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Gary, Author at The Panic Manual

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, …

SXSW Film Review: The Hunt for Planet B [Nathaniel Kahn, 2021]

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While it is generally accepted that the answer to all questions in the Universe is 42, it is not clear how it applies to the question of advanced civilizations out there. Can there only be 42 planets that sustain life at any one time? Are there 42 different recipes to build self-sustaining lifeforms? Perhaps there are 42 planets, organic molecules be damned, that form themselves a long-range intergalactic “civilization” on a time-scale unfathomable to our feeble instruments of thought? The …

SXSW Animated Shorts Shortlist Review

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Having an extremely limited time to manipulate an audience, short films have a unique challenge in competing for attention and impact. However, those that do grab you tend to stay with you long past the length of their airtime. This year I found a few shorts that did just that. My Fat Arse and I [Yelyzaveta Pysmak] This is a hilarious take on the stereotypical ‘thin = best’ body-shaming culture. Watch for the surprise twist at the end as the …