Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Things Heard & Seen
Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Writer: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Based on: Elizabeth Brundage’s novel All Things Cease to Appear
Cast: James Norton, Amanda Seyfried, Rhea Seehorn, Natalia Dyer, Ana Sophia Heger, Karen Allen, F. Murray Abraham, Alex Neustaedter, Jack Gore, James Urbaniak
Seen on: 6.7.2021

Content Note: domestic violence, abuse, eating disorder

George (James Norton), Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) and their daughter Franny (Ana Sophia Heger) move from New York City to a small town where George was offered a teaching position at a small art college. Catherine, an artist herself, is reluctant about the move, but feels that she owes it to George to try. And Franny will probably enjoy living in a house with a garden. But after their arrival, Catherine gets the feeling that something is going on at their house, and with George.

Things Heard & Seen is a haunted house story in a double sense: it’s literally haunted by spirits, and figuratively haunted by the violence that occurs in it. This works surprisingly well together, though I didn’t like the ending all that much.

The film poster showing Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) superimposed over a house in the distance. Much smaller next to her face is George (James Norton) carrying their daughter Franny (Ana Sophia Heger).
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Advantageous (2015)

Director: Jennifer Phang
Writer: Jacqueline Kim, Jennifer Phang
Cast: Jacqueline Kim, Samantha Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Jennifer Ikeda
Seen on: 2.7.2021

Gwen (Jacqueline Kim) has been the face for a big cosmetics and aesthetic surgery company for a while and she hopes that with the introduction of a revolutionary new product, she will get a raise – a raise that would mean that her daughter Jules (Samantha Kim) could afford to continue to go to school. Instead Gwen is informed that she has become too old for the job, making her consider some very risky options for Jules’s sake.

Advantageous is a really excellent Science Fiction film, in both the sense that it is just a good movie and that it builds a very interesting, and scarily realistic future. The pacing isn’t perfect, but other than that, I really liked it.

The film poster showing a large letter A in front of a light blue wallpaper-like background. Inside the letter A, we can see Gwen (Jacqueline Kim) wearing a strange cap with wires coming from it.
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Dave Made a Maze (2017)

Dave Made a Maze
Director: Bill Watterson
Writer: Steven Sears, Bill Watterson
Cast: Meera Rohit KumbhaniNick ThuneAdam BuschJames UrbaniakFrank CaetiScott NarverStephanie AllynneKirsten VangsnessScott KrinskyTimothy Nordwind
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2017

When Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) returns home after a short trip, she finds a carton fort in her living her room and her boyfriend Dave (Nick Thune) inside that fort. Only that he claims that he can’t find his way out of the fort anymore, as it’s somehow gotten bigger and mazelike on the inside. After Dave forbids her to enter the fort, in case she got lost as well, Annie calls in a few friends for help and finally decides to go in and get Dave out. Much to her surprise, though, it turns out that Dave isn’t having a mental breakdown, he’s actually telling the truth – and now they’re all lost inside a maze that seems set to kill them.

Dave Made a Maze is sweet and funny and very well done. Despite a couple of things that I would have liked to be different, it’s entertaining and thoughtful from the first second to the last.

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