Fatal Expression-SMILE

“Smile though your heart is aching.” Part horror and part psychological drama, Parker Finn’s debut feature Smile is a scary good time. Sosie Bacon stars as Dr. Rose Carter, a therapist who harbors traumas of her own. Following the gruesome suicide her patient, Rose soon begins to experience strange and supernatural occurrences. As the events progressively worsen, Rose has to find a way to stop the evil before the evil overtakes her. 

The Band’s Gonna Make It – ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL

The best music documentaries all have one basic thing in common: showing the audience something they haven’t seen before. Essentially, introduce the viewers to something new, or take a novel approach to the familiar. Recent high points in this regard are Brett Morgan’s Moonage Daydream, which offered a unique insight into David Bowie’s life through a stream of consciousness of his artistry; and Edgar Wright’s The Sparks Brothers, a journey through the career of one of the most influential groups in pop and rock history, even though they rarely achieved mainstream success despite more than five decades of output.

A Spectacle About Spectacle – NOPE

Nope is brimming with ideas,and it borrows freely from other movies such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws, along with creature features and alien invasion movies from the 1950s. But what it’s really about is our craving for spectacle, what it costs to provide the spectacle, and what it costs us to consume it.

Kindness and Magic – MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS

by Maribeth Thueson In a summer of the usual bombastic movies about superheroes and stuff blowing up, it’s a real pleasure to sit in a theater and see a lovely film like Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. Based on a 1958 novel by Paul Gallico, Mrs. Harris is about an English cleaning lady who sees … Continue reading Kindness and Magic – MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS

Presley vs. Parker-ELVIS

By Maribeth Thueson It’s not like we don’t know who Elvis Presley was. There have been a plethora of films about him, after all. I fondly remember the 1979 TV movie Elvis which turned Kurt Russell from “Disney kid” into a serious adult actor who went on to have a long and successful career. The … Continue reading Presley vs. Parker-ELVIS

Brooklyn Film Festival-LEON’S FANTASY CUT

We’re all just a couple of bros trying to make it in this American dream. Leon’s Fantasy Cut is a wild and bitter look into unfulfilled dreams and broken promises. George and Iggy are two Ukrainian brothers who are frustrated but hopeful that their toils will someday bring them success. What they don’t realize, however, is that sometimes, what we want isn’t always what we get. 

The 2022 Brooklyn Film Festival Animation Program

by William J. Hammon, ActuallyPaid.com The animation program at the Brooklyn Film Festival is one of the most fun events I get to cover, because you never know exactly what you’re going to get. Hundreds of talented artists put their various skills to the test, going beyond the physical limits of live action to tell … Continue reading The 2022 Brooklyn Film Festival Animation Program

Brooklyn Film Festival – SHAMBALA 

by William J. Hammon Founder, ActuallyPaid.com Stories about impressionable children coming to terms with the realities of the world around them are nothing new. What separates the best of them, however, comes down to two factors, I think. The first is to make sure that the young protagonist is treated with empathy without pandering or … Continue reading Brooklyn Film Festival – SHAMBALA 

Brooklyn Film Festival – WELCOME, VIOLETA!

There’s always a danger with teachers of the arts that instead of guiding their students to find their own creativity, they insist that their way is the only way and try to mold their students into versions of themselves, becoming more guru than teacher. And sometimes, they just get downright abusive.