It's the summer for international sports, but how about international filmmaking? I had the pleasure of attending this year's Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, an international genre film experience that is now in its sixteenth year, running from July 19 to August 9th. While the festival screens 160 films, ranging from anime to horror to exploitation, and more, I still had to sift through the collection to find my lady directors. There were only a ... Read More
Patricia Riggen's film is just in time for Mother's Day, and it certainly isn't lacking any of that drippy sentimentality you would expect from a family portrait.  Ansiedad Gutierrez (Cierra Ramirez) has decided that the coming-of-age stories she is reading in her English class will provide her with a path to an adulthood in which she can successfully escape her childlike mother, Grace (Eva Mendes). After all, Mom did crown her with a name that translates to ... Read More
Director David Foenkinos' debut feature (based on his same-titled novel) stars Audrey Tatou as the ethereal Nathalie, who throws herself into her work after the death of her husband. Nathalie has no semblance of a personal life, as she prefers to live by formal interaction and is repelled by the advances of her arrogant boss. There is a shift in the film, however, which eradicates the narrative's predictability--the introduction of Markus (Francois Damiens), ... Read More
 Seventh grade isn't a great time for anyone, but it was my worst year in school. Why? Because I was constantly bullied and sexually harassed by some boys in school. I never talked to anyone about it (because it seemed to be par for the course), but those experiences affected how I felt about myself for years to come.  I overcame these experiences over time, but not everyone does. That's clear if you take a look at how many kids have committed suicide ... Read More
A lone woman is standing at baggage claim in full army uniform. The look on her face suggests doubt that anyone is coming for her.  She lingers for a moment until a squeal is heard and the camera pans down to her young daughter latching on to her. As Kelli, played by Linda Cardellini (of Freaks and Geeks fame) reunites with her husband and two daughters, the camera hangs so close to their faces it's almost suffocating.  In writer/director ... Read More