The Grab Bag (Jul. 29, 2014)

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Best of Lists

“Hey, Glad You Won But…”: Top 10 Nominees Deprived of Oscar Gold in Favor of Another Contender

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Has anyone ever considered the equal possibilities of omission when one Oscar nominee wins the golden statuette over another nominee that one thought was more deserving for the victory?

Getting on Track: Top 10 Films About Trains

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Trains in cinema have always made for an excitable source within the realm of the comedy, drama, mystery or suspense pertaining to the plot of a particular film.

My Top Five Portrayals of Christ

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: At Number One is the portrayal that managed to balance Christ’s Divinity with Christ’s Humanity.

Top Ten Greatest Performances of All Time

Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit

A True Maverick: Top 10 Films of James Garner (1928-2014)

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Indeed it is sad news to acknowledge the passing of Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor James Garner (1928-2014).


Interview: Rob Reiner on the Middle-Aged Love Story “And So It Goes”

Nell Minow @ The Huffington Post

Lost and Found: Nick Prueher on the VHS phenomena behind the Found Footage Festival.

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Festivals: General Coverage

Niagara Integrated Film Festival: Restrung

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Restrung captures a sense of evolution in the long dormant American Dream as the parameters of happiness and fulfillment are centered around passion and individual expression rather than monetary gain.

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Niagara Integrated Film Festival: Four Corners

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Four Corners explores one of the most dangerous and unforgiving areas in the world, using members of South Africa’s infamous Number Gangs and taking its cameras into no man’s land to gather truths about the conditions of the area while its by-the-numbers crime/thriller plot unfurls.

Niagara Integrated Film Festival: Lad: A Yorkshire Story

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Lad: A Yorkshire Story is filled with the same unassuming beauty as the Dales that its cameras savor in misty golden sunrises, showing that tragedy and loss are intrinsic to even the most pastoral landscapes, but as long as the will to persevere remains there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray: Apur Sansar

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Apur Sansar achieves that rare perfection as its poetic succession of imagery imprints itself onto our souls opening empathetic pathways and moments of enlightenment as we sit in awe of Satyajit Ray’s mastery of his medium and find ourselves affected by successions of imagery and subtle, unexpected contrasts that catch us unaware.

The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray: Joi Baba Felunath

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Joi Baba gives us a rare glimpse into the preoccupations of Ray’s childhood filtered through the lens of the adult master filmmaker, creating an easily accessible film that reveals deeper truths to those willing to listen.

The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray: Sadgati

Matthew Blevins @

  • Excerpt: Sadgati reveals the conscientiousness of the filmmaker’s soul as he wails upon the petrified policies of his home country with a blunted hatchet with little hope of yielding fuel to incite the inner fires of those in the position to enact social change.


James Garner

Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder

Noel Black (1937 – 2014)

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee


The Americans: Duty and Honor

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: In some ways, The Americans and Duty and Honor in particular are a domestic drama about marriage as well as espionage.

The Americans: Mutually Assured Destruction

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: As I think on Mutually Assured Destruction, I think of how the portrait of this American marriage is one of The Americans strongest points.

The Americans: Only You

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Only You can make one love The Americans.

The Americans: Safe House

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Safe House is one of the most devastating hours I have seen, one that shocked me, moved me emotionally, and did what no episode of Doctor Who or Sherlock has managed…made me almost burst out in tears.

Six by Sondheim

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: HBO’s Six by Sondheim is an energetic and informative biography of the famed composer told through both his words and his art. For the fan and uninitiated alike.


The Siren’s Song: Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin

Andrew Wyatt @ The Curator

  • Excerpt: Jonathan Glazer’s mesmerizing new feature, Under the Skin, bids the viewer to peer through the eyes of a monster.

Reviews of Short Films

Anjo (Negro)

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Short Film Review


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: British Short Film Review

Dirty Boots

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: US Short Music Clip Film Review

Eles Comem Tudo

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Short Film Review

The Last Game

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Animated Short Film Review

Other Articles


Cole Smithey @

  • Excerpt: Just when you thought there was nothing new under the sun, Richard Linklater goes and makes the most anti-Hollywood movie ever conceived. In Linklater’s case, concept was everything — execution was quite another.

Life Itself

Cole Smithey @

  • Excerpt: “Life Itself” has too much to do with Roger Ebert’s death and not enough to do with the man who trademarked a couple of thumbs pointed either up or down.

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