2018 San Francisco International Film Festival Recap

Every April, talented filmmakers from around the world coalesce in the City by the Bay for the San Francisco International Film Festival. Now in its 61st year, SFIFF is the longest running film festival in the Americas. SFFILM, a nonprofit organization, helms the fest which caters to an audience of 75,000 people from both inside and outside the industry. This year, the fest ran from April 4th to 17th and showcased almost 200 films.

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SFIFF Highlights…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

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Film Review: Revenge

Rape revenge movies are practically a subgenre of horror, and they are (like most movies) typically directed by men. Not that men are incapable of making great films about women. But maybe it shouldn’t be just men telling stories about one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can have. Especially since society can’t even agree on the definition of “rape.”

French writer/director Coralie Fargeat is an insanely talented up-and-comer. She’s clearly capable of crafting a cinematic masterpiece and comes pretty close to achieving perfection with her debut film: the rape vengeance genre up-ender, Revenge. Fargeat has studied her predecessors and pinpointed all of their missteps. Films like I Spit On Your Grave and Last House on the Left spent way too much time on the violation part of the story…

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Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

Film Review: Her Composition

Her Composition is a feminist film that was made on the cusp of an ideological revolution. Though it was just released on V.O.D. in 2018, it was made in 2015. Back then, time wasn’t yet up. Films about the emotional Odysseys of women were all told by white men and didn’t pass the Bechdel test. That’s not to say Stephan Littger’s debut is a bad film. It’s actually quite lovely and ambitious. But it also feels a bit like a feminist time capsule.

Captivating up-and-coming actress Joslyn Jensen plays Malorie, a music PhD student who loses her scholarship to a man because her thesis piece doesn’t come from the heart. Desperate for money and inspiration, Malorie takes on the dossier of a high-end sex worker. She doesn’t seem to have a plan at the outset. She just knows she needs to shake things up. But she discovers self-assurance during her first encounter and soon, she’s got a “crazy wall” covered in quotes, snippets of written music, and meaningful insect corpses. There is no shortage of men saying and doing awful things to Malorie, but she also meets a few kind and lonely people. As she goes deeper into her titular composition, she begins to mentally and physically unravel. Before long, Malorie is racing her declining health to the finish line…

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Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

Film Review: Scary Mother

Scary Mother is a quietly riveting film that is richly layered with themes of identity, traditional gender roles, sacrifice, and hypocrisy filtered through the lens of a middle-aged mother of 3. At 26, first-time writer/director Ana Urushadze possesses remarkable insight into the psyche of a woman who spent the majority of her motherhood suppressing her artistic urges. But now that her children are more self-sufficient, Manana (Nato Murvanidze) has taken the opportunity to write her novel. But the writing process has caused her to neglect her “duties” as a stay-at-home mother. Her husband, Anri (Dimitri Tatishvili), is fed up and is desperate to return to the status quo.

Urushadze does an outstanding job of introducing her characters and setting the scene. As the film opens, Manana is checking in with her family after having spent many nights in literary exile. She dutifully clutches a laundry basket as she quietly tiptoes through their crowded tower block apartment in Tbilisi, Georgia. While he dresses for work, Anri reminds Manana how accommodating he has been, sleeping on the couch so she can work in peace. He complains about her unkempt appearance and how long she’s taking to write her book. This interaction informs the audience about Anri’s values and the emotional rift that exists between husband and wife. From what we see of her children, they are detached teenagers who are a bit thrown by the recent inaccessibility of their formerly omnipresent mother.

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Read the rest at Hammer to Nail!

20 Celeb Frenemies Who Used To Be BFFs

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The only thing more intense than a Hollywood divorce is a bestie breakup. Maybe it’s the lack of money, kids, and property involved. They don’t hold back when they’ve got nothing lose. Whatever the reason, many stars aren’t afraid to burn a friendship bridge.

Losing friends is an unfortunate part of life for everyone. But for celebrity friendships, the feuding parties are losing some of the few people in their lives who genuinely understand the extremely strange and surreal experience that they share: being admired and judged worldwide by people who don’t even know them.

These days, it seems apropos that BFF is so close to “beef”. For some of the former celebrity BFFs on this list, their issues have been marinating for years. Sometimes they stew in silence until something triggers them to boil over. Other famous friends like to keep the drama fresh and public.

With the advent of social media, a great many of these bestie breakups played out on Twitter or Instagram, giving fans front row seats to every sling of mud or toss of shade.

Here are 20 Celeb Enemies Who Used To Be Best Friends.

20 Secrets No One Knew About Emily And Zooey Deschanel

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Emily and Zooey Deschanel just might be Hollywood’s quirkiest celebrity siblings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The saucer-eyed sisters were born and raised in L.A. by showbiz parents Caleb (the cinematographer for Passion of the Christ) and Mary Jo (Eileen Hayward on Twin Peaks). They named their youngest daughter after one of the protagonists of the J.D. Salinger novella Franny and Zooey.

The brassy brunettes are best known for starring in their own massively popular Fox TV shows. Emily spent 12 seasons as the eccentric forensic anthropologist who solved murders on the procedural drama Bones. Zooey portrayed a breezier eccentric on the hit sitcom New Girl. For 7 seasons, she played Jess Day, a fashionably twee school teacher reeling from a bad breakup who moves into a New York City loft with 3 single men.

When the Deschanel sisters aren’t charming television audiences, they follow their passions. Emily is a philanthropist and staunch animal rights activist. Zooey is a singer and musician performing as the “She” of She & Him, and with the jazz cabaret act, If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies. She also founded the feminist website, HelloGiggles. But those are just their resumes – what about their lives behind the scenes?

Read on to learn 20 Secrets No One Knew About Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

25 Stars You Had No Idea Got Married In Secret

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It’s the great irony of weddings. Though technically, the betrothed couple is entitled to get married their way, it’s hard to keep others from asserting themselves into the big day. It goes double for celebrities who can’t even go to a restaurant without someone bothering them.

Unfortunately, it’s the intimate moments that make for paparazzi gold. If the star is big enough, their celebrity wedding is practically a national holiday. Every so often, a star will manage to keep their wedding on the DL. It requires strategy and careful planning, and it doesn’t stay secret for long. But if a Hollywood power couple can score a few hours of scrutiny-free matrimony, more power to them.

The stars on this list all did the impossible. Keeping the paparazzi away wasn’t the only motivation for some of these celebrity couples to get married on the sly. In some cases, they didn’t want their parents there either. Others just wanted to sign the paperwork without a big to-do. Stars who have been divorced often go smaller-scale for their second wedding. It’s quite an accomplishment when a star manages to announce their marriage on their own terms (which usually means a cheeky Instagram post).

Here are 25 Stars Who Got Married In Secret!