A Little Help – directed by Michael J. Weithorn Festival screening times – 3/9 @ 12pm Laura (Jenna Fischer) is a dental hygienist who likes her daily alcoholic beverages almost as much as she dislikes the thought that her workaholic husband (Chris O’Donnell) is cheating on her with his new receptionist. Making matters worse is a family that’s far from the source of inspiration and support she needs. Her sister and mother (Brooke Smith and Lesley Ann Warren) judge with every breath and her father (Ron Leibman) prefers to look the other way and reminisce about the good old days. It’s not an ideal life, but she manages to trudge through it without help from anyone else. And then her husband dies while on the receiving end of a particularly enjoyable sex act.



Small Town Murder Songs – directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly Festival screening times – 3/6 @ 430pm, 3/11 @ 245pm Walter (Peter Stormare) is the police chief of a small Ontario town where the most violent happenings are usually bar fights between drunken locals. He himself was a violent man once upon a time, but the love of a good woman (Martha Plimpton) and a newfound faith in God have changed him for the better. Or have they? The nude body of a young woman is found on the outskirts of town, and Walter soon identifies a prime suspect for her rape and murder. Trouble is the man is a local who not only shares a violent past with Walter but is currently living with Walter’s ex, Rita (Jill Hennessy). As the investigation continues his findings and motivations come under scrutiny by an outside detective, and the foundations of his recently built, peaceful exterior begin to crack. Can this newly baptized man of God resist the temptations of the past and the pull towards violence and survive his path to redemption?



We do this every week. Because no one has time to read every great article we post here on Film School Rejects and be a productive member of society, the weekends provide us an excellent opportunity to get caught up on all the stuff that happened over the last seven days. This week we wrote a big helping of reviews, more than a few excellent, insightful editorials and as always, we were there when news broke to provide the necessary context (and snark). From Johnny Depp as a Hunter S. Thompson lizard to Oscar winners to solving your existential crisis with kids movies, this week that was had many twists and turns — all of which you’ll be glad you followed. So get set to get caught up with The Week That Was.



Midnight Son – directed by Scott Leberecht Festival screening times – 3/4 @ 930pm, 3/6 @ 645pm, 3/11 @ 1230pm WORLD PREMIERE If there’s one film genre that’s been done to death in recent years it’s the whole ‘sexy ballerinas engaging in lesbian shenanigans’ storyline. Hollywood needs to give that one a rest already. But close behind it are movies about vampires. From Twilight to True Blood vampires are a character type well past the point of over saturation as filmmakers seem content on milking the same weak conventions time and again. For every Let Me In we seem to get five more like Suck or Transylmania. The need for a more nuanced and interesting take on these blood-suckers is long overdue. Which makes the arrival of Scott Leberecht‘s Midnight Son such a goddamn relief. Part urban horror, part loneliness drama, and part late-night romance, Leberecht’s film takes a low-key approach that avoids most of the cliches while reveling in the only one that matters… the unquenchable desire to drink blood out of Styrofoam cups.



Dying To Do Letterman – directed by Biagio Messina & Joke Fincioen Festival screening times – 3/4 @ 7pm, 3/6 @ 7pm, 3/8 @ 5pm WORLD PREMIERE Steve Mazan has had one dream since he was a young lad of twelve, and surprisingly it had very little to do with masturbation. Little Steve, long considered the class clown, wanted to one day perform stand-up comedy on the David Letterman show. Why Letterman and not Carson? No clue but if one were to hazard a guess it would probably be because Letterman, unlike his white-haired mentor, was himself a truly edgy and goofy-looking comedian. The dream sits in the back of Mazan’s head for years, but he continues to work the comedy clubs honing his craft, skipping out on bar tabs, and “disappearing” hecklers just waiting for the right people to notice him and invite him to the Show. (That’s a baseball term I learned from Bull Durham, but it seems more apt in this particular situation.) Not surprisingly, this plan of inaction gets him nowhere fast, which is when life decides to throw him an unexpected curve ball. He’s diagnosed with liver cancer and given five years to live. Mazan’s life-long dream now has an expiration date. Who knew a death sentence could be such a motivator?



March seems to be the preferred month for festival programmers, and I’ll be damned if I know why. SXSW, SF International Asian American Film Fest, Cleveland International Film Fest, Charleston Film Fest… all unspooling across movie screens within days of each other if not simultaneously. March was probably viewed as a quiet film month once upon a time, but clearly that’s no longer the case. And here’s one more to add to the list… The Cinequest Film Festival 21 will be celebrating the medium next month from March 1st to March 13th in San Jose, Ca. Eighty-five feature films will play alongside ninety-nine shorts and multiple forums and special events. Some of the films we’re looking forward to this year are listed below, but some of the highlights include John Turturro’s latest directorial effort Passione, the darkly comic Australian thriller Bad Behaviour, the inspirational true story Soul Surfer, and Tom Shadyac’s exploration of humanity I Am. Cinequest remains one of the last big festival bastions for the discovery of new and emerging film artists. Cinequest Film Festival (CQFF) presents a dynamic 13-day event of 200 international films with over 600+ film artists, technologists, and professionals from 44 countries in attendance. Over 10,000 artists have attended CQFF to date. Exhibiting unique social and artistic visions from around the globe, Cinequest’s dynamic festival engages audiences in thought-provoking dialogue, giving film artists and film lovers alike an opportunity to connect. Furthermore, Cinequest provides cutting edge technology and movie-making forums to empower professionals and […]

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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