Author Archive

Review: Upon Entry

— by BEV QUESTAD — Elena (Bruna Cusí) and Diego (Alberto Ammann), a nondescript couple, are on a flight to New York City from Spain. Elena is able to sleep, but Diego moves to the tiny bathroom to swallow some kind of eye-dropper liquid. They land in New York City and end up being taken[...]

Review: Playing with Fire

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Playing with Fire” is the perfect title for this film of passion because it is so full of combustion, from the conductor’s unruly canopy of red curls to her full-bodied physical expressions of the story associated with her score. It is no surprise her baroque en[...]

Review: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

— by BEV QUESTAD — Tourists and locals stroll up the garden path winding through Telegraph Hill, soaking in the lush mixture of plants, bushes, trees, vines and colorful flowers. They see a long-haired man up in the sun-filtered tree canopy mobbed by exotically vibrant red and green cher[...]

Review: 26.2 to Life

— by BEV QUESTAD — “26.2 to Life” opens with a black screen and these words in white: “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu The inmates featured in “26.2 to Life” are in for murder. They own it. But now what? “If you’re going to be loc[...]

Review: Miranda’s Victim

— by BEV QUESTAD — I think we’ve all heard it in a film or on TV. For sure, we don’t want to be the one to whom it’s directed: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a […][...]

Review: Home is a Hotel

— by BEV QUESTAD — Back in the ’70s, US Bank was considering buying up property in the old part of Portland, Oregon, where the “bums” hung out in dilapidated, tiny one room old hotels with a shared bathroom down the hall. My housemate was the US Bank project coordinator[...]

Review: Americanish

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Take off your scarf and wax your mustache!” orders Maryam’s anxious mom, Khala. She knows the importance of Americanization. After she immigrated to the US years ago with her Pakistani husband and two daughters, he promptly left her to search for an American wom[...]

Review: Superpower

— by BEV QUESTAD — Individualist and political activist Sean Penn, possibly cringing at so public a media display, stepped onto talk show sets to promote his new movie, “Superpower.” Sean Hannity tried to engage him in political sparring, but he quietly just said, “I don’t agree [...]

Review: Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

— by BEV QUESTAD — Smokey mist over early morning vistas, vibrant red sunsets, and grand rusty red mountains in the distance set the idyllic scenes for wild horses nuzzling noses in their family units and galloping freely in sync over the plains. The song, “A Horse with No Name” play[...]

Review: It’s Basic

— by BEV QUESTAD — Imagine Lucille, a single parent with nine dependents as a school bus driver. In St. Paul, Minnesota, she earns $32,394 a year. She gets up at 4 am. Daycares don’t start until 6 a.m., so she wakes her two toddlers up and lugs them with her on her route. They [&he[...]

Review: Tiger Within

— by BEV QUESTAD — Forever made famous as bushy browed, disgruntled Lou Grant on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” beloved actor Ed Asner went on to many other roles in features, documentaries, voice-overs and political issues. Despite his death in 2021, his last starring feature was rele[...]

Review: In the Shadow of Beirut

— by BEV QUESTAD — I came of intellectual age in 1970. Palestinian women, dressed in oppressively hot black, sat on sheets on the sidewalks I had to navigate on my daily walk to the American University of Beirut. My dad had always told me giving money to beggars only reinforced their beg[...]

Review: Sam Now

— by BEV QUESTAD — Back in 2000, three teenage boys lost their mother, Jois. It’s usually the rebellious teen who runs away, but the tables got turned in this true-life mystery. Jois left her job and almost everyone she knew without a note. Initially, it was assumed she just went on a [...]

Review: Anonymous Sister

— by BEV QUESTAD — In the ’80s, when his girls were about 2 and 3 years old, Dad brought home a video camera. His precocious little girls with fuzzy blond hair and his beautiful wife were his subjects. They were bundles of energy, happiness and cuteness. Soon, the youngest girl, Ja[...]