Friday, October 19, 2012

Spooky Movie 2012, International Horror Film Festival in Washington, DC

My coverage of the 2012 International Horror Film Festival, Spooky Movie, in Washington DC

Spooky Movie 2012 , an international horror film fest running from Oct.12-18th at the AFI Silver Theatre, is a veritable twilight zone of too ghoul for school films. This festival is the thinking horror fan's Mystery Science Theatre—the films will have you racking your brain for days afterwards, for better or worse.

 In its seventh year of bringing mystery, mischief, and mayhem to audiences, The Spooky Movie Festival delivers impressively on the thrills and chills with 21 features and 31 shorts, including festival standouts “Chained,” “Resolution” and “Excision.” Festival Director Curtis Prather remarked upon how happy he was to have finally landed the festival in the home he had always wanted for it, the AFI in Silver Spring.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Escape Fire Film Review

My review of Escape Fire

Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare, a documentary by Matthew Heineman and Susan Frömke, sets out to not only expose what ails the American healthcare system but also provide what the film posits to be creative solutions. Unfortunately, due to the byzantine nature of the subject matter, Escape Fire develops a strong case of The Corporation-itis: attempting to cover too much ground and sacrificing a strong cohesive story arc in the process.
The film’s title is a riff on the concept of an escape fire, which are lit to clear an area of grass in the face of an approaching wildfire. It creates a safe space with nothing left to burn in it; in other words, an inventive solution to a thorny problem or as the film’s website states, “an improvised, effective solution to a crisis that cannot be solved using traditional approaches.” This begs the question, however, about how “untraditional” the film’s solutions are: prevention rather than disease management, a lifestyle overhaul, and a move away from reliance on medications are ideas quite prevalent in the health-talk zeitgeist and, thus, not particularly innovative. Still, the breadth of topics covered by Escape Fire is impressively thorough: physicians' fees, inaccessibility of health insurance, prevention vs. mere disease management, over-reliance on drugs, insurance companies’ focus on profit margins at the expense of patient care, patients’ insistence on expensive testing, maximum care, quick fixes, the rise of diabetes as a result of unhealthy eating habits, and the political stranglehold of the health care industry’s lobby.