Ben Umstead
East Coast Editor; Los Angeles, California

Born in New England, bred around the Capital Beltway, and schooled in the heart of Hollywood, Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC. He can once again be found wandering the streets of Los Angeles.

Crowdfund This! Nathan Silver's Black Comedy STINKING HEAVEN

[UPDATE: With ten hours left in the campaign STINKING HEAVEN has less than $1,000 to reach their goal. If it's any incentive to give 'em that final push, Nathan Silver's fourth feature UNCERTAIN TERMS will be world premiering next month... More »
  

Now Stomping Across The World: Original GODZILLA Instills Nuclear Fear

The mighty roar still causes goose-pimples. An angry, desperate, anguished cry against the inhumanity of man, the original Godzilla (Gojira) remains a powerful drama. In honor of the film's 60th anniversary, Rialto Pictures is touring Godzilla: The Japanese Original across... More »
  

LA Film Festival Announces 2014 Lineup

The Los Angeles Film Festival is turning 20 this year, and to celebrate, the fine folks at Film Independent have quite the whopper of a line up. Bong Joon-ho's hotly anticipated science fiction actioner Snowpiercer opens the fest, which runs... More »
  

Newport Beach 2014 Review: THIS LAST LONELY PLACE, A Fine Tuned, Pitch Dark Noir

Picture it: The gun in the lap of a beautiful dame. A once powerful man hounded by the shadows of his triumphs. The cabbie with a kind heart and worn eyes. A fresh start. That last trick. The final score.... More »
  

Trailer For Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD Charts Just That

An easy like during this year's Sundance was Richard Linklater's latest, and long in the works, Boyhood, which saw the Dazed And Confused helmer shoot the same cast over a 12 year period to chronicle the trials and triumphs (and... More »
  

Review: MOONE BOY Season 2 Is Very Fecking Good

Tales of boyhood, of one's family, and one's town, are a down right staple in TV Land. From Leave It To Beaver to The Wonder Years, it seems that every decade of television must have at least one iconic male-centered... More »
  

Review: SOFT IN THE HEAD, A Drama That Hits Hard, Harder, Hardest

Filmmaker Nathan Silver's cinema is a cinema of people. Hard and foul and furious and loveable and resilient people.Now I know that may seem like a rather odd statement to make, when, after all cinema is full of people. But... More »
  

Tribeca 2014: Twitch Raises The Curtain With 17 Must-Sees

Spring has most certainly arrived in The Big Apple (finally), which means so has the Tribeca Film Festival. Now in its 13th year, the fest kicks off tonight with Time Is Illmatic, multimedia artist One9's documentary on Nas' landmark album... More »
  

Series Preview: Art Of The Real Tests The Boundaries Of Documentary Filmmaking

Film Society of Lincoln Center's inaugural film series Art of the Real - a showcase for nonfiction films that pushes the farthest boundaries of documentary filmmaking, is for me, one of the most exciting film series I have had the... More »
  

Preview: Panorama Europe Spotlights New & Old Voices Alike

As spring finally arrives in the Big Apple so do a swatch of European films that have largely gone unnoticed even on the festival circuit. Leave it to the European Union National Institutes for Culture then to say "Hey, hold... More »
  

The Trailer For Kelly Reichardt's NIGHT MOVES Creates A Palpable Sense Of Paranoia

Those that have kept abreast of the American Indie scene the last 8 years or so, should know full well that Kelly Reichardt is a writer and director of considerable power, even when working in such minimalist aesthetics. While Old... More »
  

Review: HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES, A Daring And Complex Portrait Of Childhood

In childhood, those magical spaces and feelings of curiosity and wonder; those feelings and urges that could propel you to great heights and even greater adventures, sit so precariously close to what one can only describe as apocalypse: those weighted... More »
  

New JUPITER ASCENDING Trailer Aims For The Epic

Fans of the future dystopian segment in Lana and Andy Wachowski's Cloud Atlas, take note. The second trailer for their latest flick takes a lot of that hefty sci-fi morality and ethics ball game seen in the Seoul-set story of... More »
  

Noah Segan To Get Punched By Marko Zaror In REDEEMER

Ernesto Díaz Espinoza's next with fellow Chilean, and rising martial arts star, Marko Zaror is continuing to shape up with the casting of American Noah Segan. Most recently seen at SXSW in psychological horror Starry Eyes, and best known to... More »
  

Tribeca 2014: Watch The Pulse Pounding Trailer For Midnighter THE CANAL

As we ramp up for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC this April 16 - 27, more and more material on the films that will be playing the fest come pouring in. Today we've discovered that the festival page... More »
  

Věra Chytilová, The First Lady Of Czech Cinema, Has Passed

Czech New Wave director Věra Chytilová passed away earlier this week, on March 12, according to the Prague Post. She was 85 years old. Chytilová is best known to international cinephiles as the master mind behind Daisies, the rambunctious, undefinable... More »
  

NYC Happenings: A Tribute To Donald Richie Returns To Japan Society

If you know Japanese Cinema, especially pre-1980s, but certainly not excluding current generations of filmmakers, then you no doubt know the name Donald Richie. The American critic who adopted Japan as his home after the war, Richie was an instrumental... More »
  

This Exclusive LUCKY BASTARD Clip Suggests You Whack Off

Oh, poor Dave, he just can't seem to catch a break. Your typical mild-mannered lover of pornography, Dave is now the winner of an online contest where he gets to sleep with a pornstar (while the cameras roll of course).... More »
  

Review: COMMUNITY S5EP08 "App Development And Condiments" Gets Dystopic

I've spent a good few minutes typing and retyping more informed, humorous and/or clever openings to this review, only to come back to this conclusion: Last night's Community was an episode that featured one of the show's always interesting experiments... More »
  

FRANK Trailer: Fans Of Papier-mâché Heads & Art Rock Rejoice

Yep, it's that Sundance flick where Michael Fassbender wears a giant apier-mâché head. And by the looks of its first trailer Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's flick feels down right delightful if you ask me. Our own Jason Gorber reviewed the... More »
  
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