One Man Dies a Million Times (2019)

Every year I look forward to the “slow cinema” selection at the Oak Cliff Film Festival. As the programmers who introduce the movie usually joke, “Some of you are here because you love this kind of cinema, and the rest are here because you’re hung over.” I happen to fall into the former camp.

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Knives and Skin (2019)

I caught Knives and Skin at the cozy, sweetly intimate Bishop Arts Theatre Center as part of the Oak Cliff Film Festival, and to be honest, I didn’t even want to see this movie. Having read the blurb describing the film in the program for OCFF, my immediate reaction was, “Fuck. How many movies about murdered girls do we need?” I will spend exactly three sentences ranting before I tell you why you should see Knives and Skin

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The Mountain (2018)

After setting a manic, surreal tone with Greener Grass, the Oak Cliff Film Festival dramatically shifted gears with The Mountain, a meditative tale of love, loneliness, and transcendent madness. Starring Jeff Goldblum and Tye Sheridan, The Mountain tells the story of young, desperately sad ice rink employee, Andy. With a mother locked away in a mental institution and a drunken, distant father (Udo Kier), Andy’s life is bland and joyless.

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Skate Kitchen (2019)

It’s nothing groundbreaking to point out that we’re a more divided world now than ever. While subcultures have traditionally been a safe space for the disenfranchised, scandals like Gamer Gate have shown the underlying hatred and misogyny that can exist even in places where like-minded weirdos are supposed to belong together. The gloriously fun Skate Kitchen, starring members of the real all-girl’s skating collective addresses these feelings of alienation and needing a place to belong.

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Smile (2019)

Based on title alone, Smile might appear to be a goofy comedy or a cloyingly sweet tale of love, but the film expertly explores the complexities that come when life is at a crossroads. That’s where we find Lucas Wilson, who runs into his high school sweetheart at his portrait studio. He learns she’s engaged to an insurance agent, and her revelation serves as a catalyst for Lucas to look back at his past while navigating his future.

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