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Previews and Features

23 Jan 2015
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The year is loaded with intriguing movie releases! Here, we have listed but a small sampling. Keep in mind that all dates are subject to change, and the only thing that really matters is there is a new Star Wars movie coming out in December. Well, actually, the fact that new Twin Peaks, Wet Hot American Summer and Evil Dead stories are going into production this year matters—but those are all happening on television. TV is getting really cool! But we’re not here to talk about TV; we’re here to talk about the next 11 months of movies. Here we go! Jupiter Ascending (Feb. 6): The long-delayed next picture from the Wachowskis (The Matrix) looks … goofy. Mila Kunis, who is quite lovable but simply can’t act, and Channing Tatum co-star. Tatum has what looks like Vulcan ears and some really bad haircuts in this one. Fifty Shades of Grey…
09 Jan 2015
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Academy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 15. But who cares about those? You should only care about what I, your trusted Independent film reviewer, thinks. Right? Here’s my list of the Top 10 films of 2014. 1. Birdman: In a year of many incredible directorial feats, the top honor goes to Alejandro González Iñárritu. By making his film about a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) look like one continuous shot, he pulled off a technical miracle. He didn’t stop with visual wonder, because his film is hilarious and emotionally impactful, and stacked with amazing talent, including Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis. After much debate, inner turmoil and anxiety-ridden sleepless nights, I am deeming this the year’s best film. It wasn’t an easy call; any of the next three films could have taken the title, too. 2. Whiplash: Miles Teller, amazing in The Spectacular Now,…
22 Jun 2014
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The Palm Springs International ShortFest included a great compilation of lesbian shorts—and I don’t mean flannel boxers! The nine short films in the “Gay!La (Hers): LesbiaNation” program on Thursday, June 19, were well-made and smart—and not one of the lesbian characters was struggling with her sexuality. There was a married mother having an affair with a lesbian. The married woman felt guilty about the affair, but there was no mention of her sexuality. There was an alcoholic mess of a hot lesbian—but no hint that her lesbianism caused her alcoholism. Brava, my kinda films! All of the movies were very intimate, rounded out with humor and light and darkness. There was old love, new love and borrowed love. The only remotely blue content came from The Gay Agenda, a cute three-minute doc from Australia about a hysterical art show that quoted some of the most horrifically inaccurate accusations made by…
20 Jun 2014
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The Palm Springs International Shortfest accepts submissions from filmmakers around the world—so it’s always special when a local filmmaker joins in the fun. Therefore, it was a lot of fun to see Desert Magazine editor Mary Silverman’s film, Hollywood in the Desert Sky, included as part of the “Extraordinary People” program at the Camelot Theatres on Wednesday, June 18. The festival continues through Monday, June 23. Hollywood in the Desert Sky is a 17-minute short on the life of local photographer Michael Childers. Childers’ work has been featured in the Natural Portrait Gallery, among other museums. He was a contributor to Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and was a photographer on the sets of Terminator, Grease, and Coal Miner’s Daughter. Silverman told the Independent that the interview she did with Childers several months ago offered her an opportunity. “I’ve been making documentaries for my entire career,” Silverman said. “I’m currently the…

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