THE HARDER THEY FALL, NIGHT RAIDERS, and BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (BJFF) on Episode #383

Regina King stands with her hand on her gun while Zazie Beetz stands behind her guarded by two men who also have guns drawn in the Western The Harder They FallThis week we start by reviewing Tal Michael’s BUKRA FIL MISH-MISH (3:59), a fascinating documentary playing at the Boston Jewish Film Festival about three Jewish brothers who were pioneers of Egyptian animation. Next, we discuss Danis Goulet’s NIGHT RAIDERS (16:41), a smart Indigenous sci-fi film about a mother (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) trying to rescue her daughter (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart) from a fascist state. After that we review Jeymes Samuel’s THE HARDER THEY FALL (32:25), a bold Black Western with a stacked cast. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we talk about Lou Adler’s 1982 film LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS!

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Hanukkah Bonus: 2021 Boston Jewish Film Festival Shorts

Orthodox Jewish comedian Daniel Finkelstein holds a microphone in the documentary A Jew Walks into a Bar

A JEW WALKS INTO A BAR was one of our favorite shorts from the 32 Minutes or Less! block at this year’s Boston Jewish Film Festival

Happy Hanukkah! This year the holiday is coming early in real life and on the show. Our gift to you is a bonus episode where Evan and his co-host in life, Shauna, review the shorts programs from the 2021 Boston Jewish Film Festival. First up is the FreshFlix block, where they concentrate on THE MOHEL (1:25), PARADISE (10:46), and THE BINDING OF ITZIK (17:42), with brief comments on DEVEK, GANEF, SCUM BOY, and IMMERSION. Next they discuss Shorts Made in Quarantine with a focus on TANGLED UP IN JEWS (27:13), LONG DISTANCE (29:15), and DIALOGUES AND MONOLOGUES (32:07), and brief nods to VOICES FROM THE BALCONIES and YOM KIPPUR IN LOCKDOWN. They wrap up with the In 32 Minutes or Less! block, engaging in discussions about NEVER AGAIN / PARA NADIE (39:11), BECOMING NAKUSET (47:55), MOM’S IN TOWN AND SHE DIDN’T TELL ME (47:55), and A JEW WALKS INTO A BAR (51:15), while briefly mentioning THE COLLECTION and ZAIDA. Hopefully these reviews inspire you to check out the shorts at the Boston Jewish Film Festival, which runs virtually through November 20, 2021.

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HORROR NOIRE, CHAMELEON STREET, and IFFBoston’s Fall Focus on Episode #381

Horror Noire poster 2

Praise be that film festivals are back! To kick things off, Megan talks about IFFBoston’s Fall Focus, and her experiences watching Pablo Larraín’s biopic SPENCER (2:03), starring Kristen Stewart; Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical dramedy BELFAST (6:12), starring Caitríona Balfe and Jamie Dornan; Audrey Diwan’s French drama HAPPENING (8:32), starring Anamaria Vartolomei; and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s international drama-fantasy MEMORIA (10:31), starring Tilda Swinton. Evan joins her to talk about Céline Sciamma’s French fantasy-drama PETITE MAMAN (14:21), Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, and Joachim Trier’s Norwegian drama THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (20:52), starring Renate Reinsve. Then Evan (with an assist from Megan) takes everyone through Shudder’s HORROR NOIRE (30:25), an entertaining horror anthology film with six stories from Black filmmakers: director Kimani Ray Smith and screenwriters Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaVelle, and Al Letson. Lastly, Dave and Evan review the 4K restoration of Wendell B. Harris Jr.’s CHAMELEON STREET (44:13), which won the 1990 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and has been hard to find since. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we feature the monthly poll winner – We asked you to choose from FRANKENSTEIN films and the winner is THE BRIDE, starring Sting and Jennifer Beals. We had a blast talking about it, so check it out and consider becoming a patron!

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SXSW 2021: LANGUAGE LESSONS, DEAR MR. BRODY, and SOUND OF VIOLENCE on Episode #350

In a split-screen from the movie Language Lessons, Mark Duplass stretches his face in a funny way, while Natalia Morales laughs

Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass are both wonderful in LANGUAGE LESSONS

This week we open with a statement in support of the Asian American community. Then we discuss some movies that played at this year’s SXSW. Evan and Megan cover SOUND OF VIOLENCE (2:52), Alex Noyer’s brutal horror film about a college student (Jasmin Savoy Brown) who sees euphoric colors when she hears violent sounds and finds herself chasing a synesthetic high at all costs. Next, we talk about Keith Maitland’s uneven yet intriguing documentary DEAR MR. BRODY (14:30), which tells the story of Michael Brody Jr., who inherited $25 million (an heir to a margarine fortune) in 1970 and publicly offered to give anyone money who asked him for it. Last, but certainly not least, we review the delightful Natalie Morales directorial debut, LANGUAGE LESSONS (27:37), about a Spanish teacher (Morales) and her student (Mark Duplass) who have remote classes over video chat and form a surprising bond. And in this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we discuss this year’s Oscar nominations, including our favorites and some films we wish had been nominated.

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MOXIE, SOPHIE JONES, JUMBO, and films from the Boston Israeli Film Festival on Episode #348

Hadley Robinson stands in the rain angrily holding her zine Moxie in the movie Moxie

Moxie. Hadley Robinson as Vivian in Moxie. Cr /NETFLIX © 2020

Evan starts this week by recapping two feature-length films he saw from the Boston Israeli Film Festival (1:29). He talks about Nir Bergman’s HERE WE ARE, a drama about a father’s changing relationship with his autistic son, and Yohanan Weller’s LOVE IN SUSPENDERS, a rom-com about finding love again later in life. Then Megan and Dave review Zoé Wittock’s JUMBO (13:04), romantic drama about a woman who falls in love with an amusement park ride. Next, we all discuss Jessie Barr’s SOPHIE JONES (28:25), a coming-of-age story about a teenager processing the grief of her mother’s death. Lastly, we cover Amy Poehler’s MOXIE (44:52), a dramedy about a teenager who takes on sexism at her high school by starting a feminist zine. And on this week’s Patreon exclusive audio, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of PRETTY IN PINK with an in-depth discussion about the Howard Deutch/John Hughes 80s classic.

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RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, LUCKY, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY, BOOGIE, and shorts from the Boston Israeli Film Festival on Episode #347

Raya looks at Sisu the dragon smiling in the movie Raya and The Last Dragon

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina are delightful together in Disney’s RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

This week, Evan opens with a plug for the Boston Israeli Film Festival, where he briefly mentions some moving shorts he saw from it (1:56). Then, Dave shares quick thoughts about the ending of I CARE A LOT (3:57). Megan starts the new movies with BOOGIE (7:58), Eddie Huang’s coming-of-age story about a Taiwanese American high school basketball player (Taylor Takahashi). Next, everyone discusses Lee Daniels’ Hulu film THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (17:16), a story about singer Billie Holiday’s turbulent life (starring Andra Day) and the FBI’s targeted campaign to harass her. After that we dig into LUCKY (31:35), Natasha Kermani and Brea Grant’s horror film about a woman (Grant) stalked by the same killer every night. We wrap up with Disney’s RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON (47:36), an epic post-apocalyptic fantasy animated film starring Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. For our Patreon bonus audio, we continue our James Cameron kick by digging into his 1984 film THE TERMINATOR.

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Sundance 2021 on Episode #343

Sundance Film Festival 2021

SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE, SUNDANCE! We cover the Sundance Film Festival for the first time so we have a LOT of movies to discuss. We kick off with films we saw individually and would recommend: FIRST DATE (3:25), FLEE (6:14), and PASSING (9:21). Then we move on to movies at least two of us have seen: MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE (15:05), HOW IT ENDS (20:47), BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE (27:24), and THE WORLD TO COME (37:46). We end with discussions of films all three of us have seen: STREET GANG: HOW WE GOT TO SESAME STREET (48:29), and CODA (59:07), a movie which takes places here in Massachusetts. And on this week’s Patreon bonus audio, it’s even more Sundance! We cover all the other films we’d recommend, but couldn’t squeeze into this episode.

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