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
3.5/5 97% 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 91% 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 99% 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
3.5/5 92% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) The Great Buster: A Celebration is a fine tribute to a legend everyone should remember. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4.5/5 78% Green Book (2018) The exceptionally crisp performances by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen are but two of the great things about Green Book, a very solid contender for Best Picture accolades, and much more. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4.5/5 96% Border (Gräns) (2018) However unsettling you may find Border, its grip is as strong as its convictions. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Sickies Making Films (2018) It's an admirable history lesson and enjoyable examination of Maryland's long-deceased era of film censorship, a period that extended from 1916 to 1981. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 4, 2019
4/5 99% Science Fair (2018) The film embraces friendships across borders and above politics, and showcases teenagers striving for excellence among their peers.... Like its incredible subjects, Science Fair is a winner. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
4/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) Mystery loves the company of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in Paul Feig's head-spinning, twisty-turvy tale of fremily intrigue. Equal - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3.5/5 100% Chained for Life (2018) Chained for Life's self-awareness about the nature of beauty - and how the World According to Schimberg perceives it - is obvious from the start...an hour-and-a half later, the dialogue on this topic only seems to be just getting started. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 26, 2018
4/5 96% Three Identical Strangers (2018) There's a large part of Three Identical Strangers that is disturbing, even though it's a smile-inducing miracle story about a family reunited, an early variant of the DNA pattern solving tv shows that abound today. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 3, 2018
2/5 33% The Catcher Was A Spy (2018) There's an unsettling blandness flowing through The Catcher Was a Spy, a well photographed and impressively designed film about a fascinating character who made a mark in two wildly divergent professions. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2018
4/5 91% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) Haley's look at the lighter, and lightly darker, side of family life between a father and his daughter is a super(b) counterpoint to this summer's blockbusters. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 9, 2018
3.5/5 90% Claire's Camera (La caméra de Claire) (2018) As for his style, Hong loves to linger. If he feels his actors are riffing on each other, he'll just let the camera roll. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2018
4.5/5 86% Mountain (2018) The word "breathtaking" doesn't do justice to Australian documentarian Jennifer Peedom's Mountain. It's so far beyond that. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2018
3/5 70% Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Ron Howard may be the person that Disney claims saved Solo, but it's a salvage job that proves less than endearing. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2018
4/5 83% Deadpool 2 (2018) The comedy is as dark as the blood in Deadpool 2, showcasing a truly inspired character's blend of invincibility and self-deprecation, flinging off one-liners faster than a machine gun spits bullets. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2018
4/5 89% Itzhak (2018) Chernick and her quartet of cinematographers and her probably overworked seamstress, editor Helen Yum, have created an entertaining, crowd-pleasing salute to a virtuoso whose life is truly inspirational. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2018
4/5 93% The Endless (2018) As the story becomes more unsettling, it's fun to watch how the filmmakers weave their characters into this mind-bending world. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 21, 2018
3.5/5 77% I Kill Giants (2018) There's a nice, intelligent air about this film, which offers up a well-crafted coping mechanism for dealing with childhood depression. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
1.5/5 50% Flower (2018) Here's a movie that might have worked with a female director and writer. Instead, it's a sad excuse for something contrived to creep you out. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2018
2/5 42% A Wrinkle in Time (2018) As a vehicle for self-worth and multiracial empowerment, A Wrinkle in Time scores points, but as a Disneyland ride it slides off the rails into a messy imitation of family fare. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 10, 2018
1/5 10% Kill Switch (2017) There is something fascinating in this film, but it can't make up for all that's wrong with it. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
1.5/5 63% The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One (2017) The Osiris Child plays as a derivative space western, with escalating excursions into gunfights that are just video game shoot-em-ups. Despite feeling this movie should work, it doesn't. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
3.5/5 84% Mayhem (2017) The tongue-in-check, over-the-top aspect of Mayhem, a looney tune of a film from director Joe Lynch, offers a steroid-infused day in the life of a really toxic office environment. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
1/5 7% 7 Guardians of the Tomb (2018) For me, this film sucked. Big time. Kelsey Grammer's cheeky contribution to this silly, monotonous movie is one of those debt reduction efforts that actors use to pay off mortgages - for him or one of his seven children - and alimony expenses. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
2.5/5 57% They Remain (2018) They Remain offers little genuine action until the film's final minutes - hardly worth the wait for anyone who has sat through the film's first 90. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2018
4/5 100% 2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Animation (2018) Finally, Negative Space.... is a joyful, inventive celebration about a son recalling how his father taught him the old school art of suitcase packing, the last of several standouts in this year's slate. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2018
4/5 100% 2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2018) The two programs for the longish (29-40 minutes each) Documentary Shorts straddle both lighter and darker fare. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2018
3/5 No Score Yet The Astronauts' Bodies (Die Körper der Austronauten) (2018) It's a provocative, poetic trip, and an excellent debut for an international talent. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
4/5 No Score Yet Closure (2018) ...you might want to catch this whimsical gem - and make room for its sardonically witty fish-out-of-Midwestern-water tale on the Hollywood-as-another-planet list. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2018
3.5/5 88% The Insult (L'insulte) (2018) With the political landscape throughout the world so strained, whether referring to Lebanon or the United States, The Insult takes on a global relevance in its message. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
2.5/5 No Score Yet Christmas Dreams (2017) With irreverent nods to Busby Berkeley one minute and to Rocky Horror Picture Show the next, this is a truly strange and wondrous salute to Christmas. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
2/5 74% Mom and Dad (2018) All that grunting and groaning you hear during the film? A good deal of it is coming from the audience. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 2, 2018
1/5 No Score Yet Crazy Famous (2018) Yes, mark your calendars: January 9, 2018-the day to do anything but watch this film. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 5, 2018
1.5/5 30% Wonder Wheel (2017) The actors work up a lather in trying to deal with the writer-director's various sour and neurotic characters, most of whom appear stuck in a bad high school production of a Tennessee Williams play. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017
4.5/5 92% The Shape of Water (2017) ...you have to admire del Toro for pressing full bore into his make-believe world with such nightmarish whimsy. The embittered, black Cold War coal he collects in The Shape of Water is somehow crushed into a diamond of a film. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 15, 2017
77% Sweet Virginia (2017) There is a deep sense of menacing anxiety that pervades this city-cat-vs.-town-mouse tale. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2017
4/5 88% 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) 78/52 is a Hitchcock primer crafted with medical precision and heartfelt devotion. It's a quenching exploration of an unsettling scene that has transcended pop culture. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2017
3.5/5 79% Realive (2017) ... Realive will push the emotional buttons on the ethical conundrums that will greet the newly reborn, adrift in a world different from the one they left behind decades earlier. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2017
1/5 24% Woodshock (2017) The answer to whether smoking kills lies beneath the surface of this abstract but ultimately empty-plotted first feature from sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, better known for having created the designer label Rodarte. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2017
4/5 97% Lucky (2017) It's a damn shame that Stanton won't be around for the accolades he'll receive for the luckiest role of his life. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2017
4.5/5 87% Blade Runner 2049 (2017) ...Blade Runner 2049 arrives at our doorsteps clocking in at 2 hours and 44 minutes. I dare say that very few of its moments are wasted, and, yes, it has been worth the wait. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2017
3.5/5 93% School Life (2017) School Lifeserves as an intimate all-access pass to a rustic piece of Irish heaven. N Chianin and Rane offer a simple yet soothing salve which shows how an educational experience can provide worldly experience and confidence building. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2017
85% Anti Matter (2017) Anti Matter plays loose with science, but certainly entertains with a good, attractive cast. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2017
4/5 90% Marjorie Prime (2017) Marjorie Prime is an impressive accomplishment, especially when you factor in the meager 13-day shooting schedule. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2017
1/5 29% I Do... Until I Don't (2017) There are problems a-plenty in Vero Beach, Florida, and after watching them dribble forth in the lame ensemble comedy I Do...Until I Don't, I feel that this piece of sunshiny beach would be the last place on earth I'd want to live. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2017
2/5 82% The Trip to Spain (2017) Taken in tapas-size morsels, the original television episodes are probably fine samplings of cuisine and comedy, but when you push them all together into a 108-minute feature, the droll gluttony begins to set in. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2017
4/5 84% Dave Made a Maze (2017) I think it can best be paraphrased as a wildly fantastic funhouse retelling of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, staged in a grade school set of Doctor Who's TARDIS - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2017
1/5 16% The Dark Tower (2017) The phrase "lump of coal" comes to mind after watching The Dark Tower, a lavish and most definitely lackluster CliffsNotes abridgment of a CliffsNotes adaptation of the Stephen King science fiction-fantasy-western magnum opus. - Film International EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 5, 2017