Fantasia International Film Festival review: ‘CAM’ flips subject and voyeur.

Cam is unique for so many reasons. First, it’s a genre-bending menagerie. You think you know what you’re in for with a sex worker vying to be in the top ten of her live sex show site. But the script is flipped several times and in completely unexpected ways each time. It’s difficult to categorize Cam and I do mean this as a compliment. It seesaws from horror to thriller and swings into surreal territory all while keeping the audience in the dark until the very end. Rarely do we see sex workers treated as human beings, but in Cam, there is a sense of empowerment attached to the storyline. Lead actress, Madeline Brewer, has the massive task of being more than two distinct characters and to explain further would ruin the plot. Brewer knocks it out of the park here. Her talent is undeniable. I will say that the commentary on social media and immediate gratification it can produce is front and center. The final scene renders the plot unapologetic. Cam is an all-around good trip.

Fantasia International Film Fest 2018 ends tonight. But we’ll keep you updated on release dates for all the films that screened this year.

Review: ‘The Ottoman Lieutenant’ is more than “just a romance”.

Paladin

Presents

THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT

THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT is the first movie to explore the eastern front of World War I, and tells the story of a beautiful, strong-willed woman (Hera Hilmar, ANNA KARENINA, DAVINCI’S DEMONS), who, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor (Josh Hartnett, PENNY DREADFUL, BLACK HAWK DOWN, PEARL HARBOR ) who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire — a world both exotic and dangerous, and on the brink of what is about to become the first World War.  There, she finds her loyalty to Jude and the mission’s founder, (Ben Kingsley, GANDHI, SCHINDLER’S LIST) tested when she falls in love with a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army (Michiel Huisman, WILD, THE AGE OF ADALINE, HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, GAME OF THRONES).  Now, with invading army forces at their doorstep, and the world about to plunge into all-out war, she must decide if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.

This sweeping romance is everything you want it to be. A grand score by Geoff Zanelli sets the tone for this gorgeously constructed period piece with a powerhouse cast. Director Joseph Ruben brings to life the story of a young woman, although born into wealth, has the desire to be of service as a nurse wherever she is needed. Inspired by a visiting doctor, she makes arrangements to use her inheritance to fund medical supplies and travel to a remote hospital in the Ottoman Empire. Along the way she tags a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army to be her escort to her inspiring doctor. Sparks fly as tradition and duty come into call and cooler heads must prevail in love and war, but who will win? Hera Hilmar plays our leading lady with the tenacity and innocence to make you both admire and route for her. Michiel Huisman as our Lieutenant is valiant, passionate, and maintains a ceaseless faith in doing what’s right. Josh Hartnett plays Jude as elegantly strong and equally stubborn. The unsurpassed master, Sir Ben Kingsley as hospital founder Woodruff, is strong-headed but for good reason. He becomes the guidance so desperately needed in Lillie’s adventure. The chemistry between the cast is deliciously palpable. I cannot imagine any of these roles filled by other actors. The costumes and the attention to detail are impeccable. The Ottoman Lieutenant is historically interesting and beautifully written, but don’t write it off as “just a romance.” The film tackles such issues as the outbreak of the Armenian genocide, gender politics, and transcending cultural and religious norms in the name of love. You can catch the film nationwide today, March 10th.


Starring:

Michiel Huisman (Wild, Age of Adaline, Game of Thrones”)

Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, Davinci’s Demons)

Josh Hartnett (“Penny Dreadful“)

& Academy Award-Winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindlers List)

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

Written by:  Jeff Stockwell

RT: 100 minutes

http://theottomanlieutenant.com/

Social Media:

Facebook: @theottomanlieutenant

Twitter: @theottomanlieut

Instagram: @theottomanlieutenant

Review: ‘THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD’ takes on The Right and how wrong they really are.

Gravitas Ventures Logo

in association with

JSenko Productions
and Cinco Dedos Peliculas

present

The Brainwashing of My Dad_PosterEveryday, I have the urge to block friends on Facebook. The vitriolic political rhetoric being thrown around in both “article” and meme form is more over the top than it has ever been. Thank the internet gods for Snopes. Now that we’re heavy into this circus of a presidential campaign, a new film could not be more timely. Director Jen Senko brings us her personal story in her doc THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD.

Right-wing cable news and “conservative” talk radio attract older Americans like graying moths to an angry flame. But why would someone who was either apolitical or a Democrat in younger days become addicted to conservative talk shows in their twilight years? Filmmaker Jen Senko wondered how her WWII veteran and Kennedy Democrat father had been transformed into a Fox News fanatic, suddenly and inexplicably railing against minorities, homosexuals, poor people, and Democrats. Using her dad as an entertaining example, Senko pulls back the curtain to expose the tools and tricks of the wizards behind the right-wing media revolution. And in discovering what happened to him, Senko reveals the all-too-chilling bigger picture of what’s happening behind-the-scenes to influence our national discourse.

The Republican Noise Machine. Illustration by Bill Plympton.

The Republican Noise Machine.
Illustration by Bill Plympton.

Delving into this phenomenon in interviews with industry insiders, Senko illustrates how Right-wing media is used to manipulate conservatives. (Speaking of illustrations, the film features fantastic original art from the great Bill Plympton.) In memos and interviews, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch openly admit how they use FOX News to turn people into sheeple for pure profit, and how the term “Liberal Media” was another product of the machine. “War on Christmas”? Yeah, that’s another doozy pumped out to infuriate for entertainment purposes.

Check out this clip from the film:

Clip #7: Language is Not Neutral from Cinco Dedos Peliculas on Vimeo.

Frank Luntz discusses his language techniques.

Frank Luntz discusses his language techniques.

But, it’s not just Senko’s father we’re privy to. Hundreds of people reached out to her to tell their story of how they “lost” family members to conservative radio. The film has a wonderful mix of informative visuals. The chronological breakdown of the industry is user guide friendly, with examples of each step in it’s creation. It is certainly beyond successful in it’s history lesson, though I fear it may be preaching to the choir. Democrats will adore this film, there is no doubt about it. Trying to get a viewing audience on the far right may prove just a difficult as trying to talk foreign policy with Donald Trump. (Too soon?)

The right-wing media boat pushing National Thought. Illustration by Bill Plympton.

The right-wing media boat pushing National Thought.
Illustration by Bill Plympton.

You can check out THE BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD today in theaters and on VOD and I highly recommend you do. A little knowledge is a powerful thing.

Directed by: JEN SENKO

Narrated by: JEN SENKO and MATTHEW MODINE 

Produced by: MATTHEW MODINE ADAM RACKOFF 

Featuring animation by Academy Award nominee BILL PLYMPTON 

 

Official Website: www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebrainwashingofmydadmovie?ref=hl Twitter: @brainwashingdad

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_brainwashing_of_my_dad/

Opening Theatrically in New York (Cinema Village) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Music Hall) on Friday, March 18 and on VOD (iTunes, GOOGLE PLAY, VUDU and many more)