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Film News & Reviews

Review: Uplifting Theme Overshadows Post-Combat Realities in ‘Almost Sunrise’

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, July 14, 2017

Almost Sunrise, the documentary film from award-winning filmmaking team, Michael Collins (director) and Marty Syjuco (producer) challenges and explores the misconceptions war and the inevitable and ...

Review: Brooklyn Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary Offers a ‘Fresh Perspective’

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, June 14, 2017

The Brooklyn Film Festival recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and this year’s film roster was brimming with edgy and thought-provoking subject matter. With over 122 features and shorts from 32 ...

Ivy Film Festival Presents a Microcosm of Life and Our Everyday Struggles

By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, May 17, 2017

Founded in 2001 by two undergraduate students (David Peck and Justin Slosky) from Brown University, the Ivy Film Festival has become one of the most well-known international platforms for students to ...

Jazz Notes: Berklee Hosts a Gala Honoring Jazz Impresario Fred ...

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, September 20, 2017 In all his years as the legendary music promoter of the Boston area and cultivator of many renowned jazz musicians and contemporary artists, Fred Taylor hardly expected someone to be promoting musical acts for his benefit. But on the ...

Review: American Classical Orchestra Excels in a Revelatory Concert at ...

By Christopher Johnson, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017 Let’s cut right to the chase: the American Classical Orchestra is one terrific outfit, and their concert this past Saturday evening at Alice Tully Hall was a mind-blower. This is a “period-instrument ensemble,” using “era-specific performance techniques” proper ...

Art Break: Water-Inspired Works by Maya Lin at Pace Gallery

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 18, 2017 This week Art Break is highlighting Maya Lin, a unique voice in contemporary art. Among her many strengths as an artist is the ability to use unusual materials, such as water, to invoke a mood or state of ...

The Arts Converge at the 12th Annual NY Art Book ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 15, 2017 The NY Art Book Fair is a great way to kick off the fall season of art fairs in New York City. Now in its twelfth year with over 370 vendors from 28 countries, this free event showcases the intimate ...

Carnegie Hall Prepares for a Powerful Season of Exciting Programming

By Christopher Johnson, September 14, 2017 Carnegie Hall opens its 2017-2018 season on October 4, with the annual gala in the main hall, this time featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and a whole slew of bold-face names, including Yanick Nézet-Séguin, Chick Corea, and Lang Lang. Like much ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Arts and Culture in Canada

By Caitlin Leonard, Contributing Writer, September 13, 2017 This fall, Canada’s arts scene is going strong with international ballets, film festivals, and tons of outdoor performances and activities. Venture up North to catch the biggest names in music, art, and the movies, and enjoy the fall ...

Celebrate All Things Italian at San Gennaro

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017 For the 91st time the Feast of San Gennaro, a faith-based celebration honoring the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy, takes place in the neighborhood of Manhattan affectionately known as "Little Italy" (Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets; the festival stage is located ...

ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Classical Music

ZEALnyc, September 12, 2017 The fall season typically signals a time of new beginnings, as well as the commencement of performances that we've been anticipating since they were first announced months ago, and this year is no exception. This season heralds the initial centennial celebrations for legendary ...

Art Break: All You Need is Love (And Some Great ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 11, 2017 This week, Art Break is thinking about what artists do to show love, so our choices feature artists who are passionate about creating and connecting with others. Robert Rauschenberg’s friendships, Leon Polk Smith’s joyous colorful forms, ...

Review: NYCO Brings the Old West to Life in Puccini's ...

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, September 8, 2017 New York City Opera has not only successfully risen from the ashes, but is doing so through stimulating programming that fills a needed niche. They have opened this season with Puccini's overlooked, but heavenly, La fanciulla del West, and ...

Screening of Ivy Film Festival’s Student Films for Free at SVA

ZEALnyc, May 9, 2017

Ivy Film Festival brings its 2017 Official Selection of student films from around the world to New York with a screening at the School of Visual Arts’ (SVA) Beatrice Theatre on Friday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m., followed by a reception. This ...

Review: ‘Citizen Jane: Battle for the City’ Provides Perspective on NYC’s Urban Development

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, April 21, 2017

If you’ve ever admired lower Manhattan’s picturesque brownstones (and who hasn’t), you might want to send a grateful thought to activist Jane Jacobs that they are still here. Matt ...

Brooklyn Film Festival Prepares for Its 20th Anniversary

ZEALnyc, April 7, 2017

Milestone anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, especially in the arts, where financial stability and maintaining the status quo can often be tenuous at best. So as the Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) announces its plans for its upcoming ...

Calling all filmmakers — there’s a new Festival coming to town!

ZEALnyc, January 6, 2017

The popularity of independent films has increased dramatically over the past decade, and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. There are approximately 3,000 active film festivals throughout the world, and there have ...

Review: ‘Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer?’ — a closer look at the prescription drug epidemic

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, December 28, 2016

Dr. Feelgood: Dealer or Healer? is the thought-provoking documentary about Dr. William Hurwitz, who was convicted of over 50 counts of narcotics distribution for too generously prescribing ...

NYC Offers a Multitude of Movie Theaters for Your Holiday Viewing Pleasure

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, December 20, 2016

It’s now the holiday season, and what do we look forward to as much as getting presents and engaging in holiday cheer?  Going to the movies!  That’s right, Tinseltown strategically plans ...

DOC NYC Film Festival Continues This Week

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, November 14, 2016

More than 250 films are being shown in lower Manhattan as part of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival. The festival only lasts one week (until November ...

DOC NYC — A Documentary Film Festival November 10-17

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, November 7, 2016

As the temperatures drop, along with the leaves and daylight hours, the time has come to go indoors. America’s largest documentary festival DOC NYC kicks off with over 250 films and more than 300 ...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movie theater…

ZEALnyc, November 1, 2016

The 2016 NYC Horror Film Festival will take place from November 10-13 at the newly-named Cinepolis Chelsea (formerly Bow Tie Cinemas), located at 260 West 23rd Street, NYC. There ...

Review: The Margaret Mead Film Festival Brings the Camera Lens to Global Issues

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, October 26, 2016

When the 2016 Margaret Mead Film Festival celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary October 13-16, the festivities included a first-of-it’s-kind virtual reality documentary lounge and a closing night ...

Just in time for Halloween—a new horror film festival featuring classics as well as premieres

ZEALnyc, October 20, 2016

This Halloween season from October 21-27, 2016, a terrifying new horror film festival comes to New York City—FEARnyc. It will be New York’s biggest horror film festival, and will be presented at ...

Review: The 13th – a sobering history lesson on the state of the Union

By Annika Andersson, Contributing Writer, October 7, 2016

Director Ava DuVernay’s latest documentary is a time travel through African-American history from the Civil War up until today. The 13th amendment abolished involuntary servitude in the United ...

‘Hands of Stone’ Showcases Two-Fisted Performances

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, August 23, 2016

Edgar Ramirez. Robert DeNiro.  To watch the mega-masculine actors spar in the boxing biopic Hands of Stone — the story of Panamanian fighter Roberto Duran and his aging American trainer Ray Arcel ...

‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Sings Again – and Again and Again

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, August 11, 2016

A ghastly moment concludes Florence Foster Jenkins.  The titular arts patron with the rancid voice — Jenkins booked herself into Carnegie Hall before her death from complications of syphilis in 1944– played ...

Movie Review: ‘Weiner’

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, May 6, 2016

Weiner raises the train-wreck documentary to new heights. Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s all-access view of the downward spiral of Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign couldn’t be more relevant or ...

Kevin Costner’s Comeback ‘Criminal’ Takes Us Hostage

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, April 15, 2016

Orange is the new black for one-time A-lister Kevin Costner in Ariel Vroman’s crazy sci-fi espionage actioner Criminal. Costner plays the gnarly Jericho Stewart. He’s a violent, hard-biting death-row denizen – ...

WTF? Tina Fey’s Afghanistan Adventure ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, March 2, 2016

Let us pause to praise Tina Fey, the Sally Field of her generation, or perhaps the Mary Tyler Moore. She is adorable and whip-smart and a bit insecure, which makes her all the more relatable. But, like George Clooney as he ...

All Hail Breaks out with George Clooney, Channing Tatum and the Coens in ‘Hail, Caesar!”

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, February 5, 2015

There is a nearly interstitial blissful moment in the Coen Brothers’ chaotically joyous “Hail, Caesar!” when the singing cowboy star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) stands outside of a Hollywood mansion ...

Brooklyn and Themes of Love, Home, and Femininity – Film Review

Jaylan Salah, Contributing Writer, November 25, 2015

Home is where the heart lies. Does this saying have any truth to it?

“You’re homesick, that’s all. Everybody gets it. But it passes. In some it passes more quickly than in others. There’s nothing ...

NYFF Review: Love is a Many Splendored, Splintered Thing for Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in ‘Carol’

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, September 29, 2015

Carol is a sinfully rich romance in which most – but not all – the action occurs on the gorgeous faces (or refracts in the subtle glances) of leads Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The notion that true love is a ...

Brit Marling gets her gun and gives Sam Worthington hell in ‘The Keeping Room’

Thelma Adams, Film Editor, September 25, 2015
Since I am committed to raising the profile of female-driven narratives, here’s a shout-out for the peculiarly subdued, fantastically acted action film that is Daniel Barber’s Civil War drama The Keeping ...

Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro get ‘Sicario’ in Mexico

Thanks Don Winslow. (Said with the cadence of ‘Thanks Obama.’) You ruined the drug-war action drama Sicario for me.

Winslow’s fantastic, methodically researched novel

Rooftop Films: See Underground Movies Outdoors

Jeremy Moran, Contributing Writer, July 29, 2015

Ahh, summer; the season to spend as much time outside before the air freezes up and the leaves turn brown. You can head to the beach, bike out in the sun, or simply sit outside getting lost in a book and drinking a ...

Review: “The Tribe” Will Leave You Speechless

Jeremy Moran, Contributing Writer, July 28, 2015

The Tribe is a challenging, difficult experience that will haunt you for days. Told entirely through Ukrainian Sign Language, the film contains no subtitles, no music, and no voice-over. ...

Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington Embody a Glorious “Testament of Youth”

Alicia Vikander has been on the verge of breaking out big (Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair, the summer’s sleeper hit Ex Machina, second fiddle to Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina) since I met her three years ago at the Hamptons International Film Festival as one ...

Time is Running out for George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland’

Tomorrowland, named after Disneyland’s future-themed neighborhood, is Spy Kids in space. Which turns out not be a bad thing although it may come as a surprise to those who have watched George Clooney do the endless P.R. rounds, hefting his epic charm as if it were ...

Hardy Boy Dives ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to Fast and Furious Action

The original Mad Max, the 1979 nihilistic low-budget death derby starring a beautiful yet crazy Aussie unknown, Mel Gibson, was the movie that first turned me on to action. This was testosterone, baby, and I was an estrogen-pumping college student in Berkeley catching Manhattan ...

Kristen Wiig Embraces Black Comedy ‘Welcome to Me’

In the burnt-toast black Sundance comedy, Welcome to Me, SNL alumna and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig goes dark and bipolar without losing her shield of likeability. It’s really a superpower to be marveled at, like the ability to carry on a long conversation ...

Review: ‘Woman in Gold’ Glitters

Helen Mirren has become like Meryl Streep: nearly every time she has a leading role a little alarm goes off that signals “Oscar.” In this deeply emotional drama with a surprisingly light touch from Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn), Dame Helen plays Maria Altmann. Who? The ...

Check into ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’ – Film Review

If there is such a thing as a warm-bath movie, The Second Best Marigold Hotel defines it. Even the title is intended to keep expectations low. Directed by John Madden, SBMH is entertainment that pairs perfectly with a meal of Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Korma, following in ...

Review: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is Bloody Good Fun

With all this snow, I need to laugh. I’ve been reading John Waters’ Role Models, which is screamingly funny when it’s not seriously scary discussing Charles Manson, or to quote Mr. Waters: “the ultimate hippie bogeyman.” And, keeping to the theme of things ...

‘Fifty Shades’ of Tame – Film Review

I recently watched the feminist fantasy Outlander on STARZ. The explicit nature of the sex surprised me. In one particular scene, the 18th century Scottish kilt-wearing brute Jamie spanks his time-travelling 20th century wife Claire with a stout belt on her bare bottom. Jamie Fraser has ...