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Try Harder!

Lowell High School is the top-ranked public high school in San Francisco.  In a world where everyone is a straight-A student, Lowell seniors are stressed out, scrambling to secure places in the country’s top universities and balancing overwhelming pressure from their families and communities.

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Julia

By: Trevor Chartrand From the Oscar-nominated directors of RBG, Julia is an endearing documentary that showcases the life and times of the cooking show pioneer, Julia Child.  The film takes a biographical look at her charmingly humble rise to fame, from cook-book writer to television star.  The documentary has a lot of personality and examines snippets of her off-camera personal life as well as her positive impact on the cooking industry as a whole.  This is…

Reviews

Clerk

A doc about filmmaker Kevin Smith poses an interesting challenge for the documentarian because Smith has been so open so often on public forums.  What else can you explore that he hasn’t expanded on already?  From feature-length behind-the-scenes bonus features to Smith’s lengthy discussions taped at colleges and concert venues, Smith has covered his life and career from (seemingly) every angle.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2021: ‘Alien on Stage’

Directed by Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, Alien on Stage is an unexpectedly heartwarming documentary about an amateur theatre group comprised of Dorset bus drivers who set out to produce a stage adaptation of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/horror Alien.  Though their initial adaptation is serious, they are given the opportunity to take their show to London’s West End as a comedy.

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The Rescue

From the Academy Award winning team who brought you Free Solo comes The Rescue, a documentary that chronicles the 2018 search-and-rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team who were trapped in a flooding cave in Thailand.

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9/11: Inside the President’s War Room

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room is a candid documentary meant to commemorate the events of September 11th, 2001 and serve as essential viewing for its 20th anniversary.  While the film delivers on its candid nature, featuring exclusive photographs and interviews with past White House officials including former president George W. Bush, Adam Wishart’s doc is not as considerate as it could be.

Reviews

For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close

In the late 1980’s, Del Close set out to write his autobiography, Wasteland, for DC comics. In Wasteland, the actor and comedian, who mentored comedy legends from John Belushi to Tina Fey but found little material success in his own career, presented a fictionalized and darkly surreal version of his life story. In director Heather Ross’ semi-experimental documentary, For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close, Wasteland serves as a frame for a deeper examination…