Author Archives | Adam Cuttler

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In case any of you we’re wondering we at Filmbalaya haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth. Quite the contrary. We’re actually floating miles from Earth where we’ve been transmitting via Podcast. You can listen to us by clicking on the link below. Be sure to tune in every two weeks for a new episode, and thanks for listening.

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The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 12 – Shira Piven’s “Welcome to Me”

Welcome_to_Me_01I only saw one movie the other night, the Kristen Wiig clunky comedically driven vehicle, Welcome to Me. For a film festival showcasing a lot of non-mainstream “big names”, names mostly known in cinephile and festival junkie circles, this was easily one of the most accessible picks of the litter, especially for anyone wanting to see some well known American actors on screen. Unfortunately, and it pains me to write this, it was also my least favorite film of the festival. I have a prepared statement explaining why. Read More…

Poll Results are in: This Summer’s Most Anticipated Sequel, or Spinoff is…

maxresdefault1Nope, it’s not Minions. I just personally really love these little banana nubs so I stuck this still from the trailer up there. Last month we asked you to vote for your most anticipated summer sequel or spinoff, and contrary to the ridiculous amount of money Avengers: Age of Ultron made on its opening weekend it seems that most of you out there could really care less, which is why the majority of the votes landed in the “I could care less about any of these” column, causing Iron Man and gang to have to settle for second place.

Frankly, I was a little surprised that the majority of people voted this way. Usually, even the most outspoken anti-blockbuster fan will be able to find at least one mainstream movie to get excited for. I would expect this type of consensus to come from a poll in where you were asked to predict what this year’s top 9 grossing movie would be (something the people over at this site actually did), but all you had to do was just find 1 movie out of 10 to be excited for. You just had to pick 1! And what did you do? You chose the “other” choice. Geesh.

Oh well, follow the jump to see how Jurassic World, Magic Mike XXL, Ted 2, Antman, Pitch Perfect 2, and all the other sequels and spinoffs faired. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 10 – Hajooj Kuka’s “Beats of the Antonov” and Lucie Borleteau’s “Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey”

Fidelio_Alices_Journey_01Having to, or should I say “wanting to” commit a big chunk of my weekend to both my band (#VulgarTrade) and my significant other (#wife), as well as get some much-needed pinball time in, I wound up only seeing two movies between Friday and Sunday, a great documentary from Sudan, and a not so great, but very easy on the eyes titillating drama from France. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 8 – Hong Sang-soo’s “Hill of Freedom”

Hill_of_Freedom_01Hong Sang-soo, more like Hong San-soooo good! Am I right or am I right? To give credit where credit is due, whether she wants it or not, that little pun on the director’s name was told to me by a co-worker whose name shall remain anonymous. I thought it was rather clever (and corny) and was actually quite bummed I hadn’t thought of it myself, especially haven seen and loved other movies by Sang-soo.

Sometimes all I want out of an international film festival film is to have a good laugh with warm good festival friends over good broken second-language English speaking characters who themselves are having good laughs with good company over good drinks and good conversation. Wouldn’t you know it Hill of Freedom is exactly that. It’s 66 minutes of, you guessed it, sweet sweet goodness. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 7 – Martín Rejtman’s “Two Shots Fired” and a Repeat Viewing of Diao Yinan’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice”

Two_Shots_Fired_02I learned my lesson long ago not to put too much stock in the movie notes found in festival guides. Though not true of all film descriptions, these write-ups do have a reputation of often being a bit misleading. A good example of why these need to be taken with a grain of salt can be found in the write-up for Martín Rejtman‘s Two Shots Fired in where note writer Steve Mockus calls the movie, “a slyly funny low-key existential comedy for fans of films like “Stranger than Paradise” and “Slacker”.” Having been a note writer for festival guides myself I too have been guilty of making loose connections to other known and much better films than the one I am writing about. A certain amount of hyperbole comes with the territory of having to write with the intent of getting as many butts in the seats as possible. So given my experience of what I know about this mis(guide)ed writing process I should have known better than to think this film would actually be the second coming of Jim Jarmusch, a director who is easily my favorite person working behind the camera today. My point of this mini tirade is this; simply having a scene in where three vacationers take a spontaneous overnight trip to the shoreline does not warrant comparison to Stranger than Paradise. It’s a stretch. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 6 – David Oelhoffen’s “Far From Men”

df37062e5e67b60328323c2039f33825Being that this year’s film festival has 2 movies starring Viggo Mortensen, Jauja and Far From Men, I thought I should at least see one of them, right? As to which one, the choice was rather easy given Jauja had already gone to rush, and the fact that I hate standing in line on a cold day for a film I may not even be admitted into. So Far From Men it was then. After all, word on the festival street has been good for both these movies – which my fellow Filmbalaya mate Rock can personally attest to (read his review here) – so really the choice was sort of a no brainer. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 5 – Diao Yinan’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice” and Mark Hartley’s “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films”

Black Coal, Thin Ice

Black_Coal_Thin_Ice_02Two movies on the menu for day 5. First up some modern day Chinese noir, that of the dry comedic variety (very dry that is, just the way I like it), Black Coal, Thin Ice. This is the first film I have seen by writer/director Diao Yinan, and if it is any indication of what I should expect from his previous films (2007’s Night Train and 2003’s Uniform) which I now plan on visiting after the festival, then boy am I in for a treat. Read More…

The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Day 4 – Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence”

Look_of_Silence_01The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer‘s companion piece to his 2012 documentary, The Act of Killing, with the key word here being “companion piece”. Because this is not a sequel one’s entry point into examining the psyche of those involved in the 1960s Government approved genocide of over a million supposed evil ‘communists’ in Indonesia can begin here. This time out, rather than focus his camera on members of the death squad as they reenact their crimes he shifts his aim on one of the victim’s family. The results are equally haunting as they are engrossing. Read More…

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