Articles by Joel Crabtree


Longtime actor takes a stab at directing with Damnationland debut

on Oct. 15, 2014, at 6:53 p.m.
Jenny Anastasoff has been working in the film industry for roughly 20 years now. She’s been an actor, production assistant, an extra countless times, and ultimately a strong advocate for the Maine film scene. But, now there’s a new title Anastasoff can add to her resume, venturing into the world …

Maine filmmaker hopes to leave audiences ‘Tickled’ with latest horror flick

on Aug. 23, 2014, at 6:30 a.m.
Corey Norman, a Portland filmmaker who found success earlier this year with his first feature “The Hanover House,” is returning to the director’s chair for a short titled “Tickle.” The film, which just reached its funding goal on Kickstarter, will be part of Damnationland, an annual genre film festival featuring …

Glenn Close receives Maine Film Fest’s Mid-Life Achievement Award

on July 14, 2014, at 8:50 a.m.
For renowned actress Glenn Close, who was honored for her contributions to independent cinema at the Waterville Opera House on Sunday with the Maine International Film Festival’s Mid-Life Achievement Award, bringing “Albert Nobbs” to the screen was a labor of love. And, for Close, it was a journey that took more …

Pittsfield-native filmmaker reaches funding goal for sci-fi short ‘Frontier’

on July 10, 2014, at 6:13 a.m.
Last we checked in with Stephen Parkhurst, the Pittsfield-native filmmaker currently living in Astoria, NY, he had just completed his first feature film “Roommate Wanted,” a low-budget oddball thriller hybrid filmed in Bangor. As “Roommate Wanted” found funding success through Kickstarter, Parkhurst is giving crowd sourcing another shot with his next …

Maine-raised filmmaker, NYU grad tackles new project

on June 23, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.
In recent years, television networks have begun to push the boundaries of the medium, not only in the quality and depth of stories and characters, but also in the gritty and provocative presentation found in shows such as HBO’s “True Detective” or AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” This is where NYU graduate …

Maine International Film Festival: Glenn Close to receive Mid-Life Achievement, ‘Boyhood’ to open festival

on June 04, 2014, at 7:33 p.m.
The Maine International Film Festival recently announced that it will present actress-writer-director Glenn Close with its annual Mid-Life Achievement Award on Sunday, July 13, after a screening of Close’s film “Albert Nobbs.” Throughout her career, Close has earned three Emmy Awards, three Tony Awards, and six Academy Award nominations for …

Maine-made ‘How to Kill a Zombie’ premieres May 9 in Saco

on May 08, 2014, at 6:37 a.m.
There are some people in the world who are just natural-born storytellers. Take Bill McLean, for example, a Monmouth-based actor and screenwriter who has plenty of tales to tell. From his experiences filming with Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone in “Edge of Darkness” to his stage debut in a unique …

Portland filmmaker’s first feature to screen at Sanford, Emerge film festivals

on May 06, 2014, at 9:15 p.m.
Sure, pizza and marijuana may go hand-in-hand, but it’s when you add amateur detective work to the mix that things get interesting. Those are the themes of Portland-based filmmaker Jonathan Blood’s first feature film “The Water in the Bay,” scheduled to play at the Sanford International Film Festival, May 31-June …

Maine film ‘Hanover House’ gets what it wants (a world premiere) May 9-10

on April 09, 2014, at 5:43 a.m.
We’ve all heard the legend surrounding William Friedkin’s 1973 classic “The Exorcist,” where the production was surrounded by so many unusual deaths that many came to believe the film’s set was cursed. Same goes for “The Poltergeist” and “The Omen,” each one earning a bittersweet spot in Hollywood’s haunted history. …

Movie review: ‘Escape Plan’

on Oct. 28, 2013, at 8:46 p.m.
In theaters “Escape Plan,” written by Miles Chapman (story and screenplay) and Jason Keller (screenplay), directed by Mikael Hafstrom, 115 minutes, rated R. It’s 2013, and somehow there’s a movie currently in theaters starring both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And it’s not called “The Expendables. Or “The Expendables 2.” …

Blu-ray/DVD Pick(s) of the Week: ‘Before Midnight,’ ‘The Conjuring’

on Oct. 26, 2013, at 8:52 a.m.
This week on Blu-ray and DVD, we drop back into the lives of Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy), and I use the phrase “drop-in” because “Before Midnight,” the final film in Richard Linklater’s trilogy, is another fascinating intrusion into a segmented, pivotal point in the relationship of these …

Movie Review: ‘Carrie’ (2013)

on Oct. 22, 2013, at 4:54 p.m.
In theaters “Carrie,” written by Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (screenplay), Stephen King (novel), directed by Kimberly Peirce, 99 minutes, rated R. Now is the perfect time to revive Stephen King’s “Carrie,” the cautionary tale of the repercussions that may follow when teenagers push their peers too far. With …

DVD/Blu-ray Pick of the Week: ‘The Stranger’

on Oct. 19, 2013, at 4:05 p.m.
This week, Kino Lorber released a remastered edition of “The Stranger,” a tight political thriller from 1946, which also happens to be the third feature film directed by Orson Welles. Welles also stars in “The Stranger” as Charles Rankin, a college professor whose life is a facade, created to protect …

The Grand in Ellsworth to hold third annual LGBT Film Festival

on Oct. 17, 2013, at 5:40 a.m.
This weekend, the LGBT Film Festival celebrates its third year at The Grand in Ellsworth with a new theme to inspire hope, building on the previous years when the festival highlighted the “It Gets Better” movement and “Sharing the Stories.” “This year we come to another theme that could be …

Movie Review: ‘Captain Phillips’

on Oct. 16, 2013, at 5:40 a.m.
In theaters “Captain Phillips,” written by Billy Ray (screenplay), Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty (based upon the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea”), directed by Paul Greengrass, 134 minutes, rated PG-13. Paul Greengrass is one of those rare directors so good at what …

DVD/Blu-ray Pick of the Week: ‘I Married a Witch’

on Oct. 12, 2013, at 8:11 a.m.
Just in time for Halloween, The Criterion Collection has released Rene Clair’s 1942 supernatural screwball comedy “I Married a Witch,” a love story whose satire and wit still ring true more than 70 years after its initial release. The films opens at a witch burning in late-1600s Massachusetts, where a …

Movie Review: ‘Bad Milo’

on Oct. 11, 2013, at 3:44 p.m.
In theaters and on demand “Bad Milo,” written by Benjamin Hayes and Jacob Vaughan, directed by Vaughan, 85 minutes, rated R. Stress can lead to any number of ailments, both physical and mental. From heart disease to sleep disorders, when you begin to buckle under life’s pressure, and are rendered …

Movie Review: ‘Gravity’

on Oct. 08, 2013, at 9:47 p.m.
In theaters “Gravity,” written by Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, 90 minutes, rated PG-13. “Gravity,” the latest from acclaimed “Children of Men” director Alfonso Cuaron, lifts you up to the most solitary space imaginable, where the film sets up sequence after sequence of pure, relentless tension, …

Movie Review: ‘Rush’

on Oct. 02, 2013, at 7:36 p.m.
In theaters “Rush,” written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard, 123 minutes, rated R. What is it that drives two men to risk life and limb, racing each other in an open cockpit car at 170 mph, knowing full well that there’s a good chance when you step into …

Interview with ‘The Disappeared’ producer Walter Forsyth

on Sept. 29, 2013, at 8:59 p.m.
It could be argued that a confined story, one that features only a few characters in a tight space for the entire duration, is one of the most difficult to adapt for the big screen. Generally speaking, there’s nothing to hide behind. Not only are the actors out in the …