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Gary, Author at The Panic Manual

Hot Docs Review: Bangla Surf Girls (Elizabeth D. Costa, 2021)

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I suppose professional sports is as bizarre and opaque a concept to me as professional science is to 99% of the population. Regardless of novelty, though, if an activity is the only way out the drudgery of a Bangladeshi slum, even for just a few hours a day, it naturally becomes the center of one’s world. Cox Bazar is a coastal resort of sorts in Bangladesh’s eastern corner on the border with Myanmar. Its beaches are rife with the contrast …

Hot Docs Review: Taming the Garden (Salomé Jashi, 2021)

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In a nutshell, Taming the Garden shows you long, slumbering shots and vignettes where you can observe deeply, which troubled/bored my fellow PM reviewer Ricky and in turn enriched my experiences with the film immensely. Each of these moving slide shows depicts the removal of a large tree from an unnamed Georgian countryside. Out of the backyards of farmers, playgrounds of generations of villagers, and the hedgerows of old ladies. With the help of enormous machinery. Simply gargantuan, lumbering pieces …

SXSW Film Review: Oxy Kingpins (Brendan FitzGerald)

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Why were cameras allowed in a Nevada court where logistic companies were fighting a losing battle in their war to shield the American public from their corporate agenda during the opioid crisis of the 2000s? I don’t know; probably the same reason why drug dealers allowed the camera to capture their stories on the same subject as well. More than half a million Americans have already succumbed to the opioid epidemic – and that’s just from the opioid itself. In …

SXSW Film Review: Ninjababy [Yngvild Sve Flikke]

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Since we hit peak accidental-pregnancy-drama back in 2007, I don’t think I have set eyes on another fictional account of adventitious gamete excursion. A decade of taboo breaking has also lessened the novelty and impact of these stories on the typical audience. I, for one, no longer remember what Juno or Knocked Up was precisely about. Which mean it is the perfect time for a revival. And since stoic Norwegians are the perfect embodiment of the “no-fuss”, pragmatic Scandinavian stereotype, …