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Review: Communion (aka Komunia)

— by BEV QUESTAD — Bits of bread are sacrificed into the woodstove because there is no more wood. Short-listed for the 91st Academy Awards Best Documentary, this intimate black-and-white observational documentary is set in Warsaw, Poland. Will this sleeper, abruptly surfacing from the Eu[...]

Review: Shirkers

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Shirkers” made it to the top five films nominated for Best Documentary by the Online Film Critic’s Society (OFCS). It’s about a film that never got made. It is a silly, waste-of-time movie that tells you absolutely nothing. The narrator says the word s[...]

Review: BlacKkKlansman

— by BEV QUESTAD — The greatest thing about “BlacKkKlansman” is Spike Lee’s totally manifested, constructive genius. Based on the true story of Ron Stallworth’s infiltration into the KKK in 1978-79, his film shows the fluidity, through time, of racist hegemony in the US. But Amer[...]

Review: Roma

— by BEV QUESTAD — The nominees for the Critic’s Choice Awards include a Netflix US-Mexican production in eight categories, including best motion picture and best foreign language film as well as best director, best screenplay and best actress. But is “Roma” really qualified for th[...]

Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

— by BEV QUESTAD — I wasn’t prepared to be impacted by this rock bio — but from the beginning, as wiry Freddie Mercury walks out on stage with his band, Queen, and sings, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?,” his four-octave vocal range, his energy, his physicality and his[...]

Review: Green Book

— by BEV QUESTAD — At last, the perfect balance of humor, inspiration, fabulous acting, and enthralling story. It’s a 10/10 movie sure to please everyone during the holidays. Beginning at the Copacabana Nightclub in 1962, Bobby Rydell is singing “Old Black Magic.” There is an alter[...]

Review: Isle of Dogs

— by BEV QUESTAD — Up for Best Animated Film on all the award lists, just about everything about this creative film is a winner. From the drumbeat score, to the combination of animation technology strategies used to get adorable, realistic dogs, to the great story about compassion and se[...]

Review: Ben is Back

— by BEV QUESTAD — The film begins on a cold, quiet New England road with bare tree branches and old grave markers. Soon we see a stone church, St. John’s Episcopal (est. 1894), in lightly falling snow. Backdropped by a gorgeous stained-glass window of St. John the Beloved seemingly bl[...]

Review: Vice

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Vice” leads the Golden Globes with six nominations for great writing, directing and acting. But is it honest, do we learn anything new and is it worth seeing? During the Bush II eight-year presidency, Dick Cheney was characterized by the media as a grim vice-presi[...]

Short Film: Nobody Dies in Longyearbyen

— by BEV QUESTAD — A chilling fact about global warming is that when the permafrost of the northern tundra regions melts it will unleash age-old germs and bacteria into the eco-system. Wildlife, vegetation and water will become contaminated with things like anthrax and deadly strains of [...]

Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

— by BEV QUESTAD — Nominated by the Golden Globe for best picture, best screenplay (Barry Jenkins), and best supporting actress (Regina King), “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a masterpiece. Set in Harlem around 1972, it tells of the romance between Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stepha[...]

Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Won’t you be my neighbor? It’s an invitation for somebody to be close to you. You know, I think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re [[...]

Short Film: Sky Migrations

— by BEV QUESTAD — My very favorite film (free access at the end of this review) of all the gorgeously filmed shorts shown at the Willamette Riverkeepers’ 2018 Wild and Scenic Film Festival was “Sky Migrations.” It’s narrated by a young guy who is following the migration path of [...]

Short Film: A Letter to Congress

— by BEV QUESTAD — Films on hiking with reticent kids, catching magnificent raptors, mountaineering with “badass” women in Nepal and crazy skiing in the ‘hood represent some of the short film subjects presented at the 2018 Willamette Riverkeeper Wild and Scenic Film Fest. Each year[...]