The Transfiguration (2017)
Written & Directed by Michael O’Shea
Milo is an orphaned teenage boy living in New York City. He lives with his Army veteran brother who is unable to get a job, never explained but implied by either physical or mental injury. Milo has a secret though, he is a vampire. Or Milo believes he is a vampire and has marked out on his calendar the nights he will feed. He’ll stalk bathrooms or hang out in Central Park late into the night, using a secret pen knife to slit his victims’ throats and then lapping up their blood. In the midst of this very dark existence, Milo meets Sophie, a girl who has just moved into his apartment building. They strike up a friendship that becomes a relationship, and Milo attempts to keep his secret from Sophie while fighting his urge to feed on her.
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I, Tonya (2017)
Written by Steven Rogers
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Everyone has particular images and ideas when they hear the name “Tonya Harding.” In 1994 she was one of the most infamous people in the media. Her story has all the right hallmarks of the bizarre and tragic to make her the sort of person the news gobbles up. A figure skater from the “wrong side of the tracks” who didn’t mesh with the traditional prettiness of the skating establishment. Married to an abusive man who didn’t seem to have any direction in life. The two of them intermingled in a seeming conspiracy of the stupid to take out her rival for the Olympics, Nancy Kerrigan. Tonya maintained she had no idea what was going on, but husband Jeff Gillooly kept insisting she was aware. A sort of practice run for the O.J. Simpson media circus.
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Ginger & Rosa (2013)
Written & Directed by Sally Potter
It’s London 1962, and the world is feeling the effects of fear surrounding the Cold War. The most significant worry is that nuclear weapons will bring about the end of humanity. Feeling these fears is Ginger, a 17-year-old girl who is just beginning to figure out who she is and doesn’t want the world to end. She sits between her mother, Nat, who wants her daughter to become more responsible and live conventionally and her father, Roland, a free-spirited intellectual who encourages Ginger to rebel and skip school. In addition to these two influences, Ginger has her lifelong best friend, Rosa. While Ginger has succeeded in academics, Rosa has fallen behind and is making drastically different choices in life. Ginger feels pulled to that side of life but is also caught up in the movement to ban the bomb. Eventually Ginger will discover a dark secret about Rosa that threatens to upend the young woman’s life.
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Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Written & Directed by Martin McDonagh
Mildred Hayes isn’t even a year into mourning the rape and murder of her daughter when she strikes upon an idea. She rents the three billboards just outside of her town of Ebbing and posts the following message:
“Raped while dying.”
“Still no arrests?”
“How come, Chief Willoughby?”
The billboards immediately draw the ire of the local law who see Mildred as being unreasonable and lacking understanding of their point of view in the investigation. Officer Jason Dixon, a cop rumored to have tortured a black suspect while in custody, is particularly angered and attempts to circumvent the law to get the billboards taken down to no avail. The community begins to disparage Mildred for this choice, but she holds fast believing that she can find some sort of redemption for her daughter.
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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013)
Written & Directed by Roman Coppola
Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen) is a successful graphic designer who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Ivana. The aftermath has him ending up in the hospital being told to watch his stress. His sister, best friend, and business manager (played by Patricia Arquette, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray respectively) come to his aid, assuaging his ego while he loses himself in flights of fancy. Charles finds his emotions ping-ponging between loving and hating Ivana, unable to make a clean break with her. He begins to suspect she is seeing someone else and gets into a series of unfunny predicaments to discover the truth.
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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Written by Sidney Buchman, Lewis R. Foster, and Myles Connolly
Directed by Frank Capra
A senator from an unnamed state in the Western U.S. dies, and the governor is forced to name an honorary replacement until the next election can be held. He receives from pressure from his state’s other senator Joseph Paine. Paine is cahoots with corrupt political boss Jim Taylor to get a stooge onboard to help them pass a land purchase bill. The bill will sell the government land they own under false names, enriching them and leaving America with the debt. Encouraged by his children to pick a new local hero and scout leader, the governor names Jefferson Smith as the honorary replacement. Smith is naive and overwhelmed by the patriotism stirred in him once he arrives in Washington. His deceased father has a past with Joseph Paine from when they fought for labor rights in the past. As Smith learns about the working of America’s capital he discovers the ugly truth about the nation he loves.
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Lady Bird (2017)
Written & Directed by Greta Gerwig
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is a high school senior living with wanderlust in the suburbs of Sacramento circa 2002. She has a strained relationship with her mother, Marion who is forced to play the bad guy while her father, Larry deals with issues of employment and finances in the background. Lady Bird is an incredibly strong personality with ambitions of attending one of the mid-tier Ivy League schools of the East Coast. She’s pointed in the direction of the theater when seeking out extracurriculars to add to her C.V. It’s doing theater that pushes her into her first complicated romantic relationship.
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