Review: ‘Palace’

By Michael Smith When I try to place Palace into a genre, drama is one of the first to mind, but this does not fully encapsulate this film. Rather, this film is best categorized within a type more associated with anime. I’m talking about the “slice of life” genre. “Slice of life” refers to a storytelling structure that presents a seemingly arbitrary sample of a character’s life. … Continue reading Review: ‘Palace’

Review: ‘Miss Arizona’

By Michael Smith This year at the Heartland Film Festival, everything I saw fulfilled the festival’s mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. However, no film that I saw was as relevant to the current climate as Miss Arizona. Miss Arizona follows Rose Raynes, former Miss Arizona, now a housewife who has a troubled marriage to a successful Hollywood agent and … Continue reading Review: ‘Miss Arizona’

Review: ‘First Man’

By Connor Carey Director Damien Chazelle proved himself through just two films to be one of today’s best working directors. Whiplash is one of the most electrifying, intense, and expertly made and edited movies I’ve seen all decade. It’s the movie that introduced me to Chazelle and the film that brought out the absolute best from performers Miles Teller and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons. … Continue reading Review: ‘First Man’