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Articles by Alice Macdonald

May 9, 2008
The sixth installment of the annual Boston Independent Film Festival took place a couple weeks ago from April 23rd to 28th. Over 90 films were screened over seven days at the Somerville Theatre, the Brattle, and Coolidge Corner. In case you missed the action, here are some highlights and lowlights so you can start getting excited for next year’s festival.
April 25, 2008
My new favorite thing when looking up a movie is to read the plot keywords on IMDB. They are usually hilarious and often surprisingly able to sum up a movie. For example, the keywords posted for Baby Mama, the new comedy starring Tina Fey, are “pregnancy,” “toilet,” and “surrogate mother.” These three words are absolutely accurate; the movie is indeed about pregnancy and surrogacy, but it’s also so absurd that the word “toilet” is not out of place.
April 4, 2008
I can’t be the only one sick of the terrible movies in theatres lately; the filth that comes out in this springtime post-awards season lull is pathetic. Thankfully, some relief is coming to Boston later this month is the form of the sixth annual Independent Film Festival of Boston. It may not be as well known a festival as Sundance, or SXSW, but this relative anonymity might be a good thing. The festival is small enough for anyone to enjoy but large enough to attract some fantastic entries.
February 15, 2008
Marshall Lewy’s “Blue State” is a romantic comedy that misses the mark completely. It is neither romantic nor funny and features a horrible premise. Here are some of the film’s major flaws:
February 8, 2008
I have to admit that I have a considerable dislike for Colin Farrell … and can you blame me? Surely if you sat through “Miami Vice,” you cannot. Thankfully, Farrell departs from roles such as Bullseye in “Daredevil” and whoever the hell it was he played in “S.W.A.T.” to take on a role that suits him much better in this new film, “In Bruges.” Even Mr. Farrell would probably have to agree with me that there are few words for how terrible some of the films he has participated in are. When speaking about his “In Bruges” character, he hints at what might have gone wrong in earlier roles, remarking “[It’s] nice to not have to pretend to be cool.” It seems that Farrell has changed his ways and it can only be for the better.
January 16, 2008
Movie musicals have enjoyed a bit of a revival lately, partly sparked by Baz Luhrman’s 2001 hit, “Moulin Rouge.” After a series of recent duds such as “Hairspray” and “The Producers,” the genre is in need of a fresh perspective. This is exactly what “Once” delivers. I hesitate to even place “Once” in the same category as these other films because it is so much better and completely void of the painful clichés the mere phrase “movie musical” evokes. “High School Musical” this (thank God) is not.
January 9, 2008
Based on a true story, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” uses some interesting cinematic devices to draw the viewer close and make a strong emotional impact. The film tells the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby (played by Mathieu Amalric), the editor of Elle magazine, who was left nearly completely paralyzed after a stroke. Although he could only blink one eye, he still managed to dictate his memoir (published shortly before his death) on which the film’s screenplay is based.
October 26, 2007
Ira and Abby” is the classic love story — boy meets girl, girl meets boy’s parents, boy marries girl, and several montages later, they live happily ever after! The twist in this latest rendition is that Ira (played by Chris Messina) and Abby (Jennifer Westfeldt, who also wrote the film) are engaged six hours after they meet, and they are married within the first half hour. Every aspect of the film is accelerated and exaggerated, and the end result is a light-hearted movie that will appeal to some, but certainly not everyone.
September 14, 2007
Shoot ‘Em Up” definitely surprised me. Every time I thought that this uber-violent flick couldn’t possibly get any more ridiculous, the film managed to take it to the next level. The title pretty much says it all — this is a violent action movie that is all about violence and action … and very little else.
May 11, 2007
At first glance, Brookline Lunch doesn’t look like much. It looks a little cruddy, and it isn’t in the most charming of locations amidst the liquor stores and homeless of Central Square. But more important than the décor is the food, of course!
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