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Always Shine Review

When Sophia Takal started shooting Always Shine, Lawrence Michael Levine’s script represented a smart, sizzling flambé of abusive gender norms and twisted loyalty. Now, after watching society react to a Trump presidency these last few weeks, Levine’s script has morphed into something so much bigger (benefitting from a post-election release).

Takal helms a satire and warning about how women are painted into a wholesome, submissive corner that’s doubled in relevancy since grabby allegation and demeaning propaganda. As John Robert Powers’ opening quote proclaims, “it’s a women’s birthright to be attractive and charming,” which he insists is her “duty.” Then he likens women to a bowl of flowers sitting on the “table of life,” appropriating women to nothing but decorations for men to flaunt and control. Beautiful stuff, right? Yeah, that’s why we need Always Shine more than ever right now.

Anna (Mackenzie Davis) and
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Mackenzie Davis & Caitlin FitzGerald in First Trailer for 'Always Shine'

"We could've died out here, and it's your fault!" Oscilloscope Labs has debuted an official trailer for Sophia Takal's Always Shine, a drama about two friends from director Sophia Takal. The film stars Mackenzie Davis & Caitlin FitzGerald as actresses who go on a weekend getaway to Big Sur, but end up getting into fights and heated discussions that lead to even crazier problems. The cast includes Lawrence Michael Levine, Alexander Koch, Jane Adams, Khan Baykal and Colleen Camp. Mackenzie Davis won the Best Actress award for this at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. It looks like a strong drama with a crazy side that appears as it plays out. Another film where Mackenzie Davis proves just how talented she is. Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Sophia Takal's Always Shine, direct from Oscilloscope's YouTube: Two friends, both actresses (Halt and Catch Fire's Mackenzie Davis & Masters of Sex
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Modestly Made and Executed, The Happy House Is Pretty Likeable

City couple goes to remote B&B, weird shit happens—the only surprises in D.W. Young's tiny low-budget debut are how mildly he satirizes this thinnest of genres and how sincerely he treats his clichéd characters. Anemic hipster Khan Baykal and wiseacre girlfriend Aya Cash drive upstate for a relationship-repair weekend and land at the eponymous inn, where a Puritanical code of conduct prevails and the only other guest is a Swedish lepidopterist (Oliver Henzler). The punitive rationing of the world's greatest blueberry muffins is the primary dramatic fuel, until a third-act escaped psycho shows up. The low-boiling jokes about crazy country folk, cuckoo clocks, and menacing cutlery are treated as throwaways, as if Young didn't even think they were funny. This leaves the fully...
See full article at Village Voice »

Spend Some Time in The Happy House

With another Wednesday hanging over our heads like a little black raincloud, we could all use a break to enjoy the happier things in life. You know, like independent horror flicks! Case in point: Check out your first look at The Happy House.

Directed by D.W. Young, this latest horror comedy stars Khan Baykal, Aya Cash, Marceline Hugot, Kathleen McNenny, Oliver Henzler, Mike Houston, Charles Borland, Stivi Paskoski, Curtis Shumaker, Leah Lawrence, and Luca B. Henzler.

Synopsis

A young Brooklyn couple whose relationship is on the rocks heads upstate to a remote B&B to work things out. The plan is ill-conceived from the start. Arriving at The Happy House, they soon begin to suspect they’ve wandered into a real life horror movie. From there events go from weird to terrifying as they contend with the house's batty owner, her imposing son, a moody Swedish lepidopterist, a pedantic English professor,
See full article at Dread Central »

SXSW (Short) Review: Not Interested

Driving down any typical American suburban street — passing one front door after another, all lined up in perfect geometric harmony . a question crosses my mind. What exactly goes on beyond that door? Who are these people? What are their lives really like? Not the performances they put on for the rest of us to see, but their .real. lives.

My apologies, as I got off on a bit of a tangent, but this question resurfaced as I watched D.W. Young.s newest short film Not Interested. There.s an element of this curiosity that seeps through the surface of the story. D.W. Young is probably best known for his 2008 award-winning documentary A Hole In The Fence and his last short film Ami Underground.

Not Interested is a fairly straightforward story about a clueless slacker who sells. no, sorry. he .demonstrates. a fabulous line of high-end cutlery, door to door. The
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

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