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Review: Award Winning ‘The Rocket’ Is A Lovely, Resonant & Deeply Accomplished Drama

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 8, 2014 6:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Rocket
There’s a tricky balance to be found in Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt’s impressive narrative debut “The Rocket.” Mordaunt, who returns to Laos after exploring the country in his documentary “The Bomb Harvest,” tells a tale that’s both humanistic and soulful, yet political and socially aware. Tip the scales in either direction and your tonal equilibrium is thrown out of order. And that’s perhaps what makes “The Rocket” so special; it’s a thoughtful, well-observed drama that contains many painful struggles and hardships, quietly chronicles third world poverty and social inequities, and yet never condescends to preach or teach. In fact, when the beleaguered protagonists finally receive some much-needed respite and joy, the payoff is well-earned.

10 Films To See In January

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • January 2, 2014 12:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
10 Films To See In January
January is perceived to be a flat-out, no-good month to release a movie. Usually considered the dumping ground for films which would be killed opening up any other time—no disrespect—but if your movie’s being released this month, it will be approached with a greater sense of wariness. However, it's not all bad, as the post Christmas/New Year’s malaise not only sees Oscar and awards season contenders expand from limited to wide release, savvy distributors find pockets to release adult, intelligent fare into a marketplace that desperately needs it. So in case you thought January was a lost cause, here are ten movies to see this month, including two that opened in limited release in December but are getting a second tribute in honor of their wide releases.

‘Nothing Bad Can Happen,' ‘The Selfish Giant,' & 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ Take Top Honors At AFI Fest 2013

Another straight week of Hollywood and international films has wrapped up in Los Angeles, as AFI Fest 2013 drew to a close yesterday and announced its slate of juried and audience prizes. The selection this year had its share of Oscar-season glamour—“Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” all received gala screenings—but when it came time for the festival prizes, it was new, small-scale works from directors Clio Barnard and Katrin Gebbe that really impressed. Read More »

The Best And Brightest Of The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 29, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Best And Brightest Of The Tribeca Film Festival 2013
And so we’ve reached the end of the Tribeca Film Festival. Known for its wide-ranging selection of films from all over the globe, they truly outdid themselves this year with a slate of diverse, boundary-pushing films that suggested that, outside of the most prestigious fests like New York, Cannes and Sundance, independent cinema was alive and well, flourishing in the fest’s eleventh year. We profiled twenty films at the start of the fest that might be worth discussion, and a number of those spotlight films didn't disappoint. But the excitement of the Tribeca Film Festival is that there's often greatness emerging from where you least expect it.

Tribeca Review: A Lovely & Considered Humanism Courses Through ‘The Rocket’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • April 27, 2013 3:11 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
The Rocket
There’s a tricky balance to be found in Australian documentarian Kim Mordaunt’s impressive narrative debut “The Rocket.” Mordaunt, who returns to Laos after exploring the country in his documentary “The Bomb Harvest,” tells a tale that’s both humanistic and soulful, yet political and socially aware. Tip the scales in either direction and your tonal equilibrium is thrown out of order. And that’s perhaps what makes “The Rocket” so special; it’s a thoughtful, well-observed drama that contains many painful struggles and hardships, quietly chronicles third world poverty and social inequities, and yet never condescends to preach or teach. In fact, when the beleaguered protagonists finally receive some much-needed respite and joy, the payoff is well-earned.

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