Author: tonyyoungblood

2017 Nashville Film Festival Picks


The 2017 Nashville Film Festival kicked off tonight at Regal Hollywood 27. What did I see?

Actually, I was at the Belcourt catching the last screening of After the Storm. (Not much playing tonight at NaFF that interested me.)

But for the next nine days, I’m there. I actually spent hours researching every title to sort out the good, the bad, and the unreviewed. And boy, there are A LOT of films playing this year with no reviews. I call these “the wildcards.” Inevitably, a few will be great, but to find them, you’ll have to sit through a lot of stinkers.

And so, the films on my pick list are either:

  1. Well-reviewed
  2. On a topic that interests me
  3. From a director I like

Unfortunately, because of the way the films are scheduled against each other, you won’t be able to see them all. That’s a reality of all film festivals, but every year, I feel like the programmers have it out for me. For example, this year, I had to pick between the three buzz-worthy documentaries Last Men in Aleppo, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and Quest. Tough, tough call.

I can’t guarantee you’ll like all my picks. (I’m a sucker for long, foreign films that most people find glacially-paced and/or pretentious.) But these are the films I’m reasonably sure will be worth our time. The ones with two trailing asterisks are my TOP TOP picks.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Backpack Full of Cash
La Soledad
Last Men in Aleppo**
Patti Cake$**
Score: A Film Music Documentary
Small Talk
Some Freaks
The Eremites (Die Einsiedler)
The Ornithologist**
The Road Movie
The Scent of Rain and Lightning
The Student
Tokyo Idols
Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

2012 Nashville Film Festival Reviews

The following blog entry is an article I wrote for in 2012. That site removed all of their content, so I am gradually reposting my articles here.

2012 Nashville Film Festival Reviews

Days 1 & 2


As I write this, the clock strikes 12AM on Saturday morning, and I come upon a realization: I’m going to be doing quite a lot of hustling this week. For the past two nights, I’ve hustled from work to cinema, cinema to concert, concert to computer, and computer to (presumably) bed. And those were the easy days. My weekend docket includes an intimidating 10 films. As I’m very fond of sleep, I have to figure out a way to write faster.

Here it goes. My first film of the fest – and my only film on Thursday – was ATTENBERG, a Greek slice-of-strange directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, the producer of the 2010 NaFF standout DOGTOOTH and 2012 NaFF entry ALPS. 23-year-old Marina gropes for some kind of connection with someone other than her dying father and her best friend Bella. Somewhere around the third or fourth silly walk, I wondered if all the weirdness was thrown in for weirdness sake. But oddly, it didn’t distract from a very touching portrait of a woman in transition. I really enjoyed this film.

Oh, and the soundtrack features a Daniel Johnston song. Tip of the hat to the king of awkward / beautiful.

My sole flick on Friday was BESTIARE, a near-wordless, experimental documentary by CURLING’s Denis Côté. BESTIARE was mostly recorded in a Canadian safari-park, featuring long takes of the various animals exhibited. Near the beginning, I wondered if the director was too in love with his prettily-framed shots. That hunch soon faded as I became washed in equal portions of awe and fidgetiness (the Bela Tarr effect). The film was not so much about the animals, whom we see prodded, gawked at, and eventually stuffed and hung on the wall. Rather, BESTIARE is a film about humans and their control of the world. We never see the animals in natural environments. Every frame reveals a human’s mark: a cage, a pen, a feeding bowl. In one scene, a baby chimp hugs a teddy bear, presumably a surrogate mother. The chimp doesn’t seem to notice that the teddy bear is upside down.

Tomorrow (or I should say this afternoon), I’m banking on PILGRIM SONG and V/H/S to be the day’s winners. I’ll also most likely check out the rock docs THE GODMOTHER OF ROCK & ROLL: SISTER ROSETTA THARPE and LOUDER THAN LOVE: THE GRANDE BALLROOM STORY. And because I have a soft spot in my heart for Lizzy Caplan (TRUE BLOOD, PARTY DOWN), Alison Brie (MAD MEN, COMMUNITY), and Martin Starr (FREAKS & GEEKS, PARTY DOWN), I’m on for the potentially-hazardous American romcom SAVE THE DATE.

Day 3

Pilgrim Song

After assembling my list of films to see at the fest, I worked out a schedule. Unbelievably, Saturday (the day with potentially the largest audience of the fest) was bare. I had PILGRIM SONG at 1pm and V/H/S at 10pm with nothing in between. So I re-studied the films and worked out three pick-ups — films I didn’t have high confidence in but would keep me in the seats and (hopefully) surprise me. This is a bit of a shame considering how many films I wanted to see but couldn’t because of scheduling conflicts (LAST CALL AT THE OASIS, DAYS OF GRASS, GEORGE THE HEDGEHOG, ABSENT, and GIRL MODEL most notably).

I started the day with a film I didn’t have high hopes for: PILGRIM SONG, Martha Stephens’s narrative feature about a Louisville teacher’s hike through the Sheltowee Trace Trail. There are many reasons to be suspect of American films shot on video with partially non-professional casts at regional American film festivals. I usually avoid them like the plague. But there was something about the trailer (and, admittedly, an early review) that made me want to give this one a try. So I entered the theater expecting a nice little film with pleasing bluegrass music shot in my home state of Kentucky.

The film took my expectations and shot them through a canon! This is a beautiful, touching, skillful, and mature work about a man’s passage from boy-child to adulthood. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Martha Stephens is definitely a director to watch. PILGRIM SONG plays again on Tuesday, Apr 24, at 4:30. Go see it!

Next up were two rock documentaries: THE GODMOTHER OF SOUL: SISTER ROSETTA THARPE and LOUDER THAN LOVE: THE GRANDE BALLROOM STORY. I try and avoid “subject” documentaries at film fests because I feel the films  take a back seat to that which is being profiled. In the case of these two films, the subject is extremely fascinating. I knew little about the pioneer rock & roller Rosetta Tharpe and even less about Detroit’s 60s rock bastion the Grande Ballroom. The films educated me, and I’m glad I saw them. Subject matter: 5 stars.

Now on to the production. THE GODMOTHER OF SOUL is well enough made, but I can’t help but feel that its home is the small screen.  And indeed, as it turns out, it was made for British television. LOUDER THAN LOVE was the labor of love of television producer Tony D’Annunzio. He produced it over the course of four years, as money came in and as former Grande bands toured through Detroit. Hats off to Tony for finishing this film and capturing so many memories about the Grande. But there are problems. First, the interview clips are edited so tightly, that there is no room to breath. I quickly became exhausted from sound-bite after sound-bit. It felt like Tony had a wealth of material that he was trying to cram into 75 minutes. Next: stylistic choice. Interviewee after interviewee talked about Detroit’s lack of pretensions and affectation. From the town that created the MC5 and the Stooges, substance ruled over style. Crowds were brutal to what they perceived as bullshit. And yet, LOUDER THAN LOVE is extremely slick, glitzy inter-titles zooming over scenes of the now-abandoned Grande Ballroom. Come on now, Tony, kick out the jams!

Ok, I have about 10 minutes before I need to leave for today’s crop of films. (BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING, TALES OF THE NIGHT, INTOUCHABLES, and ALPS.) I’ll have to make the last two reviews quick.

SAVE THE DATE is an American romantic comedy starring Lizzy Caplan, Martin Starr, Allison Brie, and Mark Webber. Caplan and director Micheal Mohan attended the screening. After the film, Micheal told us that the film was being considered for widescreen distribution and that he wanted to move out of his studio apartment. He pleaded with us to “like” the film on Facebook and tell all of our friends how great it was. I have no desire to hurt Michael’s chances. . . so I’ll move on to the next review.

The last film of the night was V/H/S, a found footage horror anthology by David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Ti West, Adam Wingard, Radio Silence and Joe Swanberg.  (Joe and I attended the Cinema & Photography department at Southern Illinois University around the same time, though I don’t recall ever meeting him.) Joe and Producer Roxanne Benjamin spoke after the film. Roxanne said the filmmakers were each told to go make a found footage horror and that no one knew what the others were doing. That was unfortunate. The result is an extremely uneven, radically tone-shifting, overly-long, and unforgivably-silly horror anthology made by 10 white dudes in their 20s and early 30s. The problem with commissioning big-name directors to make an anthology film is the way it ties your hands. Ti West’s segment about a pair of wild west vacationers should have been cut. But who’s going to tell that to Ti West? My favorite segments were by Joe Swanberg and Radio Silence. Joe’s idea was innovative — the whole film a screen capture of a Skype conversation. Radio Silence’s short was everything the others should have been: economical, doing exactly what it set out to do and getting out of the way.

Day 4


I’ll have to make this one quick. I have to leave to see ELENA in 25 minutes.

First up on Sunday was BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING, a very nice documentary about artist and former Chattanooga resident Wayne White. Wayne is responsible for designing and voicing Randy, Dirty Dog, and other puppets on Pee Wee’s Playhouse. For those of you who grew up watching the show like me, the section about the seminal children’s program is worth the price of admission. Wayne spoke after the screening and proved he was even more charismatic in person than on screen. A well-made movie about a fascinating and extremely-talented character.

The French animated film TALES OF THE NIGHT (IN 3D!) may be mildly entertaining to French children, but to American kids who don’t read books, let alone subtitles, I suspect the film will be a bore. I found it entertaining enough but perhaps a bit too inconsequential. Someone please tell me why a movie featuring computer-rendered versions of shadow puppets would need to be in 3D?

I had a couple of hours to kill. NaFF really wanted me to see STREET PAPER because it was the only film playing in that time slot. The roughly-made documentary about Nashville’s street paper THE CONTRIBUTER may not win any awards, but I’m glad I saw it. The characters were fascinating, and I can safely say no other film this year will change my outlook as much as STREET PAPER did. From now on, I’ll be buying the CONTRIBUTER regularly.

The major winner of the day was the French “feel-good” film THE INTOUCHABLES about a paraplegic man’s budding friendship with his unlikely caretaker. This is the second highest grossing film in French box office history. Yes, this type of slickness usually makes me run for the door . . . BUT! . . . despite that, it actually works. I was not prepared for how much I enjoyed this film. The only thing that really irked me (and this is a sore point) is the casting of an able-bodied actor in the role of the paraplegic man. (See: GLEE / Artie controversy.) Sure, Francois Cluzet did a fine job; but disabled actors have a hard enough time as it is getting film and television acting roles. There are plenty of disabled actors who could have brought their life experience to this part. Perhaps the filmmakers thought the idea of a truly disabled actor in the role was just a little TOO real, and there lies the sad state of affairs we are in.

By the time ALPS began (the follow-up to Giorgos Lanthimos’s DOGTOOTH), I was exhausted. Perhaps partially due to my yearning for sleep, I just didn’t connect with the film. ALPS wasn’t without merit, and fans of DOGTOOTH will likely enjoy it, but I found the film a bit too in love with its premise. Normally when other people in the audience are laughing and I’m not, I wonder what it is I’m not getting. In this case, I wondered what they weren’t getting. There were some very funny moments to be sure, but I speculate people primed for DOGTOOTH-level weirdness were laughing at shadows.

More tomorrow! Time for ELENA!

Day 5


While I sit in theater chairs, waiting for films to begin, my mind wanders. After 11 solid hours of screenings, my mind wanders straight off the deep end. Occasionally, I think of things to post. For example:

Things to Bring to a Film Festival:

1. A light jacket. I don’t care if it’s warm outside. There’s a good chance the theater will be COOOOOOLD. A jacket doubles as a seat saver, a snack stuffer, and a pillow. Don’t leave home without one.

2. Pocket snacks (granola bar, trail mix, etc).

3. Collapsible water bottle.

4. Chewing gum. Let’s face it, you could use a breath freshener (and a popcorn kernel dislodger).

5. A small backpack or shoulder bag. This is a must if you’re lugging around film guides, snacks, water, etc.

6. A paperback. You may have lots of downtime. Put down that cell phone and pick up a book!

7. Pills. In my case, pain pills, allergy pills, and heartburn pills.

8. An electric cattle prod. When the person in front of you starts texting or talking in the middle of the movie, do you really want to get out of your seat to tell a manager? A quick jolt is worth a thousand words.

Ok, maybe not electric cattle prod. But I can dream.

On to the reviews.

I started Monday evening with the Russian drama ELENA, the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. I don’t want to give too much away (this is the type of film where the less you know, the better), but let’s say it explores the relationship between a late-life married couple and their non-mutual children. ELENA started off slow and methodical but quickly drew me in. What I loved most was the way it subverted my preconceptions about the characters. Some viewers may feel cheated by this. We are used to films that clearly tell us who is the hero and who is the villain. Once we make up our minds, it causes cognitive dissonance to have those conclusions questioned. ELENA is my favorite film of the fest so far. The Phillip Glass score is also a treat.

It’s not an Asian crime-noir unless the assassin dotes on a pet. In the case of Thai master Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s HEADSHOT, the pets are the aquarium fish he lovingly feeds. I’m a big fan of Ratanaruang’s other work, but the early reviews for HEADSHOT were mediocre at best. I came out very pleasantly surprised. They said the non-linear plot was convoluted. I found it unexpectedly easy to follow. They said the film was boring. I found it immensely entertaining. The film feels like Ratanaruang’s attempted break from the art house circuit to the mainstream Thai box office, and maybe that’s what bothered the critics. To summarize: an incorruptible cop is framed for murder. When released, he becomes a hitman for a secret organization that targets crime lords and corrupt officials. He’s shot in the head during a job, and when he wakes up three months later, he sees everything upside down. There were a few too many “come on!” moments for me to put it in my top films of the fest, but I enjoyed it all the same.

Tonight I’m screening LA CAMIONETA: THE JOURNEY OF ONE AMERICAN SCHOOL BUS and Joe Berlinger’s UNDER AFRICAN SKIES. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow!

Days 6 – 8 / Wrap-Up

Oslo, August 31st

After eight exhausting and exhilarating days, the 2012 NASHVILLE FILM FESTIVAL is at an end. I was so consumed with the fest and my day job that I haven’t had a free moment to post on The Film Talk for the past three days. Here’s what I saw Tuesday though Thursday.

LA CAMIONETA: THE JOURNEY OF ONE AMERICAN SCHOOL BUS was not on my original docket; but I had nothing in that Tuesday night slot, and the reviews seemed positive. My chief worry about subject documentaries, that the subjects can overshadow the quality of filmmaking, was quickly assuaged. The documentary follows a U.S. school bus from the Texas auction lot all the way to the final buyer in Guatemala. Boy, I’m glad I gave this one a shot. Every aspect of the production was professional, artful, and highly-skilled. Director Mark Kendall told the story with a great respect for his subject and an eye for detail. Early on in the film, we learn that Guatemalan bus drivers are preyed upon by extortionists who demand money for protection. Those who don’t comply are killed. News footage shows one bus ablaze, bombed, 7 passengers dead and more injured. Documentary filmmakers too often rewrite the facts (THE KING OF KONG) or stand idly by while the subjects are in danger (BLACK BULL) for the sake of the story. It is to Mark Kendall’s great credit that he decided not to follow the bus on its highly-dangerous city route. As he explained in the Q&A, he did not want to risk the lives of the bus operators by bringing a camera on board. It would have made for a compelling ending to the film. But some things are more important than images. Kudos to Mark. I eagerly await his next film.

Next up was UNDER AFRICAN SKIES, a documentary about Paul Simon’s return to South Africa to reunite with the GRACELAND musicians, directed by Joe Berlinger (BROTHER’S KEEPER, PARADISE LOST). First off, let me confess that I lack the Paul Simon gene. His music just doesn’t do it for me. I showed up for the consistently-great work of Joe Berlinger. Even if you’re not a Simon fan, you’ll find much to like, especially the extended discussion of the controversy surrounding Simon’s decision to break an international embargo to record in Apartheid South Africa. In the end, I found Simon’s arguments much less persuasive than Artists Against Apartheid founder Dali Tambo’s. UNDER AFRICAN SKIES is slick and high in star power (Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, etc), but it so lacks the grit and artistry of Berlinger’s earlier films that I wonder if it’s primarily a meal ticket. Grit or no, the film is a worth your time.

I started out Wednesday with the Romanian film ADALBERT’S DREAM, a film I had reviewed for the Nashville Scene. Yes, I liked it so much, I watched it for again. My second viewing only deepened my appreciation. Here’s my Scene preview:

This biting Romanian satire opens with the final moments of the 1986 European Cup, when Steaua Bucharest goalie Helmuth Duckadam miraculously blocked all four of Barcelona’s overtime spot-kicks. The next day, it’s all safety engineer Iulica and his factory co-workers can talk about, back-handedly praising Helmuth by wondering, “What’s wrong with him?” A fitting metaphor for life in Communist Romania where beneath the surface, the real economy bubbles — Iulica sells tickets to private screenings on his contraband VCR, a lathe operator makes extra utensils on the sly, another worker smuggles eggs in her hair buns. While the workers attend the premiere of Iulica’s two new “work safety” films, another accident occurs, perhaps inevitable in a culture where survival means keeping up appearances while looking the other way.

My final film Wednesday was the only repertory film of the fest: Brian DePalma’s glorious rock opera PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. While the direction was choppy and the character motivations obfuscating, Paul William’s songs were great and the set and costume designs were inspired. There were several unexplainable lapses of competence including vocals mixed way too low in some songs and the miscast Jessica Harper. I can see why PHANTOM was a flop, but I can also see how it has slowly gained the status of a cult classic. As late shift organizer Jason Shawhan astutely pointed out, Jack White’s Third Man Records bears an uncanny resemblance to Swan’s Death Records in the film.

I asked off work on Thursday to cram in more films on the festival’s final day. The first was Jennifer Baichwal’s documentary PAYBACK based on the Margaret Atwood book of the same name. Jennifer’s last NaFF entry was MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, and it was one of my favorites of that year. After buying my ticket (and before the screening), I learned of the PAYBACK’s mostly-dismal reviews. Critics accused it of being desultory and unfocused. While I agree with that assessment, I still recommend the film. The book and film set out to explore the subject of debt in all its forms. In the case of the film, that meant the debt BP owes the environment, an Albanian assailant owes his victim neighbor, and Florida apple orchard companies owe their workers. The subjects are disparate in category and scope, and that may be magnified by a pesky sub-theme of conservationism in two-thirds of the main stories. We so want this to be a ’cause-doc’ in the vein of FOOD, INC or LAST CALL AT THE OASIS. Perhaps the fault lies with Baichwal in not properly managing our expectations. Yet I feel, like MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, PAYBACK is philosophical exploration, not a conclusion. Meandering isn’t a weakness. It goes with the territory.

My second film Wednesday was OSLO, AUGUST 31, two days in the life of Anders, a recovering heroin addict. NaFF 2012 was an extremely strong year, and yet this film was easily, EASILY, my favorite film of the festival. Second-time director Joachim Trier isn’t a master in the making. He’s already there. An early scene takes place in a cafe. Anders helplessly eavesdrops on the conversations surrounding him. The scene is composed with such effortless skill and beauty that it rivals the best moments of Tarkovsky, Bergman, or Dreyer. Yeah, the film is that good. See it any way you can.

THE DYNAMITER won the festival’s narrative prize (announced the day before), so I decided to watch it instead of 5 BROKEN CAMERAS. While I wouldn’t have awarded it the prize when PILGRIM SONG and ADALBERT’S DREAM were eligible, THE DYNAMITER was thoroughly entertaining. I agree with Jim Ridley’s assessment in the Nashville Scene when he said, “. . . a real diamond in the rough. … Comparisons to Days of Heaven and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows suggest less the style or level of accomplishment than the mark the movie leaves in memory.” NOBODY KNOWS it isn’t. But it’s still an impressive debut from director Mathew Gordon. Keep an eye out for him.

There was little chance I wouldn’t love the closing film PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE. The star and director attended, and how can you be bet against the man who wrote RAINBOW CONNECTION? The documentary tracks down the reclusive songwriter / former television icon and offers a glimpse of what his life has become (celebrity golf tourneys, concerts in the Philippines). A big part of my enjoyment came from the osmotic energy of Paul Williams being in the house. The lively Q&A also was fascinating. Without that contact high, I may have given the film a decent 3 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy William’s work, don’t miss it.

And thus ended the 2012 Nashville Film Festival. I can honestly say that this has been the best year of the 6 I’ve attended.

I’ll end my coverage with my top 5 films. I was not able to view the documentary prize winner SALAAM DUNK or the acclaimed ABSENT, 5 BROKEN CAMERAS, A TRIP, or GIRL MODEL. Thanks for reading.







2017 Nashville Film Festival is Almost Here!

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for the 2017 Nashville Film Festival, April 20 through the 29, to be held for the first time at Regal Hollywood Stadium 27.  No more Green Hills traffic!

I’ll be spending this weekend reading about the films and drawing up my schedule. Stay tuned for my festival coverage.

Make Nashville Workshop: Creepin’ Frankenstein Papercraft Automata 10/29/2016



Purchase Tickets

I’ll be teaching the next edition of Papercraft Automata at Make Nashville on October 29th from 12pm to 4:30pm, and this time we’re building the Creepin’ Frankenstein!

Using Rob Ives‘ wonderful paper automata designs, I will teach you the basics of mechanical movement. Each class will explore a different mechanical movement concept including crank sliders, scotch yokes, geneva cranks, gear boxes, worm gears, rack and pinions, and more.

You need not have taken previously editions of the class to take this one. Each is self-contained. And you don’t have to be a Make Nashville member to participate, though being a member gets you the member discount.

In this edition, we will extend our knowledge of  cam followers and learn about gear reduction by building the Creepin’ Frankenstein. You’ll be able to incorporate these concepts into your own projects.

Learn more about the Creepin’ Frankenstein kit at 

Date: Saturday, October 29 from 12pm to 4:30pm.
Location: Make Nashville, 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN
Class fee: $7 for Make Nashville makerspace members. $12 for non-members.

All ages are welcome, though students 12 and younger should have an adult to assist them. We only charge per kit, so if an adult and child are working on a single kit together, it just counts as one admission.

We will supply all tools and components, however if you have a favorite cutting mat, pair of scissors, or Exacto-knife, feel free to bring it along.

Buy your tickets here. This class is limited to 18 students and is expected to sell out, so reserve your spot quick.

Purchase Tickets

Make Nashville Workshop: Keyboard Kat Papercraft Automata, 09/25/2016 12:30-5pm



Purchase Tickets

I’ll be teaching the second edition of Papercraft Automata at Make Nashville on September 25th, and this round we’ll be building the Keyboard Kat!

Using Rob Ives’ wonderful paper automata designs, I will teach you the basics of mechanical movement. Each class will explore a different mechanical movement concept including crank sliders, scotch yokes, geneva cranks, gear boxes, worm gears, rack and pinions, and more.

You need not have taken previously editions of the class to take this one. Each is self-contained. And you don’t have to be a Make Nashville member to participate, though being a member gets you the member discount.

In this edition, we will extend our knowledge of  cams and learn about straps and levers by building the Keyboard Kat! At class finish, you will have a completed automaton that you can take home. You’ll be able to use the concepts learned to build more projects that move.

I also have a few Hungry Dinosaur kits from the last class for those who would rather build that.

Cams have been around for hundreds of years. They are the main mechanical principal behind self-writing, self-drawing, and music-playing automata such as the one featured in the movie Hugo. There’s so much you can do with this one simple concept!

Date: Sunday, September 25 from 12:30pm to 5pm.
Location: Make Nashville, 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN
Class fee: $7 for Make Nashville makerspace members. $12 for non-members.

All ages are welcome, though students 11 and younger should have an adult to assist them. We only charge per kit, so if an adult and child are working on a single kit together, it just counts as one admission.

We will supply all tools and components, however if you have a favorite cutting mat, pair of scissors, or Exacto-knife, feel free to bring it along.

Buy your tickets here. This class is limited to 18 students and is expected to sell out, so reserve your spot quick.

Learn more about the Keyboard Kat here.

Purchase Tickets

Make Nashville Workshop: Papercraft Automata, 08/21/2016 12-4pm


Purchase Tickets

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be teaching one of the first workshops at Make Nashville‘s brand new space!

The class is called “Papercraft Automata” and is open to students ages 11 and up. (Younger students are welcome with parental accompaniment.) If the first class is successful, I hope to make it a continuing series.

Using Rob Ives’ wonderful paper automata designs, I will teach you the basics of mechanical movement. Each class will explore a different mechanical movement concept including crank sliders, scotch yokes, geneva cranks, gear boxes, worm gears, rack and pinions, and more

In the first class, we will learn all about cams by building the Hungry T-Rex Dinosaur! This is a great introduction to mechanical movement because the kit provides several sets of cams that change the dinosaur’s animation.

Cams have been around for hundreds of years. They are the main mechanical principal behind self-writing, self-drawing, and music-playing automata such as the one featured in the movie Hugo. There’s so much you can do with this one simple concept!

Date: Sunday, August 21 from 12pm to 4pm.
Location: Make Nashville, 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN
Class fee: $7 for Make Nashville makerspace members. $12 for non-members.

We will supply all tools and components, however if you have a favorite cutting mat, pair of scissors, or Exacto-knife, feel free to bring it along.

Buy your tickets here. This class is limited to 18 students and is expected to sell out, so reserve your spot quick.

Learn more about the Hungry T-Rex here.

Purchase Tickets

Modular Art Pods Interview in Nashville Arts

Tony Youngblood's Blue Box Pod in progress

Tony Youngblood’s Blue Box Pod in progress

The wonderful Sara Lee Burd (who was just named Executive Director at Seed Space) interviewed me about Modular Art Pods for the June edition of Nashville Arts. Check it out here.

Modular Art Pods takes place at OZ Arts Nashville during their OZ Art Fest, June 21 through 25 with a special Thursday Night Things performance June 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. Learn more at


2016 Nashville Film Festival Coverage


Along with Erica Ciccarone and Joe Nolan, I wrote about the 2016 Nashville Film Festival for the Nashville Scene’s Country Life blog. Links below.

NaFF Day One: Love & Friendship, Tickled, More by Tony Youngblood

NaFF Day Two: Little Men & Sing Street by Erica Ciccarone

NaFF Day Three: Dheepan, The Lobster & Louder Than Bombs by Tony Youngblood

NaFF Day Four: High-Rise, Weiner by Tony Youngblood

NaFF Day Five: Presenting Princess Shaw Falls Short by Erica Ciccarone

NaFF Day Six: Bacon & God’s Wrath, When Two Worlds Collide, More by Joe Nolan

NaFF Day Seven: Honky Tonk Heaven, Hunt for the Wilderpeople by Joe Nolan

NaFF Day Eight: The Lure Is the Erotic Polish Horror Musical You’ve Been Waiting For by Joe Nolan

NaFF Day Eight: The Elk, The Violators by Erica Ciccarone

Magallanes, Transpecos and Josephine Top This Year’s Nashville Film Fest Awards by Tony Youngblood

Nashville Film Festival Wrap-Up: No Greater Love, The Bad Kids and a NaFF Top 20 by Tony Youngblood

The three of us also contributed reviews to The Nashville Scene’s Guide to the 47th Annual Nashville Film Festival.



2013 Nashville Film Festival Reviews

The following blog entry is an article I wrote for in 2013. That site removed all of their content, so I am gradually reposting my articles here.

2013 Nashville Film Festival Reviews

Day 1

Nashville may be internationally-known for music, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: Our film community is top notch. We have one of the best art house cinemas in the country, The Belcourt; a strong film and television industry that produces shows like ABC’s Nashville; and residents such as director Harmony Korine and actor Nicole Kidman. And then there’s the Nashville Film Festival, which at first glance appears to be a nice little regional festival that caters to those who can’t make it to Sundance or Toronto. But a closer examination reveals a well-run, accessible (one location) MAJOR festival with a top notch set of international, U.S., and regional films.

The festival began last night. I watched the first two of over 30 films on my schedule, and over the next seven days, I’ll be writing daily updates about the fest. I scoured the schedule, watched all the trailers, and read every review I could find to chart out my docket. Here are the films I recommend (my rationale for each in parentheses).

A Band Called Death (Doc about legendary Black American punk band, stellar reviews.)
A Letter to Momo (Anime by Hiroyuki Okiura, dir of Jin-Roh. 7 years in development.)
A River Changes Course (Cinema-verite doc about over-development in Cambodia from the cinematographer of Inside Job.)
After Tiller (doc about doctors who perform third-trimester abortions, great reviews.)
All the Light in the Sky (Mumblecore director Joe Swanberg’s new film, surprisingly positive reviews.)
Flicker (Swedish black comedy that’s been getting great reviews, filmmaker to watch.)
Grave of the Fireflies (Classic heartbreaking anime from Studio Ghibli.)
I Killed My Mother (Retrospective screening of Xavier Dolan’s breakthrough film.)
In the Fog (Epic World War 2 drama from Russia, some calling it a classic)
It Felt Like Love (Coming-of-age Brooklyn love story that’s been getting great reviews.)
Kick Off (Retrospective screening of classic Kurdish film about war and soccer in Iraq)
Laurence Anyways (New film by Xavier Dolan)
Mekong Hotel (New film by Thailand auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul. ‘Nuff said.)
Nairobi Half Life (Kenyan rise-through-the-ranks crime drama, positive reviews.)
NASHVILLE 2012 (Locally-made doc about colorful characters in Nashville, including musician-turned-wrestler Jocephus Brody)
Paradise Trilogy (Faith, Hope, Love) (Austrian trilogy, each about a woman on vacation searching for happiness.)
Persistence of Vision (epic documentary about Who Framed Roger Rabbit animator’s 25-year quest to complete his magnum opus)
Pieta (From Kim Ki-Duk, director of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring.  ‘Nuff said.)
Post Tenebras Lux (From Carlos Reygadas, direct of Silent Light. ‘Nuff said.)
Rhino Season (From Bahman Ghobadi, director of Turtles Can Fly. ‘Nuff said.)
Safety Last! (Retrospective screening of Harold Loyd’s silent comic masterpiece.)
Sightseers (UK comedy that’s been getting great reviews.)
Stories We Tell (documentray by actor Sarah Polley about her lineage, stellar reviews.)
The History of Future Folk (Intergalactic banjo comedy that was the hit of Fantastic Fest last year.)
The Kings of Summer (Coming-of-age comedy that was a hit at Sundance.)
This is Martin Bonner (won 2013 Best of NEXT Audience Award at Sundance.)
You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (New film by legendary French director Alain Resnais. ‘Nuff said.)



My two opening night flms were MUD and FAR OUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH: THE TOMI UNGERER STORY. MUD is Jeff Nichol’s follow-up to his acclaimed TAKE SHELTER. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, a bunch of other weighty adult actors, and two child actors. Tye Sheridan, the poetry-whispering son-of-Pitt in TREE OF LIFE, plays Ellis, a hard-scrabble river rat. Jacob Lofland plays Neckbone, Ellis’ sidekick and the most realistic and entertaining performance in the whole picture. Too bad he’s only the sidekick. The plot of MUD is basically THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE meets STAND BY ME. The two boys befriend a wanted man on an island on the Mississippi River in rural Arkansas and help him elude capture, in the process learning about life, love, and magic shirts. I would have sworn Nichols was a big city director trying make a “Southern” film because the characters came off as dimensionless Southern caricatures (except the aforementioned Lofland). But Nichols grew up in Little Rock, so search me. The plot feels forced at every turn with a few too many “What’s that, Lassie?! Timmy’s fallen in the well?!” moments. The denouement is so absurd I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. But I haven’t been able to find anyone who didn’t love this film, so maybe I’m missing something. The Film Talk’s own Gareth Higgins screened the film as well, and I’m looking forward to hearing his take.

Next up was FAR OUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH: THE TOMI UNGERER STORY. I was not prepared for how much I would enjoy this documentary about the children’s book writer and illustrator of subversive erotica. The film follows his childhood in Nazi-occupied France to the brights lights of 50s and 60s New York City, to banishment in Novia Scotia, and semi-retirement in Ireland. What’s remarkable about Tomi is that he was able to lead a triple life of children’s book author/illustrator, anti-war poster propagandist and erotic artist for so long without one vocation threatening the others. Of course, his insular fan-bases did finally discover each other, and as a result, he wasn’t able to sell another children’s book for over two decades. Tomi coined the phase, “Expect the unexpected,” and his work was a principle inspiration for Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” Director Brad Bernstein’s pacing is just right, and I was never taken out of the film, save for the occasional slick-and-gimmicky animation of still-drawings and photos that for some reason is so popular in documentaries these days. FAR OUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH plays again Friday at 4:00 PM. Don’t miss it.

Days 2 and 3

I’m starting to feel the mid-festival shakes — that period when I realize my eyes were way bigger than my stomach. It’s one thing to sit down at the computer and work out a schedule. It’s another thing to live through it. Some of today’s insights:

“Interesting. I forgot to schedule lunch and dinner breaks.”

“Where did I put that damn audience award rating slip?”

“#NaFF, #NaFF2013, or #NaFF13?  Why can’t we all just agree on a Twitter hashtag?”

These last two days, I’ve seen six films, and for many, I’m still processing my feelings. Because of that and because it’s 1am, I’m just going to give you a quick rundown:

I found Reygadas’ POST TENEBRAS LUX to be ineffable and absolutely mesmerizing. It did for me what some people claim Terrence Malick does for them. I don’t understand anything that went on, but I enjoyed every beautiful minute of it. This is a deep film that requires study, reflection and repeat screenings.

Laurence Anyways

Laurence Anyways

I enjoyed Xavier Dolan’s LAURENCE ANYWAYS, but I can’t help wondering if it would have been more impactful at two hours instead of three. The style and use of music is reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai, yet the endless conversationing felt very Denys Arcand. There are very few films about being transgender, and I think it’s wonderful that Dolan is telling this story and holding a mirror to our faces. Since I myself am cisgender, there are doubtless aspects of the film I fail to appreciate. And yet, Dolan is cisgender, and I wonder how well his film resonates with transgender people. What does it say about institutionalized transphobia when the transgender experience is continually told by cis artists?

I admit, the Japanese animated feature A LETTER TO MOMO made me cry a little. This is a wonderful film about processing grief and letting go of guilt. See it any way you can.

The Harold Lloyd silent film SAFETY LAST is still a classic, yet this time around, I was disturbed by racist stereotypes. What disturbed me more is that the score — written in 1989 for a previous restoration — plays up the racist stereotypes. We could say the film’s stereotypes are a product of its time, but we can’t deny that the score’s augmentation of these stereotypes is a product of ours.

I really enjoyed the Kurdish film KICK OFF, which deals with Arab and Kurdish relations through a soccer tournament.

I’m still processing Alain Resnais’ YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET. My gut reaction is that it’s an inconsequential story wrapped inside an inconsequential story, starring icons of French cinema playing themselves. But I need to think on it more and research what the master filmmaker was trying to accomplish.

More tomorrow!

UPDATE 4-21-2013 11:23am:

Of course, this is why I don’t need to post when it’s 1am and my brain is frazzled. I completely missed the point of LAURENCE ANYWAYS and YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET, and my friend Marjorie was kind enough to point that out to me via her Twitter handle @brownrabbit122. What she had to say really enhances my appreciation of both films, and I hope to use her thoughts as a kicking-off point for further exploration. With her permission, I’m posting her take on the films.  In short, I think she nails it.

@tonyyoungblood re: Ain’t seen nothing yet: it’s thinking about what it means to age out of one’s prime. At several levels. Not monumental, but a small and modest human pain. Perhaps one performers (i.e., all the icons) feel particularly acutely?

@tonyyoungblood and re: Laurance Anyways–agree that it was too long. But the title character isn’t the juice of the story. His/her situation is incidental. It’s a movie about the Fred character & how her great love changes the terms on her. & her futility.

— eviscerated rabbit (@brownrabbit122) April 21, 2013

Days 4 and 5

I’m back with a few quick blurbs about the films I screened during days 4 and 5 of the 2013 Nashville Film Festival.

Part of the Kurdish cinema series, IN THE LION’S DEN explores the paths of two young men in post-Hussein Iraq. One signs up for the U.S. backed Iraqi National Guard, the other a resistance cell. Both fight out of loyalty to family and country. I really loved this movie. My only quibble is that it seemed a bit too influenced by Hollywood war films in the use of music and editing. 4/5

I really wish I had screened Xavier Dolan’s directorial debut I KILLED MY MOTHER before screening LAURENCE ANYWAYS. It would have primed me for his unique voice. In I KILLED MY MOTHER, the 19 year old Xavier writes, directs, and plays a character based on his high-school self, a gay son living with the mother he despises. This is easily one of my favorites of the fest. I wonder if the film’s economical style was a product of necessity. Perhaps with LAURENCE ANYWAYS, Xavier was given a larger budget that resulted in too many song cues distracting from the drama and an overlong run time. With I KILLED MY MOTHER, I see why people laud him as a young auteur. 5/5.

THIS IS MARTIN BONNER won a Sundance Audience award. I have never in my festival experience loved the film that won the popularity contest. In this case, I can’t say that streak is broken. I enjoyed THIS IS MARTIN BONNER, but I was a little put off by the opening scene, in which a prisoner-rehabilitation counselor tries to sell the program to an inmate who will be released in less than a year. The prisoner sees a picture of Jesus on the back of the brochure and wisely asks if religion is part of the program. The counselor gives him the usual line about “spirituality” being one of the principles but that the inmate doesn’t “have” to believe in God. The inmate recognizes the Trojan horse in the deal and turns down the program. I’m thinking, “Good move.” At this point, the camera follows the counselor to his car, and I think, “Oh man. They picked the wrong protagonist!” True, the film ends up being a very personal story about counselor Martin Bonner’s new life in a new city that never seems to advocate Christianity. And yet it’s hard for me to suspend my extreme dislike for religious prisoner-rehabilitation programs that offer assistance with a catch, effectively turning prisons into proselytizing grounds. They offer a loaded hand to people who are in a very vulnerable place with very few choices. You may argue that has nothing to do with the film, and you’d be right, but nevertheless, it was constantly in the back of mind. 3/5.

I was really looking forward to FLICKER, the Swedish absurdist comedy about employees at a large communications company. The trailer and reviews made me hopeful for something out of  fellow-Swede Roy Andersson’s playbook ala SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR or YOU, THE  LIVING. But I was aiming too high. FLICKER is a fun but forgettable comedy with weirdness that seems too aware of itself. 3/5.

I really enjoyed the American indie film PIT STOP about the separate lives of two gay men struggling to find love. UPSTREAM COLOR’s Amy Seimetz shines as one of the men’s ex-wife. 4/5.

I had to miss the last ten or so minutes of Joe Swanberg’s ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY because it started late and I had another film right after. I enjoyed the character piece about about a mid-life mid-level actor struggling to find connection in southern California. Lead actor Jane Adams wrote the script with Swanberg. There are many touching moments, in particular her conversations with her aspiring actor niece. 4/5.

The documentary PERSISTENCE OF VISION tells the story of animator Richard Williams’ 25+ year quest to complete his masterpiece THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER. Beat down by his compulsive perfectionism, a lack of funds, new technology, and Disney’s similarly-themed Aladdin, THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER was taken over by investors and rushed to completion. The resulting film, which added forgettable musical numbers and scenes that did not match the original animation, is nothing like the film Williams envisioned. PERSISTENCE OF VISION can be heartbreaking to watch, even when you sometimes feel that Williams’ stubborn perfectionism is what did the film in. It should be required viewing for all aspiring artists. 4/5


Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley’s documentary STORIES WE TELL is absolutely mesmerizing,  masterfully-constructed, and easily one of the best films of the fest. Polley interviews family members and family friends in order to discover who her real father is. What does it mean to be a “real” father? Is he the one who donated half his genes or the one who raised you? That’s one of the many questions raised in this filmic interrogation. Actor/writer/director Sarah Polley is only 35 and already an auteur. 5/5

Days 6 through 8

After 30+ films in 8 days, I’m glad to say the Nashville Film Festival is officially over. But, boy, was it fun while it lasted! I had a great time, and I rated more films 5 out 5 than any year prior.

Here’s what I saw on days 6 through 8.

IN THE FOG is WW2-era film about a railroad worker accused of being a Nazi collaborator in a German-occupied Russian village. I enjoyed the film, despite a pacing that would make even Tarkovsky fidget. The video transfer was a bit rough, lacking contrast with some overscanning. I can’t help wondering if a film print would have raised my appreciation. 4 out of 5.

AFTER TILLER is a documentary about the 4 remaining doctors in the U.S. who will administer third-trimester abortions. The film was named after Dr. George Tiller, the abortion doctor who was assassinated in Kansas in 2009. I keep hearing people say that this documentary is even-handed, telling all sides of the story. I would respectfully disagree. The doctors and their staff get far more screen time than the anti-abortion protesters, and that’s a GOOD thing. Because the side of the doctors happens to be right. This is a powerful documentary that convincingly argues the anti-abortion activists are not the only ones to blame for intimidating doctors and driving away abortion clinics. Also responsible are the lawmakers and community leaders who foster a climate where it’s ok to be a bigot, ok to hide harassment behind “beliefs.” One of my favorites of the fest. 5 out of 5.

THE HISTORY OF FUTURE FOLK was a big hit at last year’s Fantastic Fest. Because of all the hype, I was a little disappointed in the “quirky” musical comedy about two space aliens who fall in love with music and therefore delay their plans to take over Earth. Any originality in the setup is lost to the trope-filled, by-the-numbers plot structure. And, I hate to say it, but the songs were generic and unmemorable (to me at least). 3 out of 5.

It Felt Like Love

It Felt Like Love

IT FELT LIKE LOVE is the debut feature film of American director Eliza Hittman. Wow. I was really blown away by this story about a 14-year-old girl’s search for intimacy. The visual style is original and poetic; one of Hittman’s most interesting techniques is cutting to a new scene in close-up and then eventually pulling back to reveal the context of the background movement. (This happens once on a carnival ride and again on a merry-go-round.) This is a refreshingly feminist take on coming-of-age stories that makes no attempts to moralize the characters’ actions, and I suspect that’s the heart of why many men in the audience left huffing and puffing. (I overheard one guy say, “Well, I’ll never get that hour and forty five minutes back!”) Perhaps they’re too used to the typical Hollywood coming-of-age stories that conveniently excise all the harsh bits (see: MUD and THE KINGS OF SUMMER). I gave this 5 out of 5, and it’s easily one of my favorites of the fest. Because of her original voice and distinctive style, I predict Eliza Hittman will develop a reputation as an American auteur. She’s a true artist. Keep an eye out for her next project.

Lead actress Gina Piersanti won BEST ACTRESS at the fest. IT FELT LIKE LOVE was eligible for the New Directors award but was beat out by NAIROBI HALF LIFE. I loved both, but I found IT FELT LIKE LOVE to be the superior film.

New Directors award winner NAIROBI HALF LIFE tells the story of an aspiring actor who moves from his village to the big city of Nairobi. On the day he arrives, he’s robbed, arrested, and jailed. He eventually leads a double life as the brains behind a local gang and an actor in rehearsal for an upcoming play. I loved this movie. 5 out of 5.

SIGHTSEERS is a dark comedy from the United Kingdom about a couple going off on their first caravan holiday. I knew next to nothing about this film going in, and that lack of knowledge really enhanced my experience. So I’ll do the same for you and keep mum. Writer and lead Alice Lowe — who has appeared in bit parts on such British comedies as Black Books, The IT Crowd, The Might Boosh, Little Britain, and Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place – is destined to be a star. 4 out of 5.

I really admire the Nashville Film Festival for booking challenging works like AFTER TILLER, IT FELT LIKE LOVE, POST TENEBRAS LUX, and the three films next on my schedule: THE PARADISE TRILOGY. Clearly, the Nashville curators aren’t afraid of pissing some people off. A Tuscaloosa reviewer detested the PARADISE TRILOGY, I suspect in part due to the films’ criticism of religion, racism, Western cultural imperialism, sexism, rape-culture, pedophilia, and fat-phobia. Moreso, I’m guessing he was bothered that the films criticize modern Austrian society at large (a criticism easily transferable to modern U.S. society), not just isolated offenders. I think the trigger for any religious person might be the scenes in PARADISE: FAITH where the protagonist kisses, gropes, spits on, and flails a wall-hung crucifix. Since I’m not religious, for me it was no more provocative then her doing the same to any other inanimate object.

We all applaud when a film or television show holds a mirror to a past era and criticizes its faults (i.e. MAD MEN), but we’re outraged when artists hold a mirror to our own time (as in the PARADISE TRILOGY, IT FELT LIKE LOVE, or THESE BIRDS WALK). Hold a mirror to now and suddenly the directors are “just trying to be provocative,” “too sensitive,” “over-estimating the problem,” or “just hate [men, white people, Christians, etc].” Pardon my cynicism, but Hollywood has a well-documented history of  supporting social change only when it doesn’t affect the bottom line. So it’s not surprising that a film like MUD attempts a realistic portrayal of the South while sanitizing the racism and sexism still prevalent. That’s the rule, and films such as the PARADISE TRILOGY are the rare and refreshing exception.

Each film in the trilogy follows a member of the same family during vacation time. In PARADISE: LOVE, 50-year old Teresa travels to Kenya as a sex-tourist. In PARADISE: FAITH, Teresa’s sister Annamaria proselytizes door to door, leaves plastic Virgin Mary statues in her wake, and prays for strength as her disabled Muslim husband demands his “God-given husbandly rights.” In PARADISE: HOPE, Annamaria drops off Teresa’s 13-year-old daughter Melanie at a weight loss camp, where the teen is preyed upon by the camp doctor. I loved all three films, but I found the first to be the most biting. I gave them 5, 4 and 4 respectively (out of 5).

This was an exceptional year for documentaries at NaFF. A RIVER CHANGES COURSE is the directorial debut of Inside Job’s cinematographer Kalyanee Mam. It’s about a Cambodian family struggling to survive in a time when forests are being cleared at an alarming rate, farming is being mechanized, and fishing stocks are dying out due to fishing concessions and illegal fishing. This is an masterful documentary with remarkable characters, rare access, and beautiful cinematography. 5 out of 5.

Another exceptional documentary, and perhaps my favorite doc at  NaFF, is THESE BIRDS WALK, the story of runaway child Omar in Karachi, Pakistan. Directors Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq used portable and versatile Canon 5D cameras to create a level of freedom never before possible. The small Canon 5D, which is used primarily as a still camera, diffused many situations when the directors could claim to be just taking stills photographs. The small footprint also allowed them to literally run with the kids, resulting in one of the most striking images I’ve ever seen in a film: the moment when Omar dodges police officers and legions of people up the steps to a mosque. I mean it. Michael Tully from Hammer To Nail called the film, “A STRIKING WORK OF POETIC REAL­ISM,” and I couldn’t agree more. 5 out of 5.

PIETA is the new film by South Korea’s Kim Ki Duk. I enjoyed the story about a mafia debt collector’s budding relationship with his long lost mother, but it’s not anywhere near the level of Kim Ki Duk’s masterpiece SPRING SUMMER FALL WINTER AND SPRING. 3 out of 5.

THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a coming-of-age (yes, another one) comedy about three teen boys who build a house in the woods to escape their parents’ rule. It’s a high-profile picture starring recognizable names like Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally. The audience at NaFF seemed to love it, and it’s been drawing lots of positive reviews. I just couldn’t get behind it. I found the jokes stale and the plot formulaic. (Because cis white male coming-of-age stories are something we clearly need more of.) The comic-relief-creepy-outcast trope comes courtesy of a character named Biaggio, and he feels like a caricature of a caricature. It’s another example of Hollywood exploiting mental illness for zingers and cheap laughs. (In this case, I suspect the writers were going for Asperger syndrome.) 2 out of 5.

RHINO SEASON is the new film from TURTLES CAN FLY director Bahman Ghobadi, his first shot outside Iran. (He was exiled from Iran in 2009.) The film tells the story of a famous Iranian poet’s release from 30 years in prison and his search for his wife and children. I really enjoyed the film, different in style from anything Ghobadi’s ever done, but I wouldn’t put it in the company of TURTLES CAN FLY or A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES. Ghobadi said in an interview that he’s finding a new lease on life in his new residency in Turkey and that he can finally make movies without looking over his shoulder. Here’s hoping to a long run of unrestricted creativity from one of the world’s finest directors. 3.5 out of 5.

Top 10


Post Tenebras Lux

Here are my 10 favorite films from the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. I’m not including the retrospective screenings, otherwise I KILLED MY MOTHERSAFETY LAST, and KICK OFF would appear high on my list.













Tony Youngblood is a film and music snob and producer of the experimental improv music blog and podcast Theatre Intangible. His favorite films include Eric Rohmer’s The Green Ray, Abbass Kiarostami’sThe Wind Will Carry Us, Ingmar Bergman’s The Magician, Lee Chang Dong’s Oasis, and Rob Reiner’s This Is Spinal Tap.

This entry was originally posted in April 2013.