The Grab Bag (Sep. 16, 2014)

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


Back in the Habit

Philip Concannon @ The Skinny

  • Excerpt: An interview with Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski

Dave McKean

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Artist Dave McKean illuminates the long process of creating his new film Luna, and wonders whether fantasy has turned into too much of a commodity to be meaningful anymore.

Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: The star and director of The Equalizer discuss the film’s biggest explosion and who should playing Washington’s character if they ever reboot St. Elsewhere.

Filmmaker Jen McGowan

Mike McGranaghan @ Film Racket

Idris Elba

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Idris Elba explains how wanting his co-star Taraji Henson to shut up improved his performance in No Good Deed.

In Order of Disappearance Interview

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

  • Excerpt: Stefan Pape interviews Stellan Skarsgard for In Order of Disappearance.

Joe and Anthony Russo

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: The Russo Brothers offer new updates on Captain America 3.

Taraji Henson

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Taraji Henson reveals how she took her revenge on Idris Elba after her hit her in the face with a gun while making No Good Deed.

Festivals: General Coverage

The 2014 BFI London Film Festival

Philip Concannon @ Phil on Film

Athens International Film Festival ready for its 20th birthday

Joseph Proimakis @

  • Excerpt: A record number of 241 films will populate the event’s various programmes, including 11 titles vying for the Golden Athena Award

Drama Short Film Festival Celebrates Its 20th International Edition

Joseph Proimakis @

  • Excerpt: Celebrating its 20th year as an international event, Drama’s Short Film Festival (15-20 September) will populate its 37th edition’s programme with over 200 titles from around the globe, 38 of which will showcase what has been ceremoniously dubbed as the most vivid side of Greek film production.

Thessaloniki to celebrate 100 years of Greek cinema

Joseph Proimakis @

  • Excerpt: Marking its 55th anniversary, Greece’s major film gathering calls on viewers to populate the celebratory list for the country’s cinematic centennial

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Big Game

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: We want to believe in all the stupid things that happen in Big Game, and because Helander portrays them in just the right way… we really do.

Chicagoland event coverage: Drive-In Massacre 2014

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

The Cobbler

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: It’s easy to see why Adam Sandler would want to work with a thoughtful, character-driven filmmaker like Thomas McCarthy. It’s a just a little baffling that McCarthy would suck half the marketability out of Sandler’s popular schtick and not fill in the gaps with something thoughtful or character-driven.


William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Lee Do-yun knows how this genre works and wrings every emotional beat dry, washing his film in effective melodrama so you can really appreciate all that shiny craftsmanship. But if you’ve seen it before, you’ll only be seeing it again.

The Drop

Jordan M. Smith @

  • Excerpt: Bathed in the shadows of the Brooklyn underground by cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis, The Drop is an elegantly shot and competently acted slow burn suspenser overworked by just a tinge of canine inflected melodramatic flair.

The Duke of Burgundy

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: An unconventional romance about very conventional romantic hangups that affect every long-term relationship, whether kinkiness is involved or not. It’s about the issues that arise when we demand that our lovers read our minds, even though we are too often afraid to speak them.

The Equalizer

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Lightning doesn’t strike twice with The Equalizer, but there was at least a noble attempt to make this straightforward vigilante thriller a little more interesting than it needed to be.

Festival Coverage – Toronto 2014: First Dispatch

Kenji Fujishima @ In Review Online

The Humbling

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: This is Pacino the actor, once again playing an actor not unlike Pacino, in a film that plays like an apology for the last decade of inferior films, and as an uneasy attempt to prove that he’s a good sport about it all.

The Judge

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: David Dobkin’s hopelessly maudlin and glacially paced drama The Judge is one part John Grisham thriller and one part James L. Brooks melodrama, two great tastes that taste absolutely abysmal together.

The Last Five Years

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Maybe The Last Five Years is a little more intoxicating than it is genuinely great. But that’s still pretty damned good.

The Look of Silence

Jordan M. Smith @

  • Excerpt: The Look of Silence takes an even more sobering stance on the subject, this time reflecting on Indonesia’s unique political circumstance from the perspective of those whose friends and family were killed by the murderers who are still in power and continue to live among the community they are forced to share. Less formally daring than its predecessor, yet even more emotionally involving, Oppenheimer’s latest film is, in a word, shattering.


William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Luna is half-full of wonders, half-full of naïveté, and all full of promise.

Mr. Turner

William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline

  • Excerpt: Mr. Turner illustrates the worlds he made for himself, and allows them to speak for themselves, or at least through the confused admiration of the people who held him dear, and not so much the critics… ahem. But anyway.

La Sapienza

Carson Lund @ Slant Magazine

  • Excerpt: Green’s mannered direction doesn’t work for every situation it’s homogenously applied to…, but at its most effective it inspires an enhanced sensitivity to the import of every gesture, visual or verbal. In such moments, La Sapienza offers an ideal case study for the notion that no story is fundamentally doomed, and that even a stock middle-age rediscovery narrative such as this can be seen anew.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Jordan M. Smith @

  • Excerpt: Harkening back to his fascination with the backwoods serial killer of his Aileen films while expanding upon the police corruption found within the Biggie & Tupac murder cases, Tales of the Grim Sleeper sees director Nick Broomfield enter into the poverty stricken war zone that is South Central, conducting his own thorough investigation of the politically repressed Grim Sleeper serial murders, all the while garnering the trust and respect of those closest to the killings, almost all of whom were never spoken to by detectives supposedly on the case.

Waking the Green Tiger

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie reviews

The Wanted 18

Jordan M. Smith @

  • Excerpt: While The Wanted 18 certainly cares for its subjects and admires their brave attempt at self-sustenance through non-violence and community action, it tries to paint their very real struggle as a comedic caper with dire results.


Roy Andersson and the nihilism in slapstick

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: Can TV commercials mix with social awareness comentary? Welcome to the world of Golden Lion winner Roy Andersson

Awards Coverage

E Agora? Lembra-me candidato português aos Oscars

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: What Now? Remind Me, a film by Joaquim Pinto is the Portuguese candidate to Foreign Language Film.

The Movie Press’ Oscar Obsession Is Ruining Fall Film Festivals for Everyone

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: If you’ll pardon the graphic imagery, the Oscar Industry has become a giant circle-jerk, and perhaps the film press assembling at fall festivals could put their junk away and just watch some movies.


‘The Simpsons,’ ‘The Wire,’ and Why You Should Care About Cropped TV Shows

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: More troublesome is this idea that television craftsmanship isn’t worth preserving if the media in question isn’t some kind of esteemed masterpiece, a bit of nasty cultural elitism that is a little shocking here in the Silver Age of Television, and which makes Wade sound about as clueless and obnoxious as those outmoded “I don’t even own a television” assholes. Because The Simpsons IS the Lawrence of Arabia of television comedy — and its dismissal, as “just” a cartoon or “just” a sitcom or whatever slight you’d care to plug in is exactly the kind of snobbery that led us to lose 75 percent of all silent films.


Would Some RomComs Work Better as Short Films?

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Reviews of Short Films


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Italian Short Film Review


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review

Other Articles

“I Took Part”: Werner Herzog on Truth, Fiction, and ‘Parks & Recreation’

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: We are in awe of his accomplishments yet amused, and sometimes alarmed, by his transgressions. He has come to fill one of the oldest types in all of the movies: that of the brilliant madman.

A Few Good Men

Sarah D Bunting @ Tomato Nation

Film Critics Preview Fall Film Schedule

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: A spirited podcast discussion with film critics Nell Minow, A.J. Hakari and Mack Bates.

The Morning After: Sep. 8, 2014

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Short review of You Can Count on Me

Os Maias – Cenas da Vida Romântica

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Feature that was in the shorlist for the Foreign Language Film Selection at the Oscars.

Tightwad Terror Tuesday for 9-9-14 – The Best Free Horror Movies on the Web

James Jay Edwards @

Why Is Labor Day Such a Terrible Weekend for Movies?

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: Why, year after year, does the summer go out with a whimper instead of a bang? And with so much hand-wringing over the steep dip in revenues this season, shouldn’t the studios be looking to expand their weirdly collapsed summer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.