Killer- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

Ryan Ferguson was 19 years old when he was arrested and charged with a murder he didn't commit. Ryan’s father Bill refused to accept this verdict, so from the moment Ryan was convicted, Bill fought tirelessly to prove his son's innocence. It all began when in 2001. Kent Heitholt, a sports editor at The Columbia Daily Tribune was found strangled to death next to his car in the newspaper’s office parking lot. The case went unsolved for two years until police got an anonymous call. The anonymous caller gave the police information that led them to a man named Charles Erickson, a friend of Ryan’s. At first Erickson claimed his memory from the night was totally blank, but after a botched police interrogation full of gerrymandering, Erickson ends up giving the police the misleading information [...]

Read my full review of this film here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/tribeca-film-festival-2015-review-dreamkiller

Toto and his Sisters- Tribeca Film Festval 2015

Toto (10), Andreea (14), and Ana (17) live in a filthy apartment with no appliances or running water. Their mother was arrested for drug offenses and the door is still damaged from when the police broke it down; the siblings talk endlessly about when their mother will come back. Officially the children are under the care of their uncles, but their uncles are drug addicts and not qualified to be parental guardians; they use the apartment to gather with friends and take heroine. Director Alexander Nanau never shies away from showing the reality of the children's lives—trying to sleep while a roomful of junkies shoot-up [...]

The full review shall be found here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/toto-and-his-sisters-review

Tour de Force (Hin und weg) Kino German Films 2015

First there was the ice-bucket challenge. Then there was the Theory of Everything (2014). Continuing to promote amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is Tour de Force, Christian Zübert’s film that powerfully portrays one man’s courageous decision to end his own life [...]

Read the full review of this film here: http://maglomaniac.com/tour-de-force-hin-und-weg-kino-german-films-2015/

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Courtship- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

In the film A Courtship, director Amy Kohn tells of the phenomenon called "courtship" through Kelly’s story. Kelly (33) had her heart broken in college and vowed never to go through such pain again. This is when she found out about courtship, a practice that exists in some conservative Christian communities. It bears some resemblance to arranged marriage in that a suitor must seek the permission of the woman’s father, but in courtship’s case, the couple has the final decision [...]
Check out the full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/?p=115507  

Coming soon: A one-on-one interview with director Amy Kohn where I'll talk to her about this super fun film.

Palio- Tribeca Film Fest 2015

In Palio director Cosima Spender highlights the unbreakable bond between the Palio and her home—Siena, Italy. The Palio is a horse race that was first run in 1238, and so the race is so steeped in history that it has become the city’s crowning tradition. The race is run twice a year, July 2nd and August 16th, in the Piazza del Campo where the residents, divided up into 17 ancient districts, each cheer for their horse to win. Each district has a committee that prepares all year long for the race, and will do anything to improve their district’s chances of winning [..]

Full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/?p=114363

Thank You For Playing- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

When Ryan and Amy Green found out their son Joel had a brain tumor they were devastated. But they decided to take an optimistic and proactive approach—to live everyday as if Joel was not sick. However it wasn’t quite as simple as simply “thinking positive.” A parent dealing with a terminally ill child cannot simply will away their grief, and so this is what makes this story inspiring [...]

Read the full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/tribeca-film-festival-2015-review-thank-playing

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Lies of the Victors (Die Lügen der Sieger)- Kino German Film Fest NY 2015

The film begins with a quote from Lawrence Ferlinghetti: “History is made by the lies of the victors.” Such is inspiration for this film by Christopher Hochhäusler’s. The Lies of the Victors tells a tale of deceit, corruption, and how we absolutely cannot believe everything we read in the media. The film looks at the power and behind-the-scenes meddling of lobbyists and how they will go to any length to make sure they control what the public knows about their clients [...]

The full review is here: http://maglomaniac.com/lies-victors-kino-german-film-fest-ny-2015/

Gored- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

Bullfighting is a dangerous affair, every time a matador gets into the ring with a bull he risks his life, and no one knows this better than Antonio Barrera. He holds the title as being “Most Gored Bullfighter in History” 23 times he has been gored, seriously facing death, and every time he has survived. Director Ido Mizrahy’s Gored follows Barrera as a now modern family man while investigating the psychology of the matador, and what drives these men to become so passionate about fighting the bulls [...]

The full review can be found here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/gored-review

Democrats- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

Filmed over three years, the filmmakers of Democrats were given unprecedented access into a unique governmental process in Zimbabwe. Following the leaders of two opposing parties as they crossed the country campaigning, listening to the voices of the people, and then struggling to write a new democratic constitution for the country that has been under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe for more than 30 years [...]

Read the full review of the film here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/tribeca-film-festival-2015-review-democrats

Friday, April 17, 2015

Transfatty Lives- Tribeca Film Festival 2015

In 2005 at age thirty, filmmaker Patrick O’Brien’s leg started shaking and wouldn’t stop. Soon after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When he was told he had between 2–5 years to live he decided to film his descent into the black hole of ALS. There is no cure or treatment, and every patient with the disease has a 100% chance of succumbing to it. TransFatty Lives is result of nearly ten years of footage documenting the heartbreaking story of a young man being robbed of his ability to talk, walk, and even breathe, and showing where he is now [...]

Full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/transfatty-lives-review

Schmitke- Kino German Film Fest NY 2015

57-year old Schmitke’s (Peter Kurth) is on the precipice. He has always indentified with his career as a wind turbine engineer, but as he has aged and times have changed, he has become less and less useful to his employer. He has a daughter who practices earthy eastern spirituality that Schmitke doesn’t care for, and he has a loud-mouthed, slacker assistant Thomas (Petr Vrsek) that is so lazy he gets both Schmitke in trouble with the boss [...]

Read the Full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/schmitke-kino-german-film-fest-ny-2015/

The Kings Surrender (Wir waren Könige)- Kino German Film Fest NY 2015

The Kings Surrender does not refer to the surrender of a single king, but to all kings—the Special Unit police, the SWAT team, for an area surrounding Munich. An exciting opening scene where the SWAT team swoops in to bust a drug dealer sets up a film that is full of exciting police tactics. And while this scene is exciting Leinemann shows the cracks that have already begun to form in the SWAT unit. One officer points a shotgun out an open window and fires into a courtyard at a fleeing suspect. Two other officers are busted suspiciously handling rolls of the drug dealer’s cash [...} 

Check out he full review here:   http://maglomaniac.com/kings-surrender-kino-german-film-fest-ny-2015/

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Impeccables (Kusursuzlar)- Turkish Film Fest NY 2015

 Impeccables (Kusursuzlar) is about two women who believe that impeccable is exactly what they are. They come from a privileged class, both of them are highly educated professionals, and they have the luxury of lounging around in a beach town while sorting out their issues and making judgments of the world. While they are both impeccably beautiful, they don’t necessarily conform to the standard of impreccablness that is expected of Turkish women [...}

To read the full review, click here: http://maglomaniac.com/impeccables-kusursuzlar/

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nobody’s Home (Köksüz) & Fish (Balık)- NY Turkish Film Fest 2015

A projection error partially derailed the screening of Nobody’s Home (Köksüz) when the film was cut off near the ending. The festival staff made the announcement: they would begin a screening of Fish (Balık), a film that had oringally been scheduled for the following night, but had been cancelled. People started to leave, not wanting to sit through an another entire film, but those that stayed got a double feature.

Check out the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/nobodys-home-koksuz-fish-balik-ny-turkish-film-fest-2015/

24 Days

In The Atlantic’s April 2015 issue, the cover story by Jeffery Goldberg asks, “Is it Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” the author discusses how the influx population of Muslims to France is largely sequestered to the suburbs, where they are unemployed in huge numbers, and this, among other things, is causing discontent. Goldberg somehow attributes this Muslim discontent to rising French anti-Semitism, saying Muslims are its “chief propagators.”

Check out the full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/?p=115560&preview=true

Saturday, April 11, 2015

About a Girl- Kino German Film Fest NY 2015

One day Charleen (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) spontaneously decides that she no longer wants to live, and so, she tries to kill herself. But when a lucky phone call saves her, she instead falls and hits her head, living but injuring herself and then ends up having to spend the rest of the film dealing with the consequences of a failed suicide attempt. In About a Girl director Mark Monheim looks at teen suicide [...]

 Check out the review here: http://maglomaniac.com/girl-kino-german-film-fest-2015/

Song of My Mother (Annemin Şarkısı)- NY Turkish Film Festival 2015

This passionate debut project by Turkish director Erol Mintaş’s creates a beautiful dialogue about family that addresses universally how complicated familial relationships can get. Highlighting the difficulties of an older generation, struggling in an ever changing world, the love of a mother and son is woven into this a story about an ever-changing landscape [...]

Read the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/song-mother-annemin-sarkisi-ny-turkish-film-festival-2015/

Monday, April 6, 2015

Consequences (Silsile)- NY Turkish Film Festival 2015

On night number two The New York Turkish Film Festival screened Silsile (Consequences 2014) directed by Ozan Aciktan. While the film’s flashy nightclub opening scene looks like an extravagant vodka commercial, this scene is a misleading introduction to the kind of film about to unfold. Intoned as a thriller of deceit, murder and elitism [...]

Read the pull review at: http://maglomaniac.com/consequences-silsile-ny-turkish-film-festival-2015/

I’m Not Him (Ben O Değilim )- NY Turkish Film Festival 2015

The opening night of the New York Turkish Film Festival was a subdued affair with a small audience, but everyone in attendance was enthralled with the festival’s opening piece Ben O Değilim (I’m Not Him, 2014), directed by the erudite Tayfun Pirselimoğlu. Pirselimoğlu is a veteran of the Turkish arts scene having directed many films and written many novels (sadly they only seem available in Turkish). He appeared on opening night for a post-screening Q & A where the audience pressed for solid answers [...]

Check out the full post here:  http://maglomaniac.com/im-not-ben-o-degilim-ny-turkish-film-festival-2015/

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: The Turin Horse- Moma Recent Acquisitions Film Series

Nearly all critics hail The Turin Horse (2011) as a masterpiece of modern cinema. It is slow moving and full of symbols and so can’t help but open itself up to a slough of interpretations. Using extremely long scenes and a bare minimum of dialogue, 

Check out the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/review-turin-horse-moma-recent-acquisitions-film-series/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl- Moma New Directors/New Films Series

A young girl is struck with feelings of love and arousal and so goes on a whirlwind adventure while she discovers this side of herself. Diary of a Teenage Girl (2014) is about a teenager, but also includes some very adult themes, themes that most teenagers would only ever dream about [...]

Read the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/review-diary-teenage-girl-moma-new-directorsnew-films-series/

Review: Los Hongos- Moma New Directors/New Films Series

Los Hongos (2014) directed by Oscar Ruiz Navia is a colorful portrait following the lives of two lovable teens, Ras (Jovan Alexis Marquinez Angulo) and Calvin (Calvin Buenaventura Tascon), in Santiago de Cali, Columbia. What makes this film a joy to watch is the tone that Navia uses to approach these characters. These characters fit societal profiles had Navia wanted make a darker film, a study about racism and street life perhaps, [...]

Find the full review here: http://maglomaniac.com/review-los-hongos-moma-new-directorsnew-films-series/

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Five Must-See Classic David Cronenberg Films

Still working hard as ever, Ontarian Filmmaker David Cronenberg’s career has spanned decades and produced a significant amount of work. His newest film A Map to the Stars (2014) follows the lives of Hollywood celebrities that are haunted by ghosts. The lives of the characters and their failing relationships, atrocious behaviors, and their crazy reactions is in focus more fully rather the ghost [...]

  Read the full review here-  http://maglomaniac.com/5-must-see-classic-cronenberg-films/

Sunday, March 22, 2015

5 Reasons to See ‘The Apartment’ at the Museum of the Moving Image, NYC

As part of the Mad Men exhibition playing at the Museum of the Moving Image, creator Mathew Weiner has curated a film series featuring films that were essential to the development of AMC's Mad Men. The Apartment is part of this series.

C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) fights to get even a single decent night’s sleep in his own apartment. His problem: he’s got a great apartment in New York City and all the top executives at his workplace want to use it to conduct their extramarital affairs. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1960, The Apartment has stood time’s test, and is universally acclaimed [...]

See the full article here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/5-reasons-to-see-the-apartment-at-the-museum-of-the-moving-image

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

going clear

Just based on the title of Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, it seems fairly obvious which side of the story he’s setting out to tell, and while an impressive amount of investigation went into this telling, the film veers into propaganda to tell it. Several previous members of the Church of Scientology tell their haunting stories [...]

Read about the whole story here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/going-clear-documentary-reviewhttp://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/going-clear-documentary-review

Violet- New Directors/New Films Series 2015

Violet directed by Bas Devos is set in a city that's under constant surveillance. With cameras everywhere, and guards monitoring our lives, one would think that, among all the reasons for surveillance, we’d also be safer. But tragedy strikes in the blink of an eye, while a security guard is taking a phone call, as two BMXers are senselessly attacked [...]

Read my full review here: http://stagebuddy.com/film-tv/violet-review

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Films of Alejandro González Iñárritu

Iñárritu films are usually deep, dealing with very heavy subject matter, pining at questions about the nature of humanity and our connection as a race. As far as opinions go, it seems either you love Iñárritu, or hate him. For the latter, his films seem to grasp at invisible straws [...]


Must-See Films of Gaspar Noé

Gaspar Noé was born in Argentina in 1963 and moved to France when he was eleven. Regarded as a tremendously original and expressive filmmaker, like many a good artist, his work has caused some controversy, largely for its violence. But Noé is a master of streamlining violence, letting it loose in a controlled flow, using artful techniques in sound, sight and story to amplify [...]

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Films of Pawel Pawlikowski

Having made a handful of great films in the past, Polish born director Pawel Pawlikowski has gotten more press lately than ever before thanks to his Oscar-winning film Ida. Pawlikowski studied philosophy at Oxford, pursed filmmaking part-time through the ‘80s, and in the ‘90s achieved some success with a series of playful [...]