From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 7, 2015)

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Best of Lists

2015 in Review: The Best Films of the Year so Far

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: At the midpoint of 2015, the year’s best films include ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, ‘In Her Place’, and ‘Phoenix’.

Interviews

Asif Kapadia – Amy

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

James Gay-Rees and Chris King – Amy

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Festivals: General Coverage

Interview: Talulah Riley flexes her Scottish Mussel

Ross Miller @ Scotcampus

  • Excerpt: I caught up with actress-turned-writer/director Talulah Riley to talk about her debut film Scottish Mussel, a Scotland-set romantic comedy.

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Breathe

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: while early goings are heavy handed, Laurent has a trick or two up her sleeve, her movie gaining power as it plays out.

The Chef’s Wife

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Writer/director Anne Le Ny’s attempt at combining the romantic comedy with a tale of female friendship is misguided and tonally off, stranding its lead actresses in roles that make one prickly and selfish and the o

EIFF 2015: 13 Minutes Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: There are moments that are genuinely shocking – particularly in the brutal but importantly never gratuitous scenes of torture – and it provides a pleasingly authentic view of that most crucial of 20th century time periods.

EIFF 2015: Chicken Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: Chicken is the type of gentle yet powerful film that British cinema does best, exploring a low key and initially uneventful plot that has the power to erupt into potent moments of raw emotion that offset the quieter moments.

EIFF 2015: Inside Out Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: Emotions play a part in our lives from the moment we’re born and Pixar’s cinematic representation of them is the kind of witty, inventive and emotionally resonant film that just doesn’t come along all that often.

EIFF 2015: Love & Mercy Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: Builds a complex portrait of a legacy, full of layered emotion, tenderness and a genuine reverence for the music and musician that it chronicles.

EIFF 2015: Maggie Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: It’s nicely shot with effectively and fittingly bleak cinematography and there’s an excellent ethereal score permeating the whole thing. But those are window dressing for what is ultimately a rather dull and repetitive film, one that moves at about the same pace as one of George A. Romero’s shuffling undead.

EIFF 2015: Manson Family Vacation Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: That rather muddled and confusing approach doesn’t exactly help a film that, while certainly punctuated with moments of truthful humour, struggles to find its location on the map.

EIFF 2015: Precinct Seven Five Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: a film that grabs you from the first minute and rarely lets go, using slick editing of archive footage and photographs to talking heads interviews with some of the key people involved in a corruption plague that lasted the best part of a decade.

EIFF 2015: The Hallow Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: A solidly effective, creepily atmospheric slice of homegrown horror cinema.

EIFF 2015: The Legend of Barney Thomson Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: This is a startling, impressively eclectic debut from a legendary actor in his own right.

EIFF 2015: The Pyramid Texts Review

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: Stop the presses: we may have just found the cinematic performance of the year. James Cosmo holds all attention front and centre of the ring in this striking, deeply emotional monologue-driven drama about a veteran boxer and his regrets.

Hippocrates: The Diary of a French Doctor

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: As Algerian physician Abdel, Reda Kateb (“Zero Dark Thirty”), who won a Cesar for this role, gives a study in compassionate care despite a system which often has other priorities. He’s the real star of the film.

Awards Coverage

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 26-28, 2015

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the Oscar chances of “Batkid Begins”

Television

The Americans: Born Again

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Born Again has the standard The Americans brilliant acting, brilliant script, and sets up more of the stories that will be part of the season that is already turning out to be one of its best.

The Americans: Divestment

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I think that Alison Wright’s work on The Americans is coming into its own, and its a wonder to watch.

The Americans: Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I think Lois Smith should earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama for her performance. It is simply pitch-perfect: heartbreaking in the fact she knows she will die, mournful as she remembers her family, and even brave when confronting the Soviet agent.

The Americans: I Am Abassim Zadran

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I think I Am Abassin Zadran is a particularly prophetic episode, more about today than yesteryear.

The Americans: March 8, 1983

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: There really is nothing more to say other than The Americans is one of if not the best-acted television series so far.

The Americans: One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: What was great about ODITLOAB is that the stories didn’t collide with each other or overwhelm one over the other.

The Americans: Salang Pass

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Salang Pass was a bit of a breather for me, an episode that is setting up other stories that I figure will have shocking or sad conclusions.

The Americans: Season Three Overview

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: As I finished Season Three, I thought about what makes The Americans such great television. It all boils down to two features: great acting and great scripts.

The Americans: Stingers

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Stingers is perhaps the most intense and quiet of The Americans episodes so far.

The Americans: Walter Taffet

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Walter Taffet gives the hour to a character we see basically either at home or at work, and at long last, The Strange Love of Martha Hanson starts coming apart. The fact that Martha is one of the most innocent victims of the Jennings’ master plan makes it all the more heartbreaking.

Bates Motel: Crazy

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: You gave us your shock. Now do something unshocking about it.

Bates Motel: Season Three Overview

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Bates Motel continues to be among the best shows on television: troubling, sometimes highly disturbing, but maintaining that balance between prequel to Psycho and as a story of its own. This season was a particular rewarding one for me, personally, as I found myself declared a ‘super-fan’…

Bates Motel: Unconscious

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: I think my lack of enthusiasm for Unconscious comes from the fact that in a lot of ways, we’ve seen this before.

Essays

The Anthropological Power of the Long-Unavailable (But Never Forgotten) ‘Decline of Western Civilization’ Trilogy

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: Spheeris doesn’t stand at the remove some documentarians do; you feel like you’re in the scene, at those shows, and in those rooms. You come out of it sweaty and dirty, and when X shouts, “We’re desperate/ get used to it!” it’s less a lyric or even a rallying cry than an anthem that summarizes the entire movie and everyone in it.

A Children’s Treasury of Male Readers Telling Female Film Critics What They Can’t Review

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: You see, as countless MacFarlane defending readers (*cough* white dudes *cough*) insist, Ms. Dargis had no business reviewing a Seth MacFarlane movie, because she just doesn’t get it, man. And this kind of thing happens all the time—and not just in the pages of the New York Post, but in the comments section if a woman dares review a fanboy-friendly “guy movie” and doesn’t fall all over herself about it.

Is Mainstream Comedy Getting an Overdue Shot of Bicuriosity?

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: These things go in cycles, and it feels like we’re in the early moments of a new one, in which the sexual fluidity that was so often subtext in these comedies is finally moving into the foreground.

Taylor Swift and Rose McGowan Make the Bold Choice to Call Out the Entertainment Industry

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: At first glance, these two items are only related in the most basic sense: they both concern a celebrity using social media to air grievances, which is not exactly newsworthy. But beyond that surface similarity, what we have here are two examples of an occurrence that is comically rare in the entertainment industry — entertainers who are willing to call out the powerful, by name, and risk the consequences of such an action.

Tuesdays With Oscar: 1944

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The battle between light and darkness was on full display, as the sunny optimism of Going My Way went head to head against the noir nihilism of Double Indemnity.

Tuesdays With Oscar: 1945

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The 18th Academy Awards had drinking on its mind.Oscar even went to bed with Joan Crawford (I leave it to you to make your own snide remark).

Reviews of Short Films

El Baile

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review

Carosello

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Short Film Review

El Efecto Barrymore

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review

Os Meninos do Rio

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish-Portuguese Short Film Review

The Phone Call

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: British Oscar Winning Short Film Review

Puertas Adentro

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Argentinean Short Film Reviw

Other Articles

A Minha Rua

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

The Morning After: Jun. 29, 2015

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Short review of “A Tale of Two Cities” (1935)

Numbered

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

O Grande Kilapy

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

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