Movie Reviews From a Spiritual Perspective

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DRAMATIC SHORTS

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Shorts 
DRAMATIC SHORTS - 4/4/11  These well-produced shorts were all VERY dramatic except for one.

Friday Night Tights by Joonki Park

This was the odd one of the group.  What a charming 3-D animation of a guy who secretly loves taking a ballet class on Saturday mornings!  The animation was not absolutely perfect, but extremely expressive, whimsical and musical!  I thoroughly enjoyed this.  Very uplifting.  It was actually filmed in 3-D. See the entire 2-D ...
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SCHLAFENDE HUNDE (SLEEPING DOGS)

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Drama 

SCHLAFENDE HUNDE (Sleeping Dogs) by Michael O'Connor, Germany- 4/5/11

This German feature was beautifully acted and beautifully filmed in Black & White.  The main character, Jim, is somewhat clairvoyant and sees a vision of his death.  His past premonitions have come true which makes him believe all of his current visions will come true. So he concerns himself with reconciling with his estranged son who harbors much resentment for his father's abando...
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WORLD SHORTS

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Shorts 

WORLD SHORTS - 4/5/11 - Stories that seem connected with the thread of grief and loss - Very high production values.

The Wind-Up Life by Yi-Jen Chen, Taiwan

This 2-D/3-D animation short tells the story of a young man who gets bogged down by his busy 9 to 5 existence.  It is hard to tell if he is experiencing a dream while sleeping or getting very lost in thoughts on the subway train (or both).  But whatever, the dreams are quite beautiful and watery. ...
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LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK - WAY OF THE MORRIS

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Documentaries 

Leap Before You Look by Stephane Goldsand, Mexico

This beautifully and creatively filmed documentary short follows the journey of Stephane (pronounced Stefan) Goldsand through his fears of being a father.  Goldsand uses B-roll or cutaways, to dramatically and often hilariously exemplify what he is feeling at that moment.  His painful childhood is also explored.  His wife, who is very eager and ready to have a child, seems to have a completely different out...
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INNER CIRCLE

Posted by Jean Jessup on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Horror 

INNER CIRCLE by Emma Humphreys

This murder mystery thriller inspired most of the audience to walk out before the end.  I stayed because I wanted to know who did it and why in spite of the disjointedness of the story  The production quality was very low.  Some scenes looked like they were shot without doing a white balance first.  Audio & lighting were also poor.  But on the upside, the shots were nicely framed and the acting good in spite of the disjoint...
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Arivaca Film Festival

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 23, 2011, In : Shorts 

ON LOCATION at ARIVACA

I wasn't able to attend the Arivaca portion of the fest this year, but I was able to find some trailers for the shorts program.  Links to reviews of the films I have seen are below.

I wasn't able to attend the Arivaca portion of the fest this year, but I was able to find some trailers for the shorts program.  Links to reviews of the fil...
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abUSed:The Postville Raid

Posted by Jean Jessup on Saturday, April 23, 2011, In : Documentaries 


abUSed - The Postville Raid by Luis Argueta, USA

This was an engrossing documentary about the largest, most expensive immigration raid in U.S. history, which took place in Postville, Iowa at Agriproscessors, a Kosher slaughter house and meat packing plant.  I was especially interested because I read the book, Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America and I have lived in southeastern Iowa off and on for 20 years. 

The film consisted of ...
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BOYS OF BONNEVILLE

Posted by Jean Jessup on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, In : Documentaries 


BOYS OF BONNEVILLE: Racing on a Ribbon of Salt by Curt Wallin, USA

This professionally made documentary is about David "Ab" Jenkins, who set world speed records so fast that 12 are still unbroken today.  Even though I am not interested in car racing, I found this film very engaging. 

"Ab" lived in Utah as an engineer.  He had to drive great lengths cross-country for his job and drove very fast.  Soon he got a job driving for Studebaker to tes...
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Pancho Goes to College

Posted by Jean Jessup on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, In : Comedy 


PANCHO GOES TO COLLEGE by Ruben Reyes, Tucson

This Tucson-produced comedy feature tells the story of a young man named, Pancho, who comes from California to attend college in Tucson.  He encounters lots of wild local characters - not to mention his rowdy, colorful roommates.  His roomates challenge his focus on his studies and also his cultural identity.  Pancho perseveres, juggling his studies with work and parties.  He holds fast to his philosophy of let...
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FLY AWAY

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Drama 

FLY AWAY by Janet Grillo

This feature about a divorced mom, Jeanne (Beth Broderick,) and her autistic teenage daughter, Mandy (Ashley Rickards) surprised me.  For me, the story was more about the mother, than the daughter.  Jeanne struggles with the daily chaos of dealing with Mandy's unpredictable behavior and also strongly identifies with this difficult lifestyle.  Jeanne wrestles with the idea of putting Mandy in a school for autistic kids and resolves ...
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NOKOTAHEART & COLUMBUS DAY LEGACY

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Documentaries 
NOKOTAHEART & COLUMBUS DAY LEGACY - 4/10/11

NakotaHeart by Sean Garland, Ireland

This documentary explores the efforts of Leo Kuntz to preserve the horses that are the ancestors of the horses of Sitting Bull.  Kuntz has been trying to preserve the bloodlines of these now unappreciated horses since the 1970's.  Kuntz feels very close to Native American living.  He believes that everything is spiritualized, the ground, the sky, everything.  He also says that...
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INDIE FAMILY FILMS

Posted by Jean Jessup on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Shorts 
INDIE FAMILY FILMS - 4/9/11  Families with their kids were in attendance.  Mia Schnaible gave a great intro appropriate for kids.  She included that it was OK for family members to read subtitles to kids who can't read yet.  It made for a nice relaxed, organic viewing experience. 

Homeless Conductor
by Yen-Ting Chaing, Taiwan

This skillfully animated 3-D short is about a homeless girl who envisions an orchestra made out of inanimate objects playing a ...
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