Elias Savada

Elias Savada

Agrees with the Tomatometer 81% of the time.

Biography:
Raised in Harrison NY, Elias Savada joined The American Film Institute immediately after his graduation from Cornell University in 1972, working on their ongoing project to catalog feature length motion pictures produced and released in the United States. In 1977 he began a five year stint as senior researcher at the Law Firm of E. Fulton Brylawski and J. Michael Cleary, a top copyright law firm. He returned to the AFI from 1983 to 1991, where he compiled a massive database of silent films released in the United States prior to 1911. The information he compiled was published in 1995 as the two-volume, 1,800-page, work-in-progress The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Film Beginnings, 1893-1910, listing over 17,000 films. Meanwhile, in 1977 Savada founded the Motion Picture information Service (MPIS), which originally assisted the United States Information Agency with repertory film programming for overseas cultural festivals, particularly the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon. In the ensuing years, he has arranged for the transportation of more than 2,000 films to the Cinemateca, the Filmoteca Española in Madrid, the San Sebastian (Spain) Film Festival, the Pordenone (Italy) Silent Film Festival, and other archives and events around the world. In September 2002 he served on the New Directors Jury at the 50th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival. In the mid-1980s he began to perform copyright research under his MPIS banner and now writes over 600 reports each year covering thousands of movies, television programs, songs, recordings, books, plays, etc., having serviced more than 850 clients, including law firms, motion picture and television production companies, home video firms, and individuals. Using a vast knowledge of cinema history and keen intuitive skills, he has been able to expand on a basic copyright report to include information not available in the Copyright Office files. Since 1991 he has been working out of his residence in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1975 he and co-author David J. Skal had their biography Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning, Hollywood's Master of the Macabre published by Doubleday. His interest in the director of Freaks (1932) and Dracula (1931), date from screenings of the films in a "flicks for kicks" course in college. It was nearly a quarter-century later that interviews he recorded in 1972 with associates and friends of Browning would be incorporated into the biography. The book, translated and published in Spain and Japan, has been optioned for feature production. Savada's interest in film mirrors his late father's professional infatuation with 78 rpm records. Morton Savada, who owner of Records Revisited in New York, was an expert in his field of this long-discontinued vinyl record format. Savada's obsession to detail has now been extended to his own family genealogy. For nearly two decades he has been tracking down cousins and has documented nearly 20,000 relatives. He was co-chair of the 23rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held in Washington DC in July 2003.
Favorites:
Top Eleven of 2004:1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind2. Finding Neverland3. The Incredibles4. Hotel Rwanda5. Vera Drake6. Shaun of the Dead7. Napoleon Dynamite8. Ray9. Million Dollar Baby10. Sideways11. Fahrenheit 9/11Worst Films of 2004 (in order suffered):Against the RopesThe Big BounceEurotripStarsky & HutchBroken Lizard's Club DreadTwistedThe Whole Ten YardsEnvyAround the World in 80 DaysSleepoverCatwomanThunderbirdsLittle Black BookExorcist: The BeginningFirst DaughterRaise Your VoiceBirthSurviving ChristmasChristmas with the KranksAlexanderTop Ten of 2003:1 In America2 American Splendor3 The Station Agent4 Lost in Translation5 Finding Nemo6 Blue Car7 Shattered Glass8 Capturing the Friedmans9 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King10 Kill Bill: Volume 1Worst 10 of 2003:1 In the Cut2 Gigli3 Dumb and Dumberer4 Grind5 Duplex6 Ghosts From the Abyss7 Alex & Emma8 Matchstick Men9 Hollywood Homicide10 Either Matrix sequelTop Ten of 2002:1. Bloody Sunday2. Bowling for Columbine3. About Schmidt4. Adaptation5. The Importance of Being Earnest6. Lord of the Rings, The: The Two Towers7. Chicago8. The Pianist9. Antwone Fisher10. Spirited AwayWorst 20 (alphabetical order) of 2002:Bad CompanyDans Ma PeaufeardotcomFormula 51Full FrontalHalf Past DeadI SpyKung Pow: Enter the FistMaster of DisguiseMr. DeedsNational Lampoon's Van WilderOrange CountyPossessionPumpkinResident EvilRollerballThe Salton SeaThe Time MachineThe Truth About CharlieWelcome to CollinwoodTop Ten of 2001:1. Memento2. The Man Who Wasn't There3. In the Bedroom4. The Deep End5. Shrek6. Hearts in Atlantis7. Amelie8. Monster's Ball9. Series 7: The Contenders10. PanicOther Favorites of 2001:Apocalypse Now ReduxA Beautiful MindBlack Hawk DownDark Blue WorldThe DishDonnie DarkoGhost WorldHedwig and the Angry InchLord of the RingsMoulin RougeMulholland Dr.SongcatcherTop Fifteen of 2000:Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonErin BrockovichBest in ShowFinding ForresterRoom for Romeo BrassTime CodeThe Tao of SteveTrafficNurse BettyChuck & BuckThe Life and Times of Hank GreenbergAlmost FamousTwo Family HouseWonderlandJoe Gould's SecretTop Five Foreign Films of 2000:Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonAimee and JaguarAdrenaline DriveThe Color of ParadiseShowerFavorites of 1999: American Beauty, Being John Malkovich, Election, October Sky, Affliction, Galaxy Quest, Twin Falls IdahoFavorites of 1998: Shakespeare in Love, Truman Show, Waking Ned Devine, Gods and Monsters, The Imposters, Life Is Beautiful, Rush Hour, Zero Effect, Wag the DogTop 25 Overlooked Films (1990-1999)1 Pi2 Cookie's Fortune3 Dick4 Election5 Flirting With Disaster6 October Sky7 Run Lola Run8 Waiting For Guffman9 The Spanish Prisoner10 Waking Ned Devine11 Fly Away Home12 Go13 Citizen Ruth14 Grosse Pointe Blank15 Muriel's Wedding16 The Impostors17 The Secret Garden (1993)18 Smilla's Sense of Snow19 Ulee's Gold20 Cold Comfort Farm21 Drop Dead Gorgeous22 The Iron Giant23 Sneakers24 Twin Falls, Idaho25 The Minus Man
Publications:
Film Threat , Nitrate Online
Critics' Group:
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
Total Reviews:
439
Total QuickRatings:
28
Location:
Bethesda MD

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 151 - 200 of 439
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2.5/4 26% Along Came Polly (2004) " Along Came Polly is an engaging trifle, flatulently overwritten yet filled with enough eccentric characters and comic timing to make it worth the risk." — Nitrate Online
Posted Feb 2, 2004
3.5/4 93% Touching the Void (2004) " Fear Factor. Survivor. Move over, you minor league adventurers. You want compelling? Climb up to Touching the Void." — Nitrate Online
Posted Feb 2, 2004
3/4 72% Girl With a Pearl Earring (2004) " ...a sight for sore eyes, but there's something missing here that would make the film a truly mesmerizing piece. A good story." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 4, 2004
3/4 77% The Cooler (2003) " Bello and Baldwin both provide extremely well defined characters... It's always fun watching Macy make an unlikely winner of a sympathetic loser." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 4, 2004
3/4 68% What Alice Found (2003) " There's something fresh and honest here." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 1, 2004
3/4 77% Big Fish (2003) " Tim Burton's latest flight into fantasy lands a near-solid hook, line, and sinker as a whimsical family fable..." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 1, 2004
2.5/4 84% Gloomy Sunday (Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod) (2003) " ou'll have to amble through Gloomy Sunday's less than remarkable, albeit haunting, first half (but it) swells up to a fitting bookend and zinger of a finish." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 27, 2003
4/4 95% The Station Agent (2003) " Here is a film with talent, sophistication, humor, and sensitivity rolled into a joyous, grief-cleansing, heart-lifting 90 minutes." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 26, 2003
3/4 52% The Holy Land (2003) " The Holy Land espouses love and sex and in the wrong, or right places, and doesn't flinch, even if the story wanders off into an occasional dramatic desert." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 15, 2003
1/4 88% Yossi and Jagger (2003) " Yossi & Jagger doesn't quite translate.This military drama about relationships among a group of bored, horny soldiers lacks enough intensity to be taken very seriously." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 15, 2003
4/4 89% In America (2003) " A deeply personal, wishful film from Dublin-born and -based director-writer Jim Sheridan, In America is easily one of the year's best features." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 15, 2003
3.5/4 91% Shattered Glass (2003) " Billy Ray ... has crafted an entertaining film, filled it with understated performances, and delivered a small pearl." — Nitrate Online
Posted Nov 21, 2003
2.5/4 84% Pieces of April (2003) " This year's spilled turkey tribute...provides an abundance of holiday stuffing/suffering in dispelling the dysfunctional family spirit." — Nitrate Online
Posted Nov 7, 2003
3/4 89% In This World (2003) " A suffocating, bewildering journey that leaves you gasping for the comfort of your easy chair..." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 17, 2003
3/4 82% Step Into Liquid (2003) " ...the best surfing film ever made." — Nitrate Online
Posted Sep 9, 2003
3/4 79% Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) " ...a jolly roger rollercoaster of fun." — Nitrate Online
Posted Sep 5, 2003
0/4 8% Grind (2003) " Director La Scala can't direct his way out of this can of half-baked beans." — Nitrate Online
Posted Aug 30, 2003
3/4 80% I Capture the Castle (2003) " Castle (captures) a coming-of-age story and the changing romantic and economic relationships between family, friends, and paramours. It's a diamond in the rough." — Nitrate Online
Posted Aug 30, 2003
.5/4 10% Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) " It's the dumberest movie I've ever seen!" — Nitrate Online
Posted Jun 25, 2003
1/4 11% Alex & Emma (2003) " Alex & Emma drowns any iota of movie-magic romance and uncovers a drought of comic talent." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jun 25, 2003
4/4 99% Finding Nemo (2003) " C'mon, it's Pixar. Would you expect anything less than perfection?" — Nitrate Online
Posted Jun 2, 2003
2.5/4 73% The Italian Job (2003) " Sure, some people are in it for the money. We're here for the fun! Go, watch The Italian Job, and on the way home pick up a six-pack of MINI Coopers. They'll fit in the closet" — Nitrate Online
Posted Jun 1, 2003
2.5/4 67% Manic (2003) " Manic's landscape is filled with emotional thunderstorms; don't expect a sunny sky, but you might find a ray of hope." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jun 1, 2003
2.5/4 100% Kauas pilvet karkaavat (Drifting Clouds) (Far Away the Clouds Escape) (1996) " Nokia, Finlandia Vodka, and Aki Kaurismäki. Three exceptional Finnish exports of particular interest. ?Drifting Clouds blossoms." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 30, 2003
3/4 98% Spellbound (2002) " It's hard to believe that a film about spelling can be such grand entertainment. S-P-E-L-L-B-O-U-N-D is spellbinding." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 30, 2003
2.5/4 82% Stone Reader (2003) " Mark Moskowitz ? has made a quaintly interesting, but too long (at 128 minutes), self-involved docu-mystery for the literary-minded." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 23, 2003
3/4 28% Daddy Day Care (2003) " Daddy Day Care is not Toddlers of the Damned. It's Toddlers of the Damned Funny." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 12, 2003
3.5/4 81% Blue Car (2003) " ...perhaps slight of budget but full of heart, soul, and a ton of acting talent, all well stirred by a new director who has expertly transferred her story of family failures and teen dreams to the big screen." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 7, 2003
3/4 88% A Mighty Wind (2003) " A Mighty Wind keeps the comedy in tune. Even the flat humor comes off witty and sharp." — Nitrate Online
Posted May 2, 2003
1/4 14% The Young Unknowns (2000) " You're not going to feel enlightened by The Young Unknowns and, frankly, you'll probably benefit by keeping them unknown from your film-going pocketbook." — Nitrate Online
Posted Apr 25, 2003
3/4 99% Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time (2002) " ... a spellbinding study of Andy Goldsworthy, a Scottish land-sculptor who creates location-specific work using only the organic vegetation and minerals found in his "studio."" — Nitrate Online
Posted Apr 11, 2003
2/4 80% Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) " Like its subject's fateful voyage?, Ghosts of the Abyss makes it about two-thirds of the way to its port before sinking." — Nitrate Online
Posted Apr 11, 2003
2.5/4 35% What a Girl Wants (2003) " Cinderella's back and Disney doesn't have her." — Nitrate Online
Posted Apr 11, 2003
3/4 85% Chaos (2003) " Chaos is smart. Real smart. Revenge can't get much sweeter than this." — Nitrate Online
Posted Mar 17, 2003
3/4 67% The Ballad of Bering Strait (2003) " There's an infectious hope that permeates Ballad's short breath." — Nitrate Online
Posted Feb 28, 2003
1/4 43% L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin (2003) " Like the swamps on which the Siberian town Birobidzhan was built, Yale Strom's latest documentary L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin! is mired in mediocrity." — Nitrate Online
Posted Feb 13, 2003
3/4 69% Max (2002) " Max is an engrossing, repugnant, disturbing portrait of a dictator as a young unknown artist. It is compelling." — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 12, 2003
2.5/4 82% Shanghai Ghetto (2002) " Filmmakers Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann area headed east, Far East, in retelling a historically significant, and personal, episode detailing how one international city welcomed tens of thousands of German Jewish refugees while the world's democracie" — Nitrate Online
Posted Jan 12, 2003
3.5/4 96% The Pianist (2002) " The Pianist [is] a supremely hopeful cautionary tale of war's madness remembered that we, today, can prevent its tragic waste of life. Here is a divine monument to a single man's struggle to regain his life, his dignity and his music." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 31, 2002
3/4 81% Tully (2002) " Director and co-writer Hilary Birmingham's maiden feature... is a strong, polished, professional indie effort that bodes well for bigger success." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 30, 2002
3.5/4 77% Nicholas Nickleby (2002) " The delicious trimmings...arrive early and stay late, filling nearly every minute...with a lighthearted glow, some impudent snickers, and a glorious dose of humankind's liberating ability to triumph over a Scrooge or two." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 30, 2002
2/4 66% Solaris (2002) " Solaris fades to a less than satisfying conclusion, where its blending of space, time, reality, remorse, redemption, and George Clooney's naked butt might even have Albert Einstein pinching himself to see if he's still with us." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 25, 2002
2.5/4 80% The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002) " Fans of the show, their parents, and even kids not privy to the Nick channel will find this a rousing venture about a Dolittlesque girl named Eliza who talks to the animals." — Nitrate Online
Posted Dec 23, 2002
3/4 87% Hybrid (2001) " A highly unusual hayride through the cornfields of old, Hybrid showcases the odd and eccentric relics of a past culled from a family scrapbook filled barnyard cobwebs and the echoes of mislaid affections." — Nitrate Online
Posted Nov 4, 2002
2.5/4 76% Comedian (2002) " It won't bust your gut -- and it's not intended to -- it's merely a blandly cinematic surgical examination of what makes a joke a joke." — Nitrate Online
Posted Nov 4, 2002
1/4 51% The Man from Elysian Fields (2001) " The Man From Elysian Fields is a cold, bliss-less work that groans along thinking itself some important comment on how life throws us some beguiling curves." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 22, 2002
4/4 96% Bowling for Columbine (2002) " This disquieting, comic brand of guerrilla filmmaking is two hours of subjective preaching that should be required viewing." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 22, 2002
2.5/4 64% Below (2002) " As underwater ghost stories go, Below casts its spooky net out into the Atlantic Ocean and spits it back, grizzled and charred, somewhere northwest of the Bermuda Triangle." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 22, 2002
4/4 92% Bloody Sunday (2002) " The moral shrapnel and mental shellshock will linger long after this film has ended." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 22, 2002
3/4 92% The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) " ...it's a shame that [film]'s only appreciative audience might be those of us with memories deep enough to recall the rise and fall and rise again of one of the industry's true crap-shooting visionaries." — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 22, 2002
3.5/4 63% Moonlight Mile (2002) " [Brad] Silberling has prescribed a self-cathartic cinematic tale that both spiritually allows him to deal with a tremendous personal tragedy while also sharing a powerfully written dramatic narrative, filled with tenderness and comic flourishes, with his" — Nitrate Online
Posted Oct 2, 2002
Showing 151 - 200 of 439
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