Review: ‘Borat Subsequent MovieFilm’

It was 14 years ago when Sacha Baron Cohen struck comedic pay dirt with his mockumentary Borat, solidifying his fearless jabs at the idiocy around him and creating a legendary character in the process. It seems only fitting that 2020 is the perfect time for another Borat bloodletting, and boy, he doesn’t hold any punches. In our current state of gross incompetence, bankrupt moral corruption and rampant selfishness, Borat Subsequent MovieFilm feels like a comedic salvo that shows we truly have crossed the satiric other side with no return. It’s amazing that an outrageous character like Borat seems more reasonable … Continue reading Review: ‘Borat Subsequent MovieFilm’

Review: ‘Time’

Garret Bradley’s Time is fashioned together from over two decades’ worth of footage. Part of it comes from the main subject herself; Sibil Rich initially created home videos as a way to visually document her time apart from her husband, who has been serving time for a 1997 armed robbery. What filmmaker Bradley has done in shrewdly piecing together those intimate moments with Sibil’s current push of activism to free him after 20 years becomes a potent exploration of rage, determination, unrequited love and, yes, lost time. As the forceful presence in virtually every scene, Sibil is a magnificent person … Continue reading Review: ‘Time’

Dallas VideoFest33 Docufest: ‘The First Film,’ ‘Texas Trip,’ ‘Proof’

David Wilkinson’s The First Film fits snuggly into an avenue of programming Dallas VideoFest often champions, which is the inward exploration of film itself, either through a certain filmmaker or a unique tangent of its long history. I’d dare say this film probably extends back into cinematic history as far as one possibly can. As an actor, writer and producer since the early 1970s, Wilkinson has struggled to gain acceptance of his idea that an early technological pioneer named Louis LePrince is the man responsible for the very first film images taken in the British town of Leeds. Not Paris. … Continue reading Dallas VideoFest33 Docufest: ‘The First Film,’ ‘Texas Trip,’ ‘Proof’

DallasVideoFest33 DocuFest: ‘Finding Yingying’ and ‘For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close’

One tenet of Chinese culture is the strong reliance on dream interpretation and the ability of past souls to visit their families in this neuro-netherworld. As haunting as the disappearance of a young girl can be, the full force of devastation is felt when one family member explains her belief that the girl in question is still alive because she hasn’t visited her in dreams yet. It’s this state of purgatorial hell that shrouds a majority of Jiayan “Jenny” Shi’s remarkably moving new documentary Finding Yingying as a family struggles to understand and then come to terms with the sudden … Continue reading DallasVideoFest33 DocuFest: ‘Finding Yingying’ and ‘For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close’

Dallas VideoFest DocuFest33: ‘Miracle Fishing’, ‘Herb Alpert Is’, ‘Chuck Berry: King of Rock and Roll’

Embracing and adapting to the change of a world reeling with new social distance protocols, Dallas’ longest running film festival opened last night in a hybrid form, mixing selections that can still be enjoyed with a crowd (via https://www.facebook.com/thetinstartheater) with those that can be streamed in the comfort of one’s own home (through https://www.falconevents.com.) It’s a new frontier for cultural events around the globe, but one that’s proven successful so far. And if the opening night film, Miles Hargrove’s Miracle Fishing, is any indication, this year’s slate of documentaries will be a dynamic and persuasive bunch. A true crime story … Continue reading Dallas VideoFest DocuFest33: ‘Miracle Fishing’, ‘Herb Alpert Is’, ‘Chuck Berry: King of Rock and Roll’

Weathering the Storm: Dallas VideoFest33 Returns This Week

Starved cinema fans, Dallas’ longest running film festival returns to the North Texas area this week, despite challenging times. Like many other recent festivals around the world, Dallas VideoFest will resume as a hybrid event, presenting films in person via the Trinity Groves Tin Star Drive-In and virtual offerings through Falcon Events at https://www.falconevents.com. As it’s done the past couple of years, this event — called DocuFest — will present only documentary efforts. And getting a peek at the upcoming schedule, this year’s line-up doesn’t suffer from slim distribution, featuring films as diverse as one by artist/activist Ai Weiwei that … Continue reading Weathering the Storm: Dallas VideoFest33 Returns This Week