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Doxa Docs in Review, Part One

18 Jun

DOXA FestivalBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Playing from June 18 to 26. Tickets to an online screening can be purchased here. For information, please visit their faq.

Starting today, the Doxa Documentary Film Festival is live and broadcasting direct to your home! This event has a mix of documentaries that are not only very revealing in its examination of where society is at presently, but also on what humanitarian efforts are being made to have us think, if not consider the future not only for ourselves, but also for others.

The following is a sampling of the works I’ve gotten to preview ahead of time:

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Going From the Streets of Fire to a Road to Hell at 24 MPH

12 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Although action/sci-fi filmmaker Albert Pyun created a spiritual successor to Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire, not everyone is going to take the Road to Hell right away. It’s a distinct type of film—more confusing than anything else—until the last act, where the connections to the original are made. This director certainly has a fondness for Hill’s work, but I have to ask if the creators would endorse the direction in “part two.” Most likely not when considering they had ideas in place for a trilogy had only the movie been a box office success.

I was reminded of this cult classic not too long ago and found an interview with Michael Paré on Forbes from last year saying he was open to giving new life to this neo-noir wild west romp. Whether Cody and McCoy would both return after riding off to the sunset is debatable. They left “The City on the Edge of Forever,” for a tougher life. In Pyun’s work, Cody went back to serve his country one more time and Ellen became that legend Fish promised. But somewhere along the line, she died. Her musical legacy is remembered when her daughter decided to follow in mom’s footsteps.

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Shirley is not Jesting in this Biopic

10 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on VOD
Spoiler Alert

Literary enthusiasts are encouraged to seek out Josephine Decker’s cinematic look into the mirror darkly of Shirley Jackson’s life. This mystery novelist is best known for her horror fiction, namely The Haunting of Hill House. In an amusing twist, this movie is an adaptation of Susan Scarf Merrell‘s novel which examines the life of this author. To have two degrees of separation in this examination of Jackson’s life is reality bending.

In the biopic simply titled Shirley, everything we learn is through the eyes of a fictional couple who stayed with her. Newlyweds Fred (Logan Lerman) and Rose (Odessa Young) witness the turnabout of a happy 50s Americana. They are the perfect foil when comparing them to Jackson and Hyman. By their invitation, they moved in with the author and professor only to witness a teardown of life. As young and glossimer eyed as they are, Fred and Rose want to stay together.

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Aliens are Behind The Blackout in North America!

2 Jun

Available on VOD and Home Video
June 2, 2020

Shout! Factory

Since the dawn of civilization in the Russian-made film, The Blackout, an alien agency manipulated the future of Earth for their own agenda. For the international release, titled Blackout: Invasion Earth, the plan is not about conquering but rather preparing how this planet will fall. An opportunity is missed to make this film distinctly Russian. When this country is vast, a few mysteries like where the Volgogard Discs came from or why those people camping on Dyatlov Pass were found dead could have been explained before the action begins.

Main protagonists Alyona (Lukerya Ilyashenko), Olya (Svetlana Ivanova) and Oleg (Aleksey Chadov) learn about the ancient alien agenda when they subdue Eid (Artyom Tkachenko). He claims to “come in peace.” Thankfully, he sides with the humans.

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