Butterfly in the Sky [Tribeca Review]

There are shows from childhood that shape us for better or worse. Butterfly in the Sky, directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, looks at the origins and struggles to bring the beloved PBS show Reading Rainbow to television. The documentary, aired at Tribeca, interviews the crew, educators, children from the show, and show’s host and star, LeVar Burton. Reading Rainbow inspired children to enjoy reading, and that impact is indelibly embedded in the foundation of countless people. Butterfly in the Sky takes us down memory lane and shows us what was happening behind those joyous scenes. 

Jethica [SXSW ’22] Review

and drama wrapped in a  short 70-minute runtime. Jethica follows Elena (played by Callie Hernandez) as she helps Jessica (Ashlee Denise Robinson) deal with her stalker, Kevin (Will Madden). The situation becomes morbid and dark comedy as they seek assistance from beyond the grave to dispose of Kevin. Jethica keeps its pace, does not bloat the runtime, and stays unnerving and comical. 

Sell/Buy/Date [SXSW ’22] Review

Sell/Buy/Date, a docudrama mixed in comedy, premiered at SXSW Festival. It stars Sarah Jones, with a story by her and David Goldblum that looks at the sex industry via the intersections of privilege. The documentary or, as Sarah Jones calls it “unorthodoc” is about Sarah Jones trying to make the documentary based on her play of the same name. Entertaining, honest in Sarah Jones’s confusion, Sell/Buy/Date skillfully touches on the main points regarding sex work, sex trafficking and decriminalization.

Emergency [Sundance ’22 Review]

Emergency starts as a comedy but spirals into a dramatic film that leaves you filled with dread as it progresses. Directed by Carey Williams and written by KD Davila, Emergency is about a night of would-be partying spiraling into a comedy of errors that leads to a potentially dangerous outcome. With strong directing and dynamic acting from the trio of men, Emergency tackles the terror of racism in an engrossing way. It does not seek to find a resolution but demonstrates how that unwarranted terror can have a lasting impact.

Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist: NIGHTSTREAM ’21 Review

Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist, playing at Nightstream’s virtual festival, written and directed by Pascal-Alex Vincent, looks at Satoshi Kon’s creations and impact on the industry and the challenges he faced. The documentary explores a man that, like his creations, was complex but loved the entirety of humanity. 

Poser: NIGHTSTREAM ’21 Review

Poser is a slow burn about identity, isolation and obsession. It blends artistic directing, the underground art and music scene with a steady pace to make a drama that is equal parts compelling and unnerving.

The Guilty: TIFF ’21 Review

The Guilty, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is an American remake of a 2018 Danish film of the same name. With a screenplay written by Nic Pizzolatto and the original screenplay by Gustav Möller and Emil Nygaard Albertsen, the film follows Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), assigned to 911 dispatch pending a trial, as he races against time to save a kidnapped woman who calls in. Despite copaganda elements, The Guilty is a fraught, riveting movie with dynamic acting and overarching themes of systemic issues, provided you haven’t seen the original.