Swing Away (Michael A. Nickles, 2016): USA/Greece

Reviewed by Katrina Storton. Viewed at private screening.

I was recently given the opportunity to attend a screening and Q&A of Swing Away (2016) in Rancho Mirage, California before it releases on March 10th, 2017.

Swing Away is about Zoe Papadopoulos, a professional golfer who travels to her grandparents’ village in Greece to escape the harsh spotlight of the international sports world after being suspended from her tour. While enjoying the paradise that is Greece, Zoe meets ten-year old Stella, a determined golf novice. Zoe decides to take Stella under her wing and teach her golf.

The movie is light-hearted and wholesome. It is family friendly and offers the lesson of never giving up on your dreams. It features beautiful scenery from the island of Rhodes. The majority of the film is set at the Afandou golf course, one of the oldest golf courses in Greece.

Swing Away is directed by Michael A. Nickles (This is Not a Film) who you may remember as Jim Morrison from Wayne’s World 2 (1993). Zoe Papadopoulos is played by Shannon Elizabeth (Love Actually, Thir13en Ghosts), well known for her portrayal of Nadia in

Posted at 6am on 03/01/17 | no comments | Filed Under: Films read on

Have a Nice Day (Liu Jian, 2017): China

Reviewed by Larry Gleeson during the Berlin Film Festival.

Chinese artist/filmmaker Liu Jian delighted the house at the Berlinale Palast Theater during the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Utilizing a warm color palette and an exceptional musical score mixing classical American jazz with traditional Chinese sounds, provided by the Shanghai Restoration Project, Liu Jian takes the viewer on a colorful journey through a southern Chinese city drawing several people from diverse backgrounds with different motives into bloody conflict in the darkly comedic, animation feature film, Have a Nice Day.  But wait, there’s more!

Have a Nice Day is Liu Jian second foray into feature animation film. His first Piercing I, a cold, hard look at the 2008 global financial crisis. Liu Jian is now in production on his third film, a self-reflective animation feature, School Town, an autobiographical look at Liu Jian’s own life.

In Have a Nice Day, Liu Jian allows a bag containing a million yuan to take center stage as greed and selfish motives take over. The gangster boss who lays claim to the bagful of yuan holds court wistfully recalling days from future past while pontificating to

Posted at 12am on 03/01/17 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Berlin International Film Festival 2017, Films read on