My Brother Jack is a psychological thriller in-which two brothers struggle to come to terms with a horrific childhood tragedy and their own individual choices made that night and the subsequent years that followed.
The micro-budget film is award-winning writer/director Stephen Dest’s directorial debut on a feature. Here is the films website: mybrotherjackmovie.com
Synopsis: Two lonely people, the woman with her girlfriend, the man alone, are out in the Village, same street but separate locations, end up on the same subway platform. There’s an old Eastern European woman playing haunting accordion music (she is a muse of sorts and the music resides through most of the film). They get on the same subway car and surreptitiously check each other out and go into their own romantic fantasies, never speaking and finally she leaves, both of them still alone.
Synopsis: Meet Rich Castagna. Dad. Husband. Nano-Brewer. In September 2012, Rich launched Bridge and Tunnel Brewery from his backyard. Serving 18 accounts in the NYC area, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery has gained a reputation for its original and delicious brews. Stand by and stay tuned because Rich wont be a garage band brewer for much longer.
Curated by Ann Torke and Nanette Yannuzzi, ENACT emphasizes dematerialization of the object, a conceptual framework, and dialogue as a primary motivation for art-making.
ENACT is part of the 25th anniversary of the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, which takes place throughout the spring/summer 2013 with contributions from: Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland State University, MOCA-Cleveland, Oberlin College, SPACES, and The Sculpture Center.
Synopsis: The Days God Slept is a cinematic prayer which uses surrealistic images and non-literal elements to reveal the emotions of its characters. In the opening, we are introduced to a mysterious Gentleman’s Club where John (played by Malcolm Madera) enters looking for Kristy (Lauren Fox), one of the dancers. He sees her with another patron and when they come together, she says “I have something I need to tell you”. In a series of private exchanges, we begin to understand a sense of the connection between the two. Kristy begins a story that she “needs to tell” John and their blossoming intimacy is harshly derailed. As Kristy struggles to tell her tale, the fantasy realm of the club yields itself to a different reality – the less fanciful daylight of a park. The shifting between locations conveys the shifting realities in the characters’ minds.
Kristy cannot continue the story until she has returned to the blue lights and pretty costumes of the club. John wants her to tell him “how it really was” as we glimpse a disturbing flashback. Once the story is told; Kristy, John and the club itself have been shaken by the story. Kristy has opened the Pandora’s box of her past and the film descends into a phantasmagoria of warped memories, surreal imagery, old photographs and a surprisingly normal day in the park that calls into question the very reality of what we’ve seen. Ultimately, The Days God Slept is the story of a man trying to discover the secrets of a woman, which begs the question, “How much do you really want to know?”
Jeremiah Kipp’s directing credits include The Sadist starring Tom Savini, The Pod starring Larry Fessenden, Contact (commissioned by Sinister Six annual screening series), The Days God Slept, Crestfallen, The Christmas Party (Cannes and Clermont-Ferrand), Easy Prey (commissioned by NYC’s annual VisionFest), Drool (commissioned by Mandragoras Art Space), Snapshot and The Apartment (commissioned by Canon to premiere their XL2 at DV Expo 2004). Producing credits include the feature films Satan Hates You (created by Glass Eye Pix, starring Angus Scrimm, Michael Berryman and Reggie Bannister), God’s Land, Let’s Play, In Montauk, The Jonestown Defense and The Bed-Thing (directed by Pulitzer Prize-nominated Matt Zoller Seitz). Assistant director credits include I Sell The Dead starring Dominic Monaghan, Somewhere Tonight starring John Turturro, One Night starring Melissa Leo, and the Sundance Award-winning Man (dir: Myna Joseph).
Feature Film: Hollywood Revelations
Director Jonny Espinoza
Producer: Top Priority Entertainment / Reel-Silence Productions
Filming Location: Inland Empire, CA
Headline Actors: Justin Rigoli, Jennifer Baum, Lance Charnow, Ian Jesse Lasky, Mario Orozco
Synopsis: Is there a secret society that runs Hollywood? At what cost does one make to become a major player in the Entertainment Industry? This Spine tingling thriller explores this not so talked about topic. Aspiring actor John Rizzo finds himself in a tough situation when he encounters a chance in a lifetime meeting with an organization that can turn things around for him. It will have you pondering on rather such a society exist.
Synopsis: Portrait Of a Lady is a internal monologue about a 21st century middle class housewife who romanticizes an overt sexuality so foreign to her while imagining her own transformation and thoughts that float through her head as she poses for a portrait. Starring actress Jaime Wallace.
“Gorgeous” was my first thought when I viewed the trailer for the new film Blancanieves, the Spanish reworking of The Brothers Grimm tale, Snow White. Written and directed by Pablo Berger, it is a black and white silent film in which the actors delivered their performances so beautifully, I barely acknowledged the title cards. I found it amusing that I was automatically lip-reading because I speak Spanish.
In works of art and films that I love, my one demand is that I have to FEEL and do so strongly. There is no lukewarm or tepid. NO. I’m not a fan of in-between. I must feel deeply and passionately.
Snow White has been retold so many times that knowing the story, I felt not much more could be told or expressed. I was so wrong. From beginning to end, I was lost in this hypnotic version as never before.
I was immediately drawn to it because of the cultural and time era elements. I love silent films, the 1920’s setting and the Spanish culture, which is close to my heart. I loved the passionate Flamenco score punctuating every emotion both so beautifully and heartwrenchingly painful throughout. Not a lot of films stay with me, but this one did without question.
The Artist, 2011’s black and white 1920’s era silent gem, was another favorite of mine. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Blancanieves takes elements of what I already loved about The Artist even further. It is by no means a copy, but an additional and welcome homage to the art of silent film. The cinematography is entrancing, darker and more intense, it consistently keeps pulling you in until the end.
There was no question I needed to see this film, and afterwards I left with such strong emotions. It is at times morbid, dark and twisted with a sprinkling of deviance but it is always beautiful.
The darkness and intensity was always present, but lifted and lowered with seamless timing, never feeling forced.
This version is set and opens in 1920’s Sevilla, Spain where we find Carmen de Triana (Inma Cuesta) and her husband Antonio Villalta (Daniel Giménez Cacho) the famous bullfighter. Carmen is pregnant and watching her husband in the ring where he is gored, which sets the story in motion. Moving forward, their daughter Carmencita (Sofía Oria), is now motherless and subsequently raised by her grandmother from birth. Her father re-marries a heartless, vain and sadistic woman who is bent on controlling every aspect of his life to her convenience.
As a little girl Carmencita, has a difficult journey. She does not know her father until several years later when she is taken to live in his house, but he is hidden from her by her evil stepmother who despises Carmencita. This is where she sees the darker side of life, a stark contrast to her life with her loving grandmother, Doña Concha ( Ángela Molina).
This time for Carmencita is riddled with pain and torment, but she is ultimately able to re-connect briefly with the father she knew of, but never knew before. For a moment, their loving relationship blooms and transcends any pain and sadness outside of it. His spirit is renewed and she learns valuable lessons from him which will serve her later. Their brief time together gives her the strength and knowledge she will call upon when she needs it most. I feel the true heart of this story is her relationship with her father Antonio
Several years later “Carmencita” is now a young woman and referred to as Carmen. Due to tragic and horrific circumstances she finds herself alone. Carmen/Blancanieves (Macarena García) is found and befriended by a troupe of dwarves who perform in bullfighting arenas. Her connection to this is immediate and natural, and she comes into her own finding her calling in working with them. All the while, her stepmother Encarna played to evil and over the top perfection by Maribel Verdú, follows her career from afar with malicious intentions.
The dwarves are at times humorous, dark and conflicted, but also deliver touching performances as Carmen’s/Blancanieves caretakers. With them, she finds somewhere she belongs at a time she has no one else.
Ultimately, we reach the conclusion we are familiar with, but it is delivered here in such an atypical beautifully sublime manner. I appreciated all of this film’s visual quirks and nuances which are jewels to be discovered. We are shown the spectrum of the beauty and ugliness of life. We also see that love, hope, determination and inner strength even at our lowest counts for much much more than we may think.
Some may see it as piggybacking on a trend/novelty (black and white, silent film, 1920’s) but this movie is strong all on its own. I just choose not to be that jaded.
Absolutely gorgeous and haunting, the beauty of Blancanieves was not lost on me.