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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

40th Atlanta Film Festival: Best of the Fest – Feature Films

This year's Atlanta Film Festival marks the 40th anniversary of the event, and with it came some truly incredible films. Yesterday I put out my selections for the best short films of the fest, and this article will spotlight what I think were the best feature films of the fest. If these sound interesting, please seek out and support these filmmakers!


In Pursuit of Silence
Dir. Patrick Shen

This documentary explores and meditates on the nature of silence and noise, and the unseen but powerful role they play in our lives. It is a gorgeously shot documentary that spans several continents and goes from densely populated city centers to the most remote natural locations in the world, and similarly shows perspectives from many different disciplines of science, philosophy, and psychology. A fascinating and beautiful documentary! (Trailer) (Official Website)

Cheerleader
Dir. Irving Franco

This film tells the story of Mickey, a high school girl in the 1980s with boy troubles. The film is stylish, funny, and is loaded with great characters and impressive performances. It's a great example of how to do a female-led film right, and is a very enjoyable experience from start to finish. (Trailer) (Official Website)



Last Summer
Dir. Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli

In telling the story of a Japanese woman who is spending her last few days of custody with her child on her ex-husband's yacht, Last Summer quietly explores inner battles between culture, jealousy, civility, and family. It is a subtle film that is rich with feeling and a strong performance by Rinko Kikuchi. It might be a bit slow for some, but this beautiful film deserves a patient viewing. (Trailer) (Official Site)


Siren
Dir. Gregg Bishop
(full review forthcoming)

Siren is a feature film adaptation of the short of the same name in the original V/H/S anthology, and tells the story of a bachelor party that takes an occult turn. The groom-to-be decides to rescue a young woman who he thinks is part of a sex trafficking ring, but finds out that she is something much stranger and more dangerous. It has some pretty clever parts, and subverts a lot of the usual horror norms, including the aggressive male sexuality that unfortunately pervades most typical horror films. Well worth seeing for fans of interesting horror.
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