Elias Savada

Elias Savada
Tomatometer-approved critic
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 <b>The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Film Beginnings, 1893-1910</b>, 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 <b>Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning, Hollywood's Master of the Macabre</b> published by Doubleday. His interest in the director of <b>Freaks</b> (1932) and <b>Dracula</b> (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
Location: Bethesda MD
Official Websites: nitrateonline.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 No Score Yet Externo (2021) No, this isn't The Big Short, and Margot Robbie is nowhere in sight, but I wonder what the financial world might think of this film. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2021
3.5/5 75% Happy Times (2019) There is plenty of dark humor to be found in this Israeli-American hybrid from Haifa-born and Los Angeles-based director Michael Mayer...[a] horror excursion into impolite Los Angeles manners.... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2021
1/5 No Score Yet Cactus Jack (2021) The combination of hallucinogenic talk radio sketches and Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle on steroids affords actor R. Michael Gull to follow the filmmakers' urgings: 'Let's just make some shit in our basement ... and show hate like it really is.' - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2021
3.5/5 89% Sator (2019) [Director Jordan] Graham plays you with creaking floorboards, flashlights shining in dusty interiors, and just plain gloom. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2021
3/5 No Score Yet The Family Tree (2020) No doubt the film is somewhat stifled by its technical faults (at least in my online viewing). The Family Tree offers up a spiritual dish in a different setting, probably outside your comfort zone. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
1.5/5 37% The Marksman (2021) ...it's mostly a lackluster affair, sporting cardboard characters and gag-worthy clichés - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 14, 2021
4/5 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) Shadow in the Cloud is a small, fierce gem. Liang crafts a humdinger of a film, and Moretz lets it all out with a thrilling performance. Oh. What. Fun. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 31, 2020
2/5 59% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Like so many presents found under the tree this Christmas Day, there might be a lot of folks asking for a refund after viewing this sad excuse for a sequel. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 23, 2020
1/5 78% Greenland (2020) You know, if comets were made of farts, this might have been a fun film. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
3/5 88% News of the World (2020) News of the World ambles from scene to scene with an occasional spectacular landscape....Tom Hanks, front and center again, isn't enough to carry the film. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2020
2.5/5 43% They Reach (2020) They Reach offers slow build up and small jump scares. Too much music, not enough imagination, although the direction is adequate. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2020
3.5/5 100% Ashens and the Polybius Heist (2020) So either thank or curse the British Empire for unleashing Ashens and the Polybius Heist. For me? Pandemic be damned - empty your head and enjoy! - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
4/5 57% Come Play (2020) It's a fascinating concept, not that it's terribly original...but one that constantly put me on edge. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2020
4/5 85% Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) Borat's back in town. Let's celebrate! - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 22, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Missing in Brooks County (2020) The film examines, sometimes in gruesome detail, the unfortunate migrant disappearances and deaths that have occurred in this eponymous region of Texas, about an hour's drive from the Mexican border... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2020
2/5 39% Honest Thief (2020) Neeson does the job he's paid to do, and his gruff role here hits the intended spots and one-liners... but Honest Thief gets too cute for its own unbelievable good. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2020
3.5/5 93% Possessor: Uncut (2020) Possessor is heavy stuff. Shakespeare's tragedies never went this deep. Brandon Cronenberg has one-upped the master - Like Father, Like Son - and his darkness is absolute. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2020
4/5 89% Save Yourselves! (2020) Well-crafted even for its seemingly lowish budget, the movie is a doozy of a down-to-earth apocalypse farce. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet The Dead Ones (2019) From this long ago shoot in (Jeremy) Kasten's home town of Baltimore, the film reveals itself to be a nimble, fleet (73 minutes) and well-crafted entry. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
4/5 90% Kajillionaire (2020) The trio of deadpan blue collar crooks July has created could easily be hailed as conquering heroes in our current angst-filled, social-distanced world. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
2.5/5 62% The Secrets We Keep (2020) Rapace is out for blood here, but Chris Messina is mostly a nebbish this go-round. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 16, 2020
2.5/5 58% Tesla (2020) Ethan Hawke elevates the role as the lead actor in Tesla, but he never really gets to show much range.... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2020
4.5/5 92% The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) Bold, delightful, and eternally optimistic, The Personal History of David Copperfield is very clever indeed, without a hint of Victorian stuffiness. It's almost too much fun. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2020
3.5/5 82% Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) Like Santa Claus coming down the chimney at Christmas, Bill & Ted Face the Music offers a crazed, intoxicating gift we can use this quarantine season. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2020
2.5/5 53% Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) All the things that made the original so great are lacking in its new CGI-heavy follow-up. Its heart is still pumping with adrenaline, though. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
3/5 88% Sputnik (2020) If you going to watch this one at all, it's probably for the good performances, the steel blue production design (by Mariya Slavina) and the dark, brooding cinematography of Maxim Zhukov. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 19, 2020
4/5 100% Pariah Dog (2019) Pariah Dog highlights Alk's ability as an extremely gifted, poetic, and even counter-culture filmmaker who has fashioned a labor of love for his debut feature. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2020
4.5/5 94% Boys State (2020) The directors leave a solid marker that their hope for this country down the road centers around numerous youth civics enclaves spread around the country... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
4.5/5 99% The Fight (2020) The Fight gives all socially-conscious individuals hope that there are wonderful people making superhuman efforts to beat back horrid attempts to stifle basic human rights and dignities. It is glorious to watch them shine. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 31, 2020
2/5 75% The Rental (2020) It's another hung-out-to-dry whodunit...in which you never really learn whodunit. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 25, 2020
2/5 39% Ghosts of War (2020) [Director Eric Bress's] overly ambitious attempt to expand beyond a simple haunting tale implodes Ghosts of War's ending - when it most deserved being kept simple. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2020
3/5 80% The Old Guard (2020) Otherwise, it's a passable piece of mythology that feigns to be a culturally relevant action flick. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2020
4/5 88% The Truth (La vérité) (2020) Despite working with a French crew, Kore-eda seems to have found a common cinematic language that clears away any culturally awkward moments that might have found their way into his latest examination of the human condition. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 7, 2020
4/5 79% Homewrecker (2019) Sisterhood has not been this menacingly funny since Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 4, 2020
2/5 68% Bombshell (2019) Sadly, what Bombshell needs is an Adam McKay at the helm. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
4.5/5 99% Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) The low-key approach that Never Rarely Sometimes Always takes is quite successful in conveying the bare bones nature of its nuanced story. Embrace it. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
3/5 70% The High Note (2020) The High Note never reaches any great cinematic heights, but the music is fine and the ride pleasant enough. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
4/5 100% The Rabbi Goes West (2019) It's an absorbing film, I think, whether you are and aren't Jewish - and will find a receptive audience on either side of the aisle. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
3/5 71% 7500 (2020) Hey, it's not a bad first film, and I would love to see the director sink his teeth into someone else's screenplay for his next movie. It's doesn't have to be a blockbuster. 7500 certainly isn't. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
2.5/5 40% Irresistible (2020) Occasionally there's some of the flustered Dunder Mifflin/The Office fun lightening up the bleariness... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
2.5/5 48% My Spy (2020) It would have been nice if Segal was inspired beyond the heavy handed and poorly executed slapstick of My Spy. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 28, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Dark End of the Street (2020) The Dark End of the Street is a fine first feature, filled with good performances that probe the anxieties and suspicions in a small neighborhood. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2020
3/5 83% Love Type D (2019) [Love Type D] does have its moments until it rushes to solve one big scientific riddle with a bit of madcap ho hum in its finish. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2020
4/5 92% The Garden Left Behind (2020) Alves seriously explores the trials and tribulations of a young Mexican trans woman's hopes and aspirations in a New York City that doesn't always acknowledge her agenda... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 2, 2020
3.5/5 92% Monos (2019) Monos reflects on the darker side of life, hypnotizing you with its audio and visual stylings. War, even in the smallest space offered here, is not pretty. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
4.5/5 89% Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) I've always been a fan of her music. With Linda Ronstadt - The Sound of My Voice, I am stricken anew. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
2.5/5 74% The Death of Dick Long (2019) There's a swarth of idiocy running through this so-called dark comedy, but for the most part it fails at being what I had hoped for: funny. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
4/5 87% Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) Where's My Roy Cohn? could be a soap opera if it wasn't so real. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
4/5 92% Jim Allison: Breakthrough (2019) Jim Allison: Breakthrough is a most enjoyable, and remarkable, ramble. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
3.5/5 86% Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace (2019) (April Wright) has offered up another loving, exhaustive tribute to the large architectural wonders of indoor entertainment. All hail the Movie Palace. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019