Synopsis: Sloan (Clara Mamet) has a not-so-low-key crush on Neckface, an anonymous graffiti artist. Neckface (Raúl Castillo) has less-than-resolved intimacy issues and a no relationship policy. Which he makes abundantly clear to his obsessive fan girl. That is, until Neckface realizes he and Sloan may be the same kind of crazy; and embarks on a mission to win her back. Which may or may not involve exploiting his roommate (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), stealing a much-coveted pair of sneakers, and incurring the wrath of a ferocious lunch lady.
BLACK MAGIC FOR WHITE BOYSOnur Tukel is truly one of a kind in his IFGAF honesty and deliciously bizarre approach to storytelling. (There I go again with the tasty metaphors. This all started with Applesauce.) At this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, Tukel has given us another smart indie with Black Magic for White Boys. The film uses the power of magic to heighten the toxic masculinity, racism, and misogyny of white men. Tukel brilliantly plays Oscar, a manchild with an inheritance who thinks he can command the uterus of his new girlfriend. Jamie Block plays real estate mogul, Jamie, trying to undercut and oust his rent-controlled tenants. Ronald Guttman as French magician Larry, in desperate need of ticket sales, utilizes a book of ancient spells to the benefit of all three men. Black Magic for White Boys is a not so subtle metaphor for the gentrification of New York City and perhaps the state of our country during this truly hideous period of our history. Every great/disastrous recent newsworthy story is integrated shamelessly (a total compliment) into the dialogue. The modern-day Greek chorus of bus riders making social observations is perfection. Performances across the board are nuanced and raw, funny and wild, in your face and effed up. Shout outs to Franck Raharinosy, Brendan Miller, Colin Buckingham, and Eva Dorrepaal specifically. Therein lies the cinematic magic of Tukel. Putting himself in each of his films is also essentially my favorite thing. Watching him transform from role to role only reminds me our how insanely talented he is as a writer, director, and actor. Ultimately, like each of Tukel’s films, this stands as a unique experience packed with insight, bold ideas, humor, and a grab ’em by the balls mentality. No surprise, I loved it.
The members of an underground, post-apocalyptic bunker invite a psychologist from the radioactive and chaotic surface to audition for a place to live among them.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR(S)
Adam Yorke is a writer/director/producer and head of development at Wildling Pictures, a ProdCo. in Toronto. He’s made two previous shorts and has had two feature scripts optioned. He’s currently writing the feature version of Bunker Burger.
The Neighbor’s Window
The Neighbors’ Window tells the true story of a middle aged woman (Maria Dizzia) with small children whose life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings (Juliana Canfield and Bret Lada) move in across the street.
This film is absolute perfection for anyone thinking the grass is always greener. A married New York City couple watching the progression of a neighboring couples’ lives play out over the course of about a year is simply captivating. In the city, personal space lines are thinly drawn. It can feel as if no one here owns curtains. But we make too many assumptions and cannot fully appreciate what we have until tragedy strikes. The Neighbor’s Window is about people. With stunning performances, a lovely score, it’s pure and wonderful.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR(S)
Marshall Curry is a three-time Academy Award® -nominated documentary filmmaker. Many of his films have premiered at Tribeca and include the Academy Award®- and Emmy® -nominated documentary Street Fight, as well as A Night At The Garden, Racing Dreams, Point And Shoot, and If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front.
Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation
Theatrical Release Date: May 26, 2017
Available on VOD & iTunes: June 20, 2017
Guest review from Reel Reviews Over Brews
Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation is a documentary that follows The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team on the road as they compete in the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. For the first time ever, the World Championship Games were hosted by a native nation in Onondaga, New York, the Capitol of the Iroquois Confederacy. The documentary covered the true meaning of the game from the Iroquois, who originated it and called it their “medicine game.” The documentary also gives a bit of history on what this sovereign nation had to go through, to be recognized by the Federation of International Lacrosse. They experienced years of misfortune but always managed to keep the faith and appreciate the game, which is a testament to the type of people the Iroquois are.
We are suckers for documentaries, especially ones about sports. The documentary did a great job showing the Iroquois culture and how important the Iroquois Nationals Team is to them and their history. While countries have national sports for example; the USA has baseball, England has cricket, and Canada has Ice Hockey, the Iroquois have lacrosse. Except, the Iroquois don’t have hundreds of thousands of players to pick from… they have roughly 400 players to create a championship team with. Even at this disadvantage, they were able to compete at such a high level in the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. It was truly amazing to watch the Iroquois band together to host the WILC. When they faced Canada in the championship, they didn’t even hold a grudge towards them for “skipping” the passport stamping (the only team at the WILC that did not attend this ceremony), the Iroquois just played the game as they knew… with all of their heart. Throughout the movie, they had us thinking about our own sports memories. Whether it was traveling and playing professional WIFFLE ball with our team, Way Too Beautiful, or having the same mindset as the Iroquois growing up playing baseball and hockey. This movie hit us right in the feels. By the end, not only do we now want to go visit the Iroquois Nation, but we also want to follow them during the next World Championship Games!
Reel ROB Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post Credits Scene: No
We want to thank our friends at Reel News Daily for allowing us to do this guest review for them!
The city will make you or it will break you. But, perhaps that’s just a myth. How do we survive the rat race that is New York City? The great divide between those living paycheck to paycheck and those who own their own apartment is pretty wide. Do we, as New Yorkers, put that pressure on ourselves, or is it the city that places those life expectations on us? In Growing Up & Other Lies, four friends commemorate and commiserate their friendship by deciding to send off one of their crew with a walk along the entire length of the island of Manhattan. It’s the true to life story of Rocks, Gunderson, Billy and Jake. Friends who took their own paths after college. Although they all still reside in the city, like so many of us in our 30’s, life gets in the way and connections become fewer and further between. Jake make a go at living as an artist and now, on the heels of a breakup and a sick father, is a good time to exit the city gracefully. The guys plan to walk the length of the island in one day. Along the way, stopping at points that have meaning or that, maybe, they’ve never stopped to observe before. (Also a common occurrence for natives. You’ll never actually see a New Yorker at The Empire State Building. Ever.) Complications get in the way as they try to ease Jake into making his final decision.
Written and directed skillfully by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, who have been a creative team in the past with the film Humboldt County, Growing Up & Other Lies speaks to anyone who has felt like they aren’t where they planned to be. Life throws you curve balls. Whether you choose to bat is up to you. This is a truly solid ensemble cast. Josh Lawson, Adam Brody, and Wyatt Cenac play Jake, Rocks, and Gunderson, respectively. Danny Jacobs play Billy. Each of these characters is someone you already know. Jake is kind of a self esteem starved mess, Rocks seems like he’s got it together but it’s too good to be true, Wyatt is the smart ass we all need and Danny, well, Danny is the over excited one of the group that sort of makes it easy to pick on.
The editing of the film in itself is a beautiful love song to New York. As they travel from one neighborhood to the next, there is a gorgeous “hand drawn” graphic that guide you. The music changes, the view changes, and the guys change. As cliche as it sounds, the film really drives home that life is what you make it. I got the opportunity to talk with Danny and Darren on the phone about the film. (Bare with the Google Voice recording… I heart you so hard Google) Take a listen to our chat below:
Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs talk GROWING UP & OTHER LIES
Growing Up & Other Lies is a quintessentially New York film. It’s an homage to the generation surviving between X and Y. Touching and laugh out loud funny, it’s a true testament to the times in our lives we either live to regret or live for.
Synopsis | After struggling for years as an artist in New York City, Jake is calling it quits and returning home to Ohio. On his last day in the city, he persuades his three oldest friends to help him retrace their greatest adventure together: a walk down the entire length of Manhattan. But their attempt to reclaim the glory of their early 20s doesn’t go quite as planned.
Over the course of the day, buried conflicts emerge as Jake becomes embroiled with his ex-girlfriend and his friends dip into their own crises of manhood. GROWING UP AND OTHER LIES is an anti-coming-of-age comedy.
Written & Directed by | Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs (Humboldt County)
Starring | Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenac, Danny Jacobs, Josh Lawson, Amber Tamblyn and Lauren Miller
Run Time | 90 Minutes
Release Date | In theaters and On Demand March 20th