Parasite (2019) — Luke Atkins – Critic

As flawless as it is profound, Parasite is the best film of 2019. It twists through its enigmatic 2-hour tale like a dragon. It whips you, coils around, soars into the clouds, twists & turns, falls through the sky, unleashes fire upon you, and darts into the horizon with a smirk—its tail slapping your face on its way out.

Parasite (2019) — Luke Atkins – Critic

1917 (2019) — Luke Atkins – Critic

You’re stuck in the netherworld between life and death. With just a flask of water and a few cans of food at your disposal, you clutch the 8.8 pounds of your future—ready to fire it at all times. Everything you see, hear, and smell is suddenly converging. Mustard gas in the trenches. A beautiful farm, […]

1917 (2019) — Luke Atkins – Critic

Top 10 Films of the Decade — Luke Atkins – Critic

Honorable Mentions: Parasite, The Master, Ex Machina, Roma, Zero Dark Thirty, The Wind Rises, Citizenfour, Birdman, Hell or High Water, Get Out 10. Fruitvale Station (2013) Fruitvale Station is superb. Based on a true story, it’s about a day in a man’s life. Unarmed, he was killed by police at its end. Playing a real […]

Top 10 Films of the Decade — Luke Atkins – Critic

Top 10 Albums of the Decade — Luke Atkins – Critic

Honorable Mentions: Frank Ocean – Channel Orange, Lorde – Melodrama, Tame Impala – Currents, St. Vincent – St. Vincent, Beyoncé – Lemonade, Arcade Fire – The Suburbs, Grizzly Bear – Shields, Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues, Chrome Sparks – Sparks EP, Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! 10. Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights (2017) […]

Top 10 Albums of the Decade — Luke Atkins – Critic

The Americans (2013-2018) — Luke Atkins – Critic

This is the best show I’ve ever seen. Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad are up there, but, in my subjective opinion, nothing even remotely compares to The Americans. It begins with quite an impression—and only continues to improve and improve all the way to the finale (the best episode). What struck me first is […]

The Americans (2013-2018) — Luke Atkins – Critic

Spirited Away (2001) — Luke Atkins – Critic

Spirited Away is the greatest animated film of all time. But to even call the Oscar-winning masterpiece an “animated film” feels like an insult to Hayao Miyazaki. It’s one of THE GREATEST—animated or not! It’s a game-changer, one that defied the perceived limits of animated films, one that continues to influence brilliant works from the likes […]

Spirited Away (2001) — Luke Atkins – Critic

Next Festival: Thur. April 30th.

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Directed by Lamu Yangchu

Theo is a voice actor who lives behind the scenes. This attractive and intimate work has made him a new life when he has this real life where he is stuttering and being shy and silent. And his role in the cartoon “Blind Police” as “Blind Agent X” is like the inner hero of his inner world, let him rely more on this work to release his usual unspeakable emotions. He gradually became more and more away from his family, and all his efforts to rebuild this connection seemed to be in vain. More and more frustration, unsatisfactory work and unrespectedness made Theo plunged into chaos, which eventually led to his desperate cry for help. At the end of the story, when he releases himself in a nearly exaggerated way, he realizes that he needs another way to express himself.

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THE BLESSING, 5min., USA, Drama/Family

Directed by Liann Kaye

When a timid, midwestern boy decides to propose to his girlfriend, he has to go through her immigrant, Chinese mother first.

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THE LAST HARVEST, 20min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Alexis Spradic

America’s food values are rapidly changing. We are experiencing a food revolution that is demanding better-tasting, natural and sustainable food and yet, we don’t often consider who is responsible for growing this food. The truth is, 75% of the fresh fruit consumed in the U.S. is completely dependent on hand harvesting. Without the workforce to pick the crops, growers are at risk of losing their livelihood.

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TIME TO LEAVE, 7min., USA, Experimental

Directed by Lewuga Benson

Aggressively escorted out of a bank, at the age of 16, after inquiring about opening a bank account, the narrator ( also the filmmaker) boldly confronts and examines that discriminatory moment from his past.

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THE O LIST, 11min, USA, Comedy/Romance

Directed by Linda Barsi

When Margot tells Roman, her hookup of three months, that she has yet to orgasm with him, he is devastated. But as they go through her detailed “O-List,” their relationship reaches a new level.

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THE AVANT-GARDENER, 36min., USA, Animation/Experimental

Directed by Lindsay Katt, Heather Matarazzo, Jeremiah Kipp, Carl Byrd

Captured through the lens of ten interlocking musical vignettes, (each produced in a different style of film making) we follow the story of a young Artist’s life, through the trials and challenges of self discovery. We experience this journey through time, space, and her subconscious mind, as we are invited to explore themes of connection, purpose, and the complexity of the human spirit.

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I RESIGN, 7min., USA, Drama

Directed by Jay Mohan

It is alarming to note that anti-national, anti-constitutional ideas of racism and race superiority are spreading fast in the land of freedom, especially in enterprises, threatening the very own foundation this great country was built upon. This short film is a look into the question – Is racism spreading in United States now?

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WHAT IF…., 7min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Noah Berlow

This short documentary film shatters the preconceptions of homelessness, explores the ramifications of unstable housing for children, and provides a solution to adverse childhood experiences and future health outcomes through the assistance of the Illumination Foundation who seeks to disrupt the cycle of homelessness in Orange County and Southern California.

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THE OUTCOMING, 7min., Comedy

Directed by Maxim Varen

When 17-year-old Sam finally works up the courage to come out to her conservative parents, having ruminated over the consequences and expecting the worst, she is met with an unexpectedly positive reaction from her parents. Perhaps too positive to be true.

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