StrongArm’s Cinequest Recommendations for March 6th-March 10th

\What’s up everyone,

Today I’m writing about film for ya’ll, contrary to my usual posts about Hip-Hop and Urban Department happenings.

As many of you may know Cinequest Film Festival has been going on in Downtown San Jose from February 26th, and it ends this upcoming sunday on March 10th. I’m going to briefly mention a few films that I recommend which still have screenings. I’ll also mention some other films which don’t have screenings yet, however you may be able to catch those films on Encore Day (3/10) which is the day all the best-rated films are shown again for those who may have missed their screenings.
Cinequest is very unique event where Camera 12, Repertory Theatre & California Theatre host some amazing films for this 2 week span. In addition to great foreign films, independent marvels & innovative shorts, this year Spartan Film Studios is premiering the finished version of a film which was the summer feature at San Jose State 2 summers ago. The film has been altered and completed since last year’s Rough Cut screening at Cinequest, and was shown last night at 9:30 pm at the Repertory Theatre.

Must-See Films to Check out (According to StrongArm):


1. The Racket Boys (United States) – An existential comedy which tells the story of 2 friends who aim to take a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco for their respective reasons. They make a pit stop about 30 minutes into the trip and pick up a hitchhiker, who seems to just be happy get away from LA. Of the 10 films I have seen this year, this is one of the stand-outs.

When you can see it: Wednesday, March 6th 4:30pm At Repertory Theatre, and hopefully Encore day (march 10th)


(Left to Right:  Paul Haapaniemi, Brandon Willer & Dannikke Walkker on set of “The Racket Boys”


2. One Day Or Another (Turkey)


A great ensemble piece weaving together stories of several characters in a small Turkish Town. Similar to the works of Abass Kiarostami and other Iranian New Wave films, Ali Vatansever’s film is both complex, rich with imagery and powerful performances, and cultural context.

Interweaving the stories of a young boy whose love letter falls into the wrong hands, a mysterious French woman who is mistaken for the town’s new english teacher, a young adult who dodges rumors abouta village girl whom he wishes to marry, and a young woman who is somewhat uncertain about her recent engagement. With some great performances, writing and direction and cinematography, this is easily one of my favorite films of this year’s festival.  When you can see it: Thursday March 7th, 6:45pm  & hopefully Encore day (march 10th)

3. Dreamer


This is a very powerful film. Jesse Salmeron brings to light the story of a young undocumented mexican-american, who has been raised and informally adopted by an American family. The film is a gripping tale of the American Dream, from a perspective Hollywood seldom touches on. With an amazing powerful performance from Jeremy Ray Valdez (La Mission), and a powerful screenplay from writer/director, Jesse Salmeron, this is a must-see.

When you can see it: Thursday March 7th, 5:00pm at The Repertory Theatre &  hopefully Encore day (march 10th)

4. Twenty Million People


A realistic romantic-comedy. Yeah there is a such a thing. Michael Ferrell’s film examines relationships in a familar way however the screenplay is so rich with hilarious exchanges, raw emotions and great plot twists, that it warrants me to say, this not your average romantic comedy.
[vimeo 55793713 w=660 h=371]

Twenty Million People Official Trailer from Escape Pod Films on Vimeo.

With solid performances from Ferrell himself, Devin Sanchez and Chris Prine, this film is both refreshing, entertaining, and provides some insight into why some bachelors and bachelorettes have trouble settling down or getting into relationships that last longer than a few weeks. This is a film that everyone can enjoy and relate to. When you can see it: Friday, March 8th at 12:00(Noon) at camera 12  & hopefully Encore day (march 10th)


5. Detonator –


A very interesting examination of the psyche of a former punk-rock musician, Sully,  whose now been “domesticated” and living a normal suburban life with a wife and kid. When an old band member comes in to town and the two hang out, a series of events and emotions are resurfaced, and Sully battles between the world he used to live in and his current life.




With powerful direction, great cinematography, great use of the musical score, and great performances, this film rounds out my Top 5 films to see during the next few days of cinequest.  When you can see it: Wednesday March 6th, 2:45pm at Camera 12 & hopefully Encore day (march 10th).




Written by Arman Mahmoudi (@StrongArm408)




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