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Author - A. Spitznas
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Best of the Year
Film Reviews, A. Spitznas
Film Reviews, Other Author
Film Reviews, S. Blevins
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September 19, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #9: Paul Dano’s Terrific Directing Debut, and a Refugee Encounter at Sea
Another satisfying visit to Toronto concluded with the excellent films "Wildlife" and "Styx."
September 15, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #8: Noble Failures from Paolo Sorrentino and Emilio Estevez
New films from these two directors are well-intentioned, but don’t scale the heights of their...
September 14, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #7: Mexican Womanhood, and an Outlandish Refugee Fable
Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”) returns home for an autobiographical film; Christian Petzold (“Phoenix”) transposes a WW2...
September 12, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #6: Colombian Tribal Conflict, Serbian Reckoning
An excellent new work by the creators of “Embrace of the Serpent,” plus a praiseworthy...
September 10, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #4: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Barry Jenkins, winner of 2017’s Best Picture Oscar for “Moonlight,” creates another beautiful work with...
September 09, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #3: Steve Bannon Dissected, in “American Dharma”
Errol Morris, director of “The Fog of War” and “The Thin Blue Line,” turns his...
September 09, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #2: Indian Liberation, Russian Nihilism
“The Wedding Guest” and “The Factory” take viewers around the world in vastly different tales...
September 08, 2018
TIFF 2018 Dispatch #1: “Beautiful Boy”
Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell excel in this story of a beloved son fallen into...
April 15, 2018
Full Frame Dispatch #3: Black Women’s Lives, Illegal Deportations, and (Yes) Giant Rodents
My festival coverage concludes with three very good to excellent documentaries of present-day reckonings with...
April 09, 2018
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”: A Love Letter to a Loving Man
Rogers’ demeanor and appearance don’t exactly suggest courage and strength, but this documentary makes clear...
April 07, 2018
Full Frame Dispatch #2: ISIS Dad, Hal Ashby, Russian Fake News, Atacama Skies
Day 2 and (part of) Day 3 brought a quartet of worthwhile documentaries to add...
April 06, 2018
Full Frame Documentary Festival, Dispatch #1: Yazidi Genocide, Extreme Domestic Violence, and RBG
Three fine films, all by women directors, offer a promising festival beginning.
September 24, 2017
Jane Goodall and a Big Fat French Wedding: One Last Look at TIFF 2017
An eye-pleasing biography of the famed primatologist and a frivolous diversion by the directors of...
September 16, 2017
TIFF Day #7: Horror and Suspense Are Handled Surely in “Thelma,” Ineptly in “Marrowbone”
Norwegian director Joachim Trier continues his excellent youth-themed outpouring of films with “Thelma,” but the...
September 15, 2017
TIFF Day #6: “Makala” Is a Masterwork of Cinematic Empathy
Another winner arrives in Toronto via Cannes, offering a realistic look at a Congolese laborer's...
September 14, 2017
TIFF Day #5: Humanism in “Faces Places,” Anti-Humanism in “Omerta”
A joyous film by Agnes Varda and JR embraces the people of rural France; a...
September 13, 2017
TIFF Day #4: “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” and “Downsizing”
An intimate view of AIDS activism in 1990s Paris and a sci-fi satire from Alexander...
September 12, 2017
TIFF Day #3: Searching for Home in “Lean on Pete” and “House by the Sea”
An American teen’s desperate road trip and a French family’s reckoning with time’s passage make...
September 11, 2017
“One of Us”: The Struggles of Ex-Hasidim, Vividly Revealed by the Directors of “Jesus Camp”
Day 2 at TIFF brought this excellent documentary, plus biographies of Thomas Edison and Mary...
September 09, 2017
“I, Tonya”: Craig Gillespie and the Real Tonya Harding
In “I, Tonya,” the director of “Lars and the Real Girl” finds compassion and empathy...
September 18, 2016
“Manchester by the Sea” and “The B-Side”: Grief and Wonder in New England
A fine drama by Kenneth Lonergan and a surprisingly tender documentary from Errol Morris served...
September 14, 2016
“Into the Inferno”: Visiting Volcanoes Around the World with Werner Herzog
Herzog teams up with geologist Clive Oppenheimer to show us volcanoes and the human activity...
September 13, 2016
Innocence Gained and Lost Double Feature: “The Red Turtle” and “Frantz”
The latest features from Studio Ghibli and Francois Ozon enlivened Day 5 at the Toronto...
September 12, 2016
Profundity Abounds in “A Monster Calls,” a Tough but Wise Fantasy for Young and Old
Plus, a quick look at new films from Christopher Guest, a French movie legend, and...
September 10, 2016
Differing Visions of the Father/Daughter Bond in “Toni Erdmann” and “Graduation”
A comedy from Germany and a drama from Romania – both winners at this year’s...
September 09, 2016
“Things to Come” Is an Aptly Named, Hopeful Film to Start My Week at the Toronto International Film Festival
French director Mia Hansen-Love avoids easy plot turns and simple answers in this affecting drama...
April 17, 2016
“Lo and Behold,” Werner Herzog Turns His Attention to the Internet
The idiosyncratic German-American director contemplates the history and future of the internet in his latest...
April 09, 2016
“Life, Animated” and “Newtown”: The Hopeful and Tragic Sides of Family in America
This double feature, of an autistic boy reaching adulthood and of a school shooting’s aftermath,...
April 08, 2016
“Unlocking the Cage,” For Free Minds and Animals
This profile of Steven Wise, attorney for nonhuman civil rights, is a celebration of progress...
April 07, 2016
“By Sidney Lumet,” A Satisfying Overview of a Humanistic Director’s Career
Nancy Buirski avoids flashiness, but successfully reveals the narrative threads across the career of Sidney...
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