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
4/5 93% 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 66% 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 60% 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 93% 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 81% 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 50% 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 98% 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 38% 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 81% 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 78% 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 69% 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 70% 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 47% 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 80% 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 93% 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 75% 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 83% 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
4/5 83% Synchronic (2020) Synchronic is the latest crowd pleasing head turner from horror-science fiction filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and it offers up an intimate and slightly grisly spin on the hop backwards this (time travel) sub-genre affords. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
2.5/5 45% After the Wedding (2019) Despite the earnest intentions in how the film works through its melodramatic twists and turns, while touching on notions of regret, fulfillment, and life decisions, there won't be many bouquets tossed for After the Wedding. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 27, 2019
4.5/5 95% Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (2019) Alice Guy-Blaché was a consummate artist, and Pamela B. Green is gloriously following in her revolutionary footsteps. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
3.5/5 86% Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation offers rain-soaked memories and affectionate recollections of how it began and ended in a neat-and-clean 97 minutes. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 16, 2019
2/5 57% Brightburn (2019) In the end, there's an empty feeling that the filmmakers were just treading water, opting for a sequel money grab. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
3/5 88% American Woman (2019) American Woman has an appreciative, simple grace, but as it glides toward its final curtain, the film just seems to wimper out. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
4/5 77% The Spy Behind Home Plate (2019) While it doesn't hammer another home run for (director Aviva) Kempner, it's a solid triple and a worthwhile salute to a great baseball star, a true American hero...and a spy. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Unarmed Man (2019) Jackson's direction offers intelligent touches to notch up the tension when needed - quicker edits, closer shots, carefully orchestrated dialogue delivery, the use of longer lenses as the film progresses... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 21, 2019
4/5 96% Hail Satan? (2019) Never has a Penny Lane film been this funny. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2019
4.5/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) If you've survived all the cliffhangers Marvel has tossed about in its awesome masterplan; pray tell, what happens after the dust has settled? It's epic. Quite somber, but epic. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
3.5/5 84% Depraved (2019) It's not a great film, but it is nice to see how Fessenden has put a nice off-kilter spin on a classic story. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
3.5/5 84% The Brink (2019) Probing Bannon: Alison Klayman and Marie Therese Guirgis on The Brink [interview] - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 82% 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2019) Not particularly child-friendly, this ... features five one-word titles ranging from 17 to 30 minutes in length, with a breakdown that brings two films from Quebec, one from Spain, an Irish entry, and a striking film from the United States. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 93% 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2019) The rather long (143 minutes) Documentary Shorts program offers a solid lineup. Two (Period. End of Sentence and End Game) are available as originals on Netflix. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 92% 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2019) The 56 minutes of nominated Animated Shorts has been buffed up with two additional items (Wishing Box and Tweet Tweet) for a respectable 73-minute running time. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
4/5 79% Captain Marvel (2019) Captain Marvel, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rallies itself after a sluggish start, and ultimately proves itself an acceptable crowdpleaser. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 23, 2019
3.5/5 98% Rodents of Unusual Size (2018) It's a quirky and well-researched animal documentary about nutrias, those semiaquatic South American natives that, over the last century, invaded the swamplands of Louisiana in the tens of millions... - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2019
3/5 90% Hal (2018) ...a reflective meditation on the (high) life and (best) films of Hal Ashby, a director of note during the 1970s, when he churned out award-worthy films that now shape this debut documentary from Los Angeles-based editor Amy Stone. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4.5/5 97% Free Solo (2018) Spiderman, move over. There's another fearless warrior on your tail. For those of us who prefer solid, flat earth, take a seat watching Free Solo. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019