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InternationalCritic
USA
International & Independent Film Critic
Interests: Reviews, news, interviews; Op-Ed
Recent Activity
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Have you ever been to a place that makes you happy or makes your heart ache every time you go there? Maybe that place is your hometown. With former St. Louisan Nate Myers’ character driven After We’re Over, iconic St. Louis images and heartache-suggesting music underscore themes of longing for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2021 at Movie World
The theme of the 2021 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, “An Uplifting of the Human Spirit” also took on a restorative element in these unstable times. The Festival Program included a slate of five International Shorts from diverse countries such as Norway, Ghana, Canada, Turkey, and Romania with two strong themes emerging: courage, and yes, betrayal. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2021 at Movie World
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In Betsy Burke’s edgy “Bride Breakdown,” a dark comedy turns into an entertaining horror film when the best-laid plans of a resourceful, train-wreck bride get derailed. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Movie World
Michael Gross and Aaron Wolf will attend a Q&A after the screening of “Guest House” on Saturday, May 3 at the Center for Contemporary Arts at 1:00 pm. Sizzling actors, hot directors, and a cool frosty glass at a local bistro; that’s exactly what it’s like hanging out in Santa... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2018 at Movie World
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Written in Partnership with Thunderbird Group LLC & Joanna Smith PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 16, 2017 Press Contact: Carl Pony Vigil, 505-301-7170, ziji1@mac.com On December 22, 2017 Thunderbird Group LLC kicks off their New Mexico-based Native American film production company in a series of events including the beginning... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2017 at Movie World
By Joanna Smith Some interesting Trivia re: the upcoming TV adaptation/remake of George R. R Martin’s Nightflyers: At a recent Jean Cocteau one-off screening of the original 1987 film, Mr. Martin and Robert Jaffe, the credited writer of the original syfy script, critiqued the film in a post-screening Q&A. -... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2017 at Movie World
By Joanna Smith How many words does it take to express joy? In the case of “My Forest,” from Director Thomas Lindemann, not many words are spoken; they’re not needed.” Told through the actions and reactions of a child, this film takes a fresh and artistic approach to nature conservancy.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Movie World
SFUAD/REDFORD SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED By Joanna Smith Two Santa Fe-based students are among the fifteen recipients of the 2015 Redford/Milagro Initiative (R/MI) Scholarship award. Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) students from eight different U.S. states, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela will receive from $7,000-$15,000 yearly towards their film program... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2017 at Movie World
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American women fought for and gained the right to vote in 1920, but it wasn’t until 1971 that Switzerland’s women won the same battle. Swiss Director Petra Volpe’s comedic drama, "The Divine Order" arrives at a time when international zeitgeist demands a renewed fight for gender equality. Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith Jessie Bridges—daughter of Producer/Actor Jeff Bridges—is an emerging singer and songwriter based in California. When Jessie’s father asked her to work with him on the film “True Grit,” their first stop was Santa Fe, NM. After a benefit concert, Jeff and Jessie jammed with local band “Daze”... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith Why do we go to the movies? Adventure? Sometimes. Entertainment? Many times. Some of us even like some thought-provoking to go along with our popcorn, or at least a movie that stays in our heads after we leave the theatre. In “The Pledge” from Director Sean Penn,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith With a fictional view into the very real world of Guatemalan drug trafficking, director Veronica Riedel’s “Capsulas” delves deep into corruption, violence and greed. Winner of South Florida’s Women International Film Festival for Best Dramatic Feature Film, “Capsulas” has been a multiple-award winning sensation on the Latino... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Movie World
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Screened at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival By Joanna Smith If a good day is no one getting killed, then an African-American teenager’s surviving to finish high school in a rough St. Louis neighborhood is nothing short of a life miracle. For Ahkeem, a new-wave documentary about respect and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Movie World
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"...murder and mayhem crank up the film’s momentum and beg the question: why is it so important to church elite that libraries and books be banned? William and Edso discover that the multiple murders are linked to one Aristotle book and a major clue is found in a lemon juice obscured, hand-scripted note that NCIS’s Abby would find intriguing." Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith Most American families might be unaware that their Iranian counterparts face many of the same problems that they do. But in “A Separation” from director Asghar Farhadi, a father must make a choice that rings true for all families. Winner of the Golden Bear top prize for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2017 at Movie World
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by Joanna Smith Ever feel boxed in by work or life? Winner of the 2017 Cannes Palme d'or Award, Ruben Östlund’s The Square, is a comedic, sometimes dramatic, portrait of global inequality that could be subtitled “The Boxes of Life and How Not To Get Out of Them.” Framed under... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2017 at Movie World
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by Joanna Smith It takes a village to make a movie or television show. Who lives and dreams in that hamlet of hundreds? Imagination is one key to filmmaking success, while experience is another. But, how does a movie-making village get populated with enough experienced people who have the right... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
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Rebellion, Protest and End of the Innocence A Review of “Best of Enemies,” By Joanna Smith 1968. America was protesting: Vietnam, MLK and Bobby Kennedy. By the time the GOP and Democratic Conventions rolled around in late summer, rebellion was at a fever pitch. This is the era of “Best... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
By Joanna Smith Many of us dream of abandoning our day jobs to any number of things: selling hotdogs on the beach, trolling for large ocean-going fish or perhaps running away to write the great American novel. How many of us make that leap beyond a closed-eyed daydream? In “The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith According to “Wrenched,” in the waning days of World War II, young Edward Abbey was drafted and bound for Japan when news came of a Hiroshima bombing. Narrator Jack Loeffler states that this horrific event set off a lifetime of civil disobedience, agitation and environmental activism. While... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
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A Review of “Globe Trot” by Joanna Smith How can you visit all seven continents in less than five minutes? "Globe Trot" is a thrill ride of a movie when 54 filmmakers take you around the world, two seconds at a time. United States | United Kingdom | Turkey |... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
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A Review of “Moving from Emptiness: the Life and Art of a Zen Dude” By Joanna Smith What is Zen? Short answer: silence or complete emptiness. What does that mean? In an emotionally captivating documentary about Zen calligraphic artist Alok Hsu Kwang-han, an answer to the latter question goes something... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
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By Joanna Smith Within the first minute of watching “Without Fire,” I wanted to shut off the computer and walk away; it made me that angry. How could they film such a shocking scene? However, the scene has a definite purpose and sets a harsh tone for a film of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2017 at Movie World
By Joanna Smith Jessie Bridges—daughter of Producer/Actor Jeff Bridges—is an emerging singer and songwriter. When Jessie’s father asked her to work with him on the film “True Grit,” their first stop was Santa Fe, NM. After a benefit concert, Jeff and Jessie played with local band “Daze” and performed some... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Movie World
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 26, 2015 SFFF Press contact: NaNi Rivera, 505-988-7414 x102, director@santafefimfestival.com BlackShirtReads Press contact: Joanna Smith assiseeit2u@gmail.com On Saturday, December 5, the Santa Fe Film Festival and BlackShirtReads will co-sponsor a Diversity Panel in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Evoke Contemporary gallery – in the Railyard... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Movie World