Borrowing Tape

Exploring the Hyper-Violence and Societal Manipulation of Gamer

It is often said that those who view the world in black-and-white have trouble seeing the whole picture, and this goes to show for the streaks of red covering our television screens. Consumer culture runs rampant with the notion that to have is to hoard and to collect is to control. But what does the pursuit of satisfying these desires say about the primal urge for power, and to what degree do humans’ violent tendencies have to show for it? These ideas are explored in Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s 2009 science fiction film Gamer. While glazed over with gratuitous amounts of gore, brutality, and overt sexuality, Gamer’s surface-level thrills house a time capsule—a message from the past that is even more relevant now than it was over ten years ago when the movie was released. In this evolving age of technology, government oppression, and civil uprisings, the video game-inspired action flick is a reflection of the fear that currently plagues society today.

Dani - 5 Questions for Short Film Director Lizzy Hogenson

The short film, Dani, focuses on a woman who gives her mother a call to tell her about her breast cancer prognosis. This film was included in the Through Thick and Thin and Closing Night film programs at this year’s Palm Springs International ShortFest, where it received a warm reception and won the award for Best Animated Short. Director Lizzy Hogenson discussed more about her film, Dani, for Borrowing Tape.

Best in Show at the 2019 Palm Springs Short Film Festival

The 25th Annual Palm Springs International Short Film Festival showcased over 300 films from around the world during its run from June 18 to June 24. “Best of the Fest” awards were given on the last day of the festival, including “The Christmas Gift” directed by Bogdan Muresanu taking the highest honor for Best of the Festival, “Guaxuma” directed by Nara Normande for Best International Short, and “Dani” directed by Lizzy Hogenson for Best Animated Short. From comedy to drama, and even horror, here are some short films that deserve recognition for their standout stories.

The Guilty (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

Serving as the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 91st Academy Awards, The Guilty [2018] is a thrilling drama that takes place entirely inside an emergency call center. The plot follows phone operator, Asger Holmes (Jakob Cedergren), who receives a distress call from a woman named Iben (Jessica Dinnage) who appears to have been kidnapped by her ex-husband, leaving her two young children alone at home.

Buck Run - Interview with Film Director Nick Frangione

Director Nick Frangione's new drama, Buck Run starring James Le Gros and Nolan Lyons, had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 6. The film follows 15-year-old Shaw Templeton as he goes to live with his estranged father after the sudden death of his mother. Borrowing Tape got the chance to speak with Frangione about his experience making Buck Run and the personal connection he shares with the project.

Shirkers (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

Being the second Singapore-born filmmaker to win the World Cinema Directing Award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, Sandi Tan is making waves in the world of contemporary cinema with her documentary, Shirkers [2018]. The film tells the true story of how Tan and a group of friends attempted to make the first Singapore road movie as teenagers in the summer of 1992. After completing it, her mentor took the 16 mm film with him, never to be seen again, until now.

Hidden Man (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

Premeditated revenge drives the plot of Director Jiang Wen’s action comedy Hidden Man [2018], acting as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 91st Academy Awards. This is the third installment in his action-packed film trilogy and based on the novel Xia Yin by author Zhang Beihai. Hidden Man chronicles the elaborate scheme that Li Tianran (Eddie Peng) has concocted to exact deadly revenge on the people who were responsible for the death of his family 15 years ago.

The Man Who Feels No Pain (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

The old adage goes, “no pain, no gain,” but that can be a problem when it’s impossible for you to feel any sort of pain even after getting hurt. Vasan Bala’s Hindi action comedy Mard Ko Dar Nahi Hota, or The Man Who Feels No Pain, is blatant in its title, as it follows Surya (Abhimanyu Dasani) who has a rare condition called congenital insensitivity to pain, which prohibits him from feeling physical pain.

Cake (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

Director Asim Abbasi’s Pakistani dramedy, Cake (2018), highlights the personal developments and discoveries of one family as three grown siblings unite after their parents become ill. With this bittersweet reunion, old flames are reignited and a long-hidden secret threatens to tear their bond apart. Chosen as the Pakistani entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 91st Academy Awards, Cake presents polished chaos in its subject matter and delivery.

The Great Gatsby (2013) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

The Great Gatsby [2013]: Baz Luhrmann’s movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby, was held in much anticipation among the likes of literature junkies, DiCaprio fanatics, and box office skeptics. With a film that proceeds a handful of remakes decades apart, this 2013 version had critics doubting Luhrmann’s rendition measurable to the 1974 Gatsby movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow–which there might, in perspective, have been a good reason to do so.

Palm Springs International Animation Festival & Expo 2018 Top Picks

Adding to the collection of film festivals hosted in the desert hideaway of the stars, The Palm Springs International Animation Festival & Expo boasted a large selection of animated films from around the world. A total of 103 countries were represented in the programming, consisting of 250+ short films and five full-length feature films. Different styles of animation were showcased throughout the festival such as hand-drawn, watercolor, stop-motion, VFX, and 3-D. Hand-picked from the catalogue of cinematic offerings is Borrowing Tape’s top picks from the 2018 Festival.

Skyfall [2012] Spoiler Free Movie Review

Skyfall [2012]: In the twenty-third installment of the James Bond series, Skyfall, tension surfaces between Agent 007 (Daniel Craig) and M (Judi Dench) after a questionable decision out in the field. When MI6 is targeted by a mysterious figure from the past looking to settle a score, Bond’s loyalties are put to the test as he comes to terms with his role in the agency and the technological advancements changing the old game of espionage.

Eighth Grade (2018) Film Review [Spoiler Free]

Middle school is a time filled with awkward growing pains and moments of self-discovery, though many may try to repress those memories. Comedian-turned-director Bo Burnham encapsulates the essence of early adolescence in his debut feature film, Eighth Grade. The comedic drama centers on the everyday life of 13-year-old Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) as she encounters the trials and triumphs of her eighth-grade year, such as making new friends, figuring out love, and finding herself.

Palm Springs International ShortFest Delivers “Desperate Measures”

The conflicts depicted in film come in many forms—whether they be products of nature or purely circumstantial by just being in the right place at the right time. The Palm Springs International ShortFest presented a program of short films appropriately titled “Desperate Measures,” showcasing different scenarios that are unified in theme about how the decisions we make can ultimately affect the outcome of future events. Shining the spotlight on fate, this collection of films poses the question of, “what would you do?”

“Something Completely Different” Comes to Palm Springs ShortFest

Living up to its reputation as being the largest and most diverse short film festival in the nation, the 2018 Palm Springs International ShortFest brought a program with a unique selection of films. “And Now For Something Completely Different…” attracted guests who were interested in seeing shorts that were offbeat, bizarre, and far from the typical Hollywood blockbuster formula. Borrowing Tape has got you covered in rating these cinematic oddities and introducing you to the more artsy side of the big screen.

Elements of Universal Unity in Cloud Atlas

To conclude, the interconnected plot lines in Cloud Atlas weave a universal fabric of collective experience. Although most of the ensemble of characters in the film are not related by blood or exist in the same time-frame as each other, they are related in a sense, as evidenced by a comet-shaped birthmark that they all possess in various locations on their bodies. The narrative also rekindles the missed opportunities of former characters and redeems them during their second lives.
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