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Anomaly film festival

Anomaly film festival review: 'The Columnist'

Nov 13, 2020
Pief Weyman

Anyone who remembers Rebecca Black’s hit song “Friday” knows how cruel internet critics can be. When the song was released in 2011, trolls hit up YouTube comments, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to berate the singer with insults, jokes, and even death threats.

In the 2020 film “The Columnist,” the title character, Femke Boot (played by Katja Herbers), faces the same problem as Black. Femke, however, chooses a very different response to internet criticism of her newspaper columns.

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Watching “The Paper Tigers,” I settled in with excitement, right after I recovered from the line, “You look like a fat, Asian Mr. Rogers.”

Quoc Bao Tran’s impressive debut film — the 2020 opening night selection of the Rochester-based Anomaly film festival — is a refreshing and hilarious take on the kung fu movie genre. Packed with one-liners, a great cast, and some chummy pep talks, Tran’s action-comedy is a heartwarming story about friendship and honor.

Anomaly film festival review: 'The Twentieth Century'

Nov 13, 2020
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An ice skate decapitation. A traitor impaled on a narwhal. A group of men competing to club the most baby seals.

These images, both garish and hilarious, are littered throughout director and screenwriter Matthew Rankin’s “The Twentieth Century," one of the genre films being featured in  Rochester’s virtual Anomaly film festival this year. (CITY contributing writer Adam Lubitow serves as the festival's co-founder and director of programming; The Little Theatre's Events and Special Programming Coordinator Matt DeTurck is Anomaly's creative director.)