Satanic Panic (2019)

Full Disclosure: I know quite a few people who work for Cinestate and Fangoria, the people behind Satanic Panic. My former CineDump colleague, horror writer extraordinaire Preston Fassel, works for the production company and writes a recurring column for Fangoria magazine, “Corrupt Signals.” And to be completely honest, I had no plans to write about this movie at all because of my personal connection to the film.

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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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Greener Grass (2019)

Anticipation was high at the opening screening of the 2019 Oak Cliff Film Festival. Traditionally, the opening night feature sets the tone, thematically speaking, for the majority of the events’ programming, and I had to admit, I got why people just kept piling in. There’s fewer things Dallasites hate more than literally rubbing shoulders with their seatmates, but as people kept streaming in, aisles filled up, and the crammed seats just lent an even more breathless vibe to the proceedings.

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The Short Films of Izzy Lee #2 (2019)

Short films are a strange art of their own--for them to “work,” they have to be perfectly paced, give just enough exposition to drag us into their world but not so much that it bogs down our interest or drags the story, and most of all, it has to leave a taste in our mouths. Shorts are usually shown in hour and a half blocks at festivals, and when your work is bookended by pieces that may be tonally dissonant, hyper-violent or hyper-sexual, or just off-the-wall bonkers, you have to make sure the audience is going to stumble back out into the sunlight thinking about what you served up. More than most directors who work in the short form, Izzy Lee is able to meet all these challenges.

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