About J. Ryan Parker

At SXSW2017: DISGRACED

You know you've got a problem, if you're a university, when people lose track of the sports scandals plaguing your institution. The new documentary, Disgraced (directed by Pat Kondelis) traces the 2003 death of Baylor basketball player Pat Dennehey and the ensuing attempts by head coach Dave Bliss and members of the University to cover it up. In the process, it sheds light on the corruption of much of college athletics, the hypocrisy of Christian institutions like Baylor, and the ways in which … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: PORNOCRACY

Ovidie is a French feminist filmmaker icon, who began her career in the world of adult film. Like so many other industries in our global capitalist world, it has been overtaken by one multinational corporation, created by a computer programmer that now controls a great majority of all videos (nearly all of which stream online for free). … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: WALK WITH ME

Walk With Me, the documentary with unprecedented access to Thich Nhat Hanh and his Zen Buddhist community in France, premiered at SXSW yesterday. It recalls another great religious documentary, Into Great Silence, about Carthusian monks in France. Both are quiet and meditative and give credence to the concept of film-watching as spiritual practice. … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: FLESH AND BLOOD

Docudrama in the most pure and challenging sense of the word, Mark Webber’s Flesh and Blood is one of the standout films at SXSW this year. Blending family members with actors and real experiences with scripted events, Webber turns his attention to broken families and communities, made especially more vulnerable with events of the last few months. … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: ATOMIC BLONDE

Atomic Blonde has all the action and brilliant fight choreography of the John Wick series but with a stronger story and more compelling heroine. It'll likely be one of the biggest hits of the summer. Not since Kill Bill has a female lead kicked so much ass, and Charlize Theron is completely believable in the lead role. … [Read more...]

At SXSW 2017: THE HONOR FARM

Lucy (Olivia Applegate) and her best friend Annie (Katie Folger) are set for the…best…night…ever. It’s prom night, they look great, and, Lucy at least, has a hot date. Prom quickly falls apart. Lucy’s date gets hammered and Annie’s keeps trying to hook her up with random guys. They leave prom alone and frustrated. This is where the familiarity of writer/director Karen Sloss’ thriller, The Honor Farm, wears off and the craziness begins. … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: LUCKY

Lucky's titular character is the perfect vehicle for Harry Dean Stanton, giving him ample opportunity to gruffly philosophize through the proceedings. The film boasts a great supporting cast, which includes David Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Beth Grant, and Tom Skerritt. … [Read more...]

At SXSW2017: LET THERE BE LIGHT

Science! That's got to be the immediate reaction to Let There Be Light, the new documentary about scientists who are, essentially, attempting to create a star in order to solve our energy crisis.Directed by Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko, the film primarily centers on the work of ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), "one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today." Based in southern France, engineers and scientists from 35 nations are working to build the w … [Read more...]