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 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 88% 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 86% 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 80% 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 85% Synchronic (2019) 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 43% 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 96% 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 85% 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 89% 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 74% 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 87% 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 81% 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
4/5 100% 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 91% 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 78% 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 92% 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
3.5/5 93% 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 97% 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 97% 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 (2019) 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 32% 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 88% 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 87% 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 84% 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 90% 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 78% 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 51% 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 85% 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 54% 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