Rating system: (4=Don't miss, 3=Good, 2=Worth a look, 1=Forget it)
For more reviews, click here.
“Becoming Cousteau” (PG-13) (3) [Partially subtitled] [Brief strong language, some disturbing images, and smoking.] [Opens Oct. 22 in theaters.] — Stunning cinematography highlights Liz Garbus’ intriguing, insightful, educational, 93-minute documentary that uses archival film clips and photographs and excerpts from Cousteau’s writings to explore the life and influential career of legendary French diver, adventurer, environmentalist, filmmaker, innovator, inventor, and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau who invented the Aqua-Lung in 1946 and researched the world’s oceans onboard his scientific vessel the Calypso for more than 40 years while trying to protect the oceans and sea life through public education and consists of commentary by diver Albert Falco, son Phillippe Cousteau, filmmaker Louis Malle, author Susan Schiefelbein, television producer David Wolper, ABC President Tom Moore, cameraman Jacques Renoir, crew member Yves Paccalet, wife Simone Cousteau, and editor John Soh and film snippets from his movies, including “The Silent World,” “The House at the Bottom of the Sea,” “Conshelf Adventure,” “Time Bomb at Fifty Fathoms,” “Mediterranean: Cradle or Coffin,” and “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”.
“Dinosaurs of Antarctica” (G) (3) [Plays Oct. 21, 2021 to June 30, 2022 at the William L. McKnight 3M Omnitheater at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omni Theater; for more information, log on to smm.org or call 651/221-9444.] — Mike Drew narrates this 3D, educational, fascinating, 21-minute, 2020 IMAX documentary dominated by stunning cinematography and computer graphics in which paleoecologists, archaeologists, and paleobotanists explore the myriad of dinosaurs such as cryolophosaurus and glacialisaurus and amphibians that roamed the once tropical forests and swamps of Antarctica from the Permian through the Jurassic periods millions of years ago and the prehistoric world of Gondwana.
“Dune: Part 1” (PG-13) (3.5) [Sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images, and suggestive material.] [Opens Oct. 22 in theaters and available on HBO Max.] — An amazing soundtrack, special effects, and sets dominate Denis Villeneuve’s captivating, well-written, intense, fast-paced, star-studded (Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Stephen McKinley, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Benjamin Clementine, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster), 155-minute, futuristic sci-fi thriller adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 bestselling novel in which brilliant, skilled son Paul Atreides (Timothé Chalamet) and ducal heir travels with his Duke father (Oscar Isaac) and concubine mother (Rebecca Ferguson) in the year 10191 to the desolate, gargantuan sandworm-plagued Arrakis (aka Dune) planet to oversee the mining of a universally coveted spice and find themselves embroiled in a war when the House of Harkonnen baron (Stellan Skarsgård) attacks and a power struggle ensues between the two rival archenemy houses and puts the Fremen desert people (Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Babs Olusanmokun, et al.) in the middle.
“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” (PG-13) (3) [Some thematic material and strong language.] [Opens Oct. 22 in theaters and Nov. 5 on Amazon Prime Video.] — Olivia Colman narrates Will Sharpe’s captivating, poignant, factually based, wit-punctuated, well-acted, moving, melancholy, star-studded (Toby Jones, Taika Waititi, Andrea Riseborough, Nick Cave, Sharon Rooney, Olivier Richters, Sophia Di Martino, Richard Ayoade, Jamie Demetriou, Hayley Squires, Stacy Martin, Aimee Lou Wood, Phoebe Nicholls, Adeel Akhtar, Asim Chaudhry, Julian Barratt, and Sophia di Martino), 111-minute biographical film highlighted by amazing cinematography and chronicles the slow mental collapse of eccentric, schizophrenia-plagued, feline-loving British artist Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch), who cares for five sisters and his mother (Phoebe Nicholls), found love with the supportive governess (Claire Foy) and became world famous for his psychedelic, anthropomorphic cat drawings and paintings in Victorian England from 1881 through 1930.
“The Green Wave” (NR) (3.5) [Available Oct. 21 on Crackle Plus at crackle.com.] — Guido Verweyen’s engaging, informative, inspirational, touching, 76-minute documentary that focuses on the Summerville High School basketball team, including AJ Green, Marcus Morris, Branden Millhouse, Marlon Pyror, Buster Seabrook, Dwayne Simmons, Aaron and Joseph Jiles, and Courtland Morrisette, in Charleston, South Carolina, who banded together after their fireman coach Lewis Mulkey tragically died in a catastrophic warehouse fire with eight other firemen in 2007 to try and win the state basketball championship in 2008 in honor of their coach and consists of archival film footage and photographs and moving commentary by teacher Melissa Campbell, counselor Patricia Toliver, fireman Marcus Davis, assistant coach Chris Digby, former coaches (such as Deonte Russian, Ralphie Mosteller, Thomas Newman, Marquel Willis, Antwon and Vaughn Pendarvis), battalion firechief Larry Hood, firehouse Chief of Operations Jake Jenkins, Marlon Pryor’s wife Portia Pryor, mothers (such as Ann Mulkey, Cynthia Willis, and Dora Green), news reporter Howard Armstrong, retired state trooper Tillman Millhouse Jr., school custodian Elaine Lewis, and brother Wayne Mulkey.
“The Last Duel” (R) (3.5) [Strong violence, including sexual assault, sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.] [Opened Oct. 15 in theaters.] — Wonderful cinematography, costumes, and sets highlight Ridley Scott’s engaging, factually based, gripping, well-acted, intense, violent, star-dotted (Harriet Walter, Martin Csokas, Nathaniel Parker, Sam Hazeldine, Michael McElhatton, Alex Lawther, and Bosco Hogan), 152-minute film, which is adapted from Eric Jager’s novel and told from three perspectives, in which beautiful, courageous French lady Marguerite de Thibouville (Jodie Comer) in Paris claims self-serving, well-respected squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who has the powerful count Pierre Alençon (Ben Affleck) in his back pocket, and one time best friend of her supportive husband Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) raped her in 1386 while her husband was fighting on the battlefield in Scotland and to prove his wife is telling the truth, he will let God decide by challenging the rapist to a duel to the death.
“No Future” (NR) (3) [Opens Oct. 22 in theaters and available on various VOD platforms.] — After a struggling close friend (Jefferson White) shows up on his doorstep and then dies of a drug overdose upon just being released from prison in Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot’s somber, realistic, moving, low-key, well-acted, 89-minute film, a troubled, guilt-ridden, recovering drug addict (Charlie Heaton), who is estranged from his mechanic father (Jackie Earle Haley) and has a steady job and a supportive nursing assistant girlfriend (Rosa Salazar), ends up having an affair with his friend’s mother (Catherine Keener) when they bond over their mutual, all-consuming grief and guilt.
“Oceans: Our Blue Planet” (NR) (G) (3) [Plays Oct. 2021 through March 2022 at the William L. McKnight 3M Omnitheater at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omni Theater; for more information, log on to smm.org or call 651/221-9444.] — Kate Winslet narrates this 3D, informative, colorful, 23-minute, 2018 IMAX documentary dominated by awesome cinematography that explores the oceans that cover 70% of the globe and showcases the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, remarkable kelp forests, and a myriad of sea life, including dolphins, fish, otters, lobsters, sea turtles, whales, sea urchins jellyfish, sharks, and octopuses.
“Raging Fire” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [Available Oct. 22 on Hi-YAH! At www.hiyatv.com and Nov. 23 on Blu-ray™, DVD, and digital.] — After a once respected Hong Kong police officer (Nicholas Tse) is imprisoned for manslaughter for 3 years with other policemen (Tony Wu, Kang Yu, German Cheung Man-kit, and Prince Mak) in Benny Chan’s action-packed, bullet-riddled, violent, complicated, well-paced, star-studded (Ray Lui, Simon Yam, Patrick Tam, Kwok-keung Cheung, Ben Lam, Ken Lo, Derek Kok, Ben Yuen, and Fire Lee), 126-minute thriller, the anger-fueled protégé seeks revenge against his Chinese inspector mentor (Donnie Yen), who has a pregnant wife (Qin Lan), and other cops (Kenny Wong, Deep Ng, Jeana Ho, Angus Yeung, Bruce Tong, et al.) in the Regional Crime Unit who testified against him in court or wronged him.
“Siempre, Luis (aka “Always, Luis”)” (NR) (3) [Partially subtitled] [Played Oct. 15 on AARP’s Movies for Grownups and available on various VOD platforms.] — John James’s inspirational, informative, fascinating, entertaining, 95-minute, 2020 documentary focuses on the extraordinary life and political career of charismatic, movie-loving, tenacious, passionate Puerto Rican migrant and activist who moved to New York in 1974 for a graduate degree at NYU, becomes a compassionate liaison to help Puerto Rican and Latino communities, and collaborates with son Lin-Manuel to raise more than $15 million for hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico by bringing the award-winning “Hamilton” musical to the island; it consists of commentary by wife Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, sons Lin-Manuel Miranda and Miguel Towns, brother Elvin, mother Yamhill Miranda, daughter Luz Miranda-Crespo, former state assemblyman Roberto Ramirez, Ed Koch’s former assistant Michael Stopler, “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller, professor John Gutierrez, senator Charles Schumer, actors Ben Affleck and Whoppi Goldberg, singers (such as Barbra Streisand, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, and Gloria Estefan), former President Bill Clinton, former politician Hillary Clinton, PR consultant Ken Sunshine, local producer Ender Vega, architect Jennifer Lugo, attorney general candidate Letitia James, television host Jimmy Fallon, and general manager Frank Swan.
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (PG-13) (3) [Brief strong language and thematic elements.] [DVD and VOD only] — Game playing and greed continue to run amok in Oliver Stone’s engaging, predictable, star-studded (Eli Wallach, Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella, Charlie Sheen, and Austin Pendleton) sequel to the critically acclaimed 1987 film in which a savvy Wall Street stockbroker (Shia LeBouf) makes reckless and foolish choices and jeopardizes his relationship with the free-spirited, estranged daughter (Carey Mulligan) of a disgraced Wall Street tycoon (Michael Douglas), who has written a bestseller “Greed Is Good” and is on the lecture circuit, when he goes behind his fiancée’s back and gets sucked into her dad’s underhanded financial shenanigans.
The following films play as part of the 28th Austin Film Festival that runs Oct. 21-28; for information, log on to www.austinfilmfestival.com:
“The Atomic Spawn” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 21 and 28.] — After a twenty-something scientist (Brandan Ngo) goes to the desert in 1952 to check out the safety of a fallout shelter at a nuclear testing site for his boss (Terence Goodman) in Arthur Veenema’s imaginative, engaging, original, 13-minute sci-fi film, he discovers a strange, iridescent, lizard-type creature that survived the radioactive blast and it is getting larger.
“The Big Bend” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 22 and 26.] — A long overdue vacation for two families goes off the rails in Brett Wagner’s compelling, intense, suspenseful, well-acted, unexpected, 102-minute film, which is highlighted by striking scenery, when an ill father (Jason Butler Hamer), his pregnant wife (Virginia Knoll), and their two daughters (Delilah and Zoe Wagner) rendezvous with another troubled couple (David Sullivan and Erica Ash) and their two children (Gavin Matthews and Grae Carter Matthews) in the desolate desert landscape in West Texas where a child goes missing while a dangerous, escaped prisoner (Nick Masciangelo) is on the loose.
“Buck Alamo or (A Phantasmagorical Ballad” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 23 and 25.] — When an arthritis-plagued, four-times-divorced, sickly, elderly singing cowboy (Sonny Carl Davis) in Texas realizes that his days on earth are numbered in Ben Epstein’s poignant, entertaining, engaging, superbly acted, touching, bittersweet, 80-minute musical western narrated by Death (Bruce Dern), he hits the road with his faithful mutt in a too-late attempt to make amends with one very angry, estranged daughter (Lee Eddy) and another unhappy daughter (Lorelei Linklater) who is close by physically with her abusive partner (Chase Joliet) but faraway emotionally while performing one last singing hurrah and trying to connect with his lesbian sister, a preacher (Kriston Woodreaux), and a longtime friend (George Ensle).
“Bug Therapy”(NR) (3.5) [Plays Oct. 24 and 25.] — Jason Reisig’s delightful, hilarious, charming, colorful, family-oriented, 9-minute animated comedy in which a compassionate insect therapist (voiceover by Phil McGraw) tries to counsel an eccentric group of bugs, including a hemoglobin-fearing mosquito (voiceover by Megan Trainor) that faints when she sees blood, a depressed stick bug (voiceover by Emily Brown) that has a leaf for a pet and feels it is invisible, an OCD-afflicted fly (voiceover by Jay Leno) that obsessively washes his hands with sanitizer, a coffee-addicted grasshopper (voiceover by Tom Green) that is high on caffeine, a praying mantis (voiceover by Emily Goglia) that won’t pray and believes she is God, a clingy dragonfly couple (voiceovers by Michael Jann and Michele Jourdan) that are too dependent on each other, and a skittish spider (voiceover by Jason Reisig) that is arachnid-phobic.
“Cram” (NR) (2) [Plays Oct. 22.] — When a stressed-out, slacker college student (John DiMino) pulls an all nighter at the library desperately trying to write his final paper and his work suddenly vanishes in Abie Sidell’s creepy, oddball, dark, nightmarish, 43-minute horror film, he begins to experience strange, frightening hallucinations and meets the menacing Master of the Books (Brandon E. Burton).
“El Tiempo de las Luciérnagas (aka “The Time of the Fireflies”)” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 24.] — Gorgeous scenery and cinematography highlight Matteo Robert Morales’ touching, insightful, down-to-earth, inspirational, 52-minute documentary that focuses on the struggles and hardships of hardworking Mexican immigrant Miguel who tries to keep in touch with and support his family (Rafaela, Asuncion, and Amado) living on the other side of the border after being apart for 12 years when he was separated from his father and illegally crossed in to the United States from Mexico as a teenager.
“The Electric Sign” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 23 and 25.] — When a distraught, delusional, paranoid Italian businessman (Diego Cardinali) suffering from hallucinations becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman he thinks he sees on an alleged road sign and is convinced she is compelling him to commit a heinous act in Daniele Nicolini’s award-winning, compelling, thought-provoking, unpredictable, 15-minute film, he asks a longtime best friend (Davide Perla) to come to his house in the middle of the night where his wife (Federica Ferramondo) and two daughters (Matilde and Bianca Pierantoni) are in their beds to take a short road trip that he thinks will explain everything.
“The Falconer” (NR) (2.5) [Partially subtitled] [Plays Oct. 23 and 27.] — Gorgeous cinematography highlights Seanne Winslow’s and Adam Sjoberg’s factually based, award-winning, slow-paced, coming-of-age, 99-minute film in which a bird of prey becomes a crucial player when a teenage Westerner (Rupert Fennessy) in Oman decides to help his Middle Eastern best friend (Rami Zahar) save his sister (Noor Al-Huda) by paying for a divorce from her abusive husband (Fouad Al-Hinai).
“Fempire” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 21 and 28.] — After women win WWIII and now run the world in 2070 in Honora Talbott’s creative, tongue-in-cheek, witty, colorful, satirical, 15-minute political sci-fi film, an ambitious, workaholic politician (Shukri R. Abdi) in Texas ignores the advice of her protective sister (Bri Giger) and goes to a “Stepford Wives”-type grooming school for men to hopefully find a husband (Bill Posley) who will walk two steps behind her and not think for himself, but her choice may not be the right one.
“First Down” (NR) (3.5) [Plays Oct. 24 and 26.] — Carrie Stett’s inspirational, engaging, educational, positive, insightful, 12-minute documentary that showcases the first and only an all-women, underdog, high school tackle football team that consists of an eclectic group of players, including Liz Ruben, Riley Moreno Hillman, Giselle Gomez, Naliyah Rueckert, and Abby “JD” Vernieuw, who find acceptance, support, and camaraderie through their teammates who often struggle with the same personal issues and have the understanding of their transgendered head coach Crys Sacco, line coach Kinikini, and defense coordinator Renica Rueckert as they compete to win the league championship.
“The Grand Bolero” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 24] — complicated and obsessive relationship ensues in Gabriele Fabbro’s captivating, tense, well-acted, unpredictable, 90-minute romantic thriller highlighted by stunning cinematography and soundtrack when a kindhearted Italian priest (Marcello Mariani) in a rundown church in Northern Italy asks his cranky, disturbed, middle-aged organ restorer (Lidia Vitale) to take on a mute, artistic, 20-year-old (Ludovica Mancini) as an assistant per the request of her brother (Filippo Prandi/Brandon Koen) in exchange for giving her organ lessons in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Holidays At All Cost” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 22 and 28.] — When a hardworking Frenchman (Oumar Diaw) takes his beautiful, artistic, OCD-afflicted wife (Donia Eden) and young son (Swann Nguma-Torre) on a long overdue vacation at a resort in the South of France that they cannot afford in Stevan Lee Mraovitch’s award-winning, entertaining, hilarious, delightful, well-acted, unpredictable, 105-minute comedy, he makes a secret pact with his longtime friend (Benjamin Garnier) who owns the resort to work a few hours a day in exchange for their stay but he then finds himself resorting to menial labor, such as picking up roadkill, performing massages, and teaching a nude yoga class, while the duplicitous friend concocts more shenanigans as he tries to seduce his unsuspecting wife.
“It Hatched” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 21.] — When a nightmare-plagued, Iceland-born husband (Gunnar Kristinsson), who suffers from a low sperm count, moves with his child therapist wife (Vivian Ólafsdóttir) to Iceland from Nashville, Tenn., to open a guesthouse on a remote fjord and she suddenly gives birth to a boy via a human-size egg in Elvar Gunnarsson’s wacky, creative, strange, creepy, unpredictable, 96-minute thriller dominated by stunning landscapes and cinematography, he begins freaking out and getting more desperate as he finds himself losing touch with reality after a demonic, supernatural entity living in the bowels of their basement terrorizes him and he cannot convince his oblivious wife that the infant she is raising is not normal.
“Jettison” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 21 and 28.] — While serving in the Army in an interstellar war and becoming pregnant by her soldier boyfriend (Zachary T. Scott) and then is forced to send her baby back to Earth in J. J Pollack’s intriguing, black-and-white, futuristic, confusing, 11-minute, sci-fi film, a soldier (Madison Wilson) struggles with being separated from her child and family back in Texas.
“The King of North Sudan” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 24 and 27.] — Danny Abel’s intriguing, quirky, unbelievable, well-paced, 95-minute documentary that uses insightful commentary by family (such as wife Kelly, daughter Emily, and son Justin), friends Greg Gross and Darryl Hodges, consultant Doug Brooks, journalist Samira Salwani, North Sudan advisor Douglas Campbell, and private security contractor Win Scheel to chronicle the crazy, self-indulgent, pie-in-the-sky, precarious journey of Virginia businessman Jeremiah Heaton to raise capital to create his own kingdom in North Sudan by wheeling-and-dealing negotiations with the governments of China, Thailand, Egypt, and Sudan after planting a flag in 2014.
“Liza Anonymous” (NR) (3.5) [Plays Oct. 23 and 26.] — After an upset gambling addict (Daniel Fox) confronts a lying, lonely woman (Danielle Beckmann) who wears different attire to attend various anonymous meetings to pose as a sex addict, gambling addict, an overeater, or an alcoholic at the support groups in Leah McKendrick’s entertaining, engaging, satirical, thought-provoking, 12-minute comedy, she admits to the shocked attendees that she is not an addict herself but went to the meetings because she found acceptance and reliable, loyal friends (Rafael Sardina, Malikha Mallette, Lida Darmian, Sharon Gallardo, Jane Geller, et al.).
“My Dead Dad” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 22 and 26.] — When a disillusioned skateboarder (Pedro Correa) in Reno learns from his well-meaning, but overly protective mother (Terry Walters) that his estranged father (Ricardo Molina) has passed away and he has inherited an apartment complex in Los Angeles in Fabio Frey’s coming-of-age, realistic, enjoyable, well-paced, 93-minute film highlighted by striking photography, his initial impulse is to sell property, which his duplicitous, self-serving uncle (Steven Bauer) encourages, but after finding support from the longtime building supervisor (Raymond Cruz), getting to know the eclectic group of eccentric tenants (Courtney Dietz, Simon Rex, Shu Lan Tuan, Nate Jackson, Gabriel Romero, Nicholas Duvernay, et al.), and having a deeper understanding of his father who loved him more than he knew, ultimately impacts his decision about the future.
“Princess of Jerusalem” (NR) (3.5) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 27.] — When a lonely, milquetoast French corporate lawyer (Thomas Garbo), who cares for his elderly father (Albert Delpy), meets a beautiful, redheaded African princess (Willo Marchais) online who claims she needs money to pay an inheritance tax in order to inherit her father’s estate upon his death and then his next door neighbor (Astrid Roos) surprisingly tells him that the love of his life has been kidnapped on her way to France in Guillaume Levil’s original, creative, well-acted, unexpected, 26-minute film, he gets in trouble with his boss (Denis Levant) when forges a company check to pay the ransom demand.
“Prisoner #1616” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 21 and 28.] — Michael Fodera’s compelling, intriguing, thought-provoking, well-acted, tense, 20-minute film in which a no-nonsense scientific researcher (Eulone Goodin) and her partner (Kyle Primack) enter a maximum security prison bearing croissants for the security guard (Daniel Fodera) and encourages the participation of a volatile, menacing lifer convict (Eric Whitten) in a scientific study regarding the correlation of dreams, sympathetic DNA, past lives, and his unique genetic barcode and for every truthful answer the inmate gives he will receive $500 in his commissary account.
“Ragged Heart”(NR) (3.5) [Plays Oct. 21 and 27,] — After his estranged, talented daughter (Willow Avalon) drowns in the river while high on drugs in Evan McNary’s heartbreaking, bittersweet, moving, well-acted, cameo-dotted (Jim White, Monsoon, Drive-by Truckers, Donna Hopkins, Linqua Franqa, Vernon Thornsberry, Leeann Peppers, Joshua Mikel, and Amanda Kapousouz), 84-minute supernatural thriller highlighted by wonderful music and photography, her traumatized, grieving father (Eddie Craddock), who currently works as a salvage collector in Georgia, tries to reenter the Athens music scene and pay tribute to his daughter by turning her last poem into a song.
“Range Roads” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 24 and 26.] — After her estranged father suffers a heart attack while driving and both of her parents are killed in the resulting car accident in Kyle Thomas’ somber, realistic, well-acted, down-to-earth, 86-minute film, a depressed, panic-attack-prone television actress (Alana Hawley Purvis) returns home to Alberta after a 20-year absence for the funeral and tries to reconnect with her married brother (Joe Perry), apologizes to her high school boyfriend (Chad Brownlee) for their messy breakup, attempts to come to terms with her unhappy past, and learns a surprising secret after discovering a life insurance policy.
“Time Now” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 23.] — Spencer King’s down-to-earth, gritty, slower-paced, dark, unpredictable, 90-minute psychological thriller in which an estranged, protective, grieving, unhappily married mother (Eleanor Lambert) is contacted by her aunt (Claudia Black) and returns to her hometown with her young son to attend with her parents (Jeannine Thompson and Peter Knox) the funeral of her twin brother (Sebastian Beacon) in Detroit after his sudden, tragic death in a car accident and then tries to understand the circumstances surrounding his death by hanging out with his close friends (Xxavier Polk, Paige Kendrick, Ashley Sheri, et al.).
“See Through” (NR) (3) [Plays Oct. 23 and 26.] — Eyal Resh’s poignant, realistic, down-to-earth, well-written, 11-minute, 2019 film in which a deaf Brooklyn couple (Lauren Ridloff and Douglas Ridloff), who have been married for five years, discuss having a family, how they will raise their daughter who may be deaf or end up being a child of deaf adults (CODA), and the need to trust each other.
“A Shot in the Fog” (NR) (3) [Subtitled] [Plays Oct. 23 and 25.] — Wonderful cinematography highlights João Thomaz Londres’s intriguing, captivating, well-written, 6-minute film in which a shoplifter (Lue Ranger) tries to rob a stranger (Ken Kaneko) to get cash to help out his unemployed mother who sells cakes, and when the old man hands him a gun with four rounds left, he ends up in an unexpected duel firing the revolver in a foggy field and then trying to explain to another man (Eduardo Gomes) what transpired.
“Spaghetti Junction” (NR) (2.5) [Plays Oct. 23 and 25.] — When a troubled, nightmare-plagued, restless, 16-year-old high school student (Cate Hughes), who lives with her well-intentioned, alcohol-abusing father (Cameron McHarg), struggles to cope with losing her leg in a tragic car accident in Georgia and then begins to have strange daytime dreams where she helps and falls for a stranger (Tyler Rainey) hiding in a cave near her house who is searching for a map to return to his alien planet in Kirby McClure’s quirky, low-key, unusual, imaginative, dark, 105-minute film, her concerned dad and rebellious, pot-smoking sister (Eleanore Miechkowski), who hangs out with a tattooed slacker (Jesse Gallegos), hit the road to search for her after she goes missing.
“Swamp Lion” (NR) (3.5) [Plays Oct. 23 and 28.] — When their young son (Jack Elliot Ybarra) develops a life-threatening brain tumor and needs treatment in Boston that insurance will not cover in Torben Bech’s heartbreaking, factually based, touching, hard-hitting, well-acted, intense, 107-minute film, a desperate long haul truck driver (Michael Ray Escamilla) living in a border town in South Texas with his wife (Bre Blair) turns to his brother (Luis Bordonada) who is involved with unsavory criminals (Dominic Hoffman, Karen Sours Albisua, et al.) to help make quick money to pay their son’s astronomical medical bills.
“With This Breath I Fly”(NR) (4) [Plays Oct.22.] — Clementine Malpas and Sam French spent ten years making their controversial, powerful, eye-opening, educational, disturbing, gut-wrenching, 77-minute documentary that showcases the unbelievable story of two courageous, doggedly determined Afghan women, including Farida who was sentenced to 6 years in prison after leaving her controlling, abusive husband for another man and Gulnaz who was sentenced to 12 years of incarceration after refusing to marry her rapist uncle who impregnated her, who diligently worked with their attorneys to once again bring to light the appalling, draconian, one-sided, unfair Afghan judicial system and the Islamic law that victimize women unjustly accused of “moral” crimes in Afghanistan all over again.
Wendy Schadewald is a Burnsville resident.