Reviews

The Convoluted Messaging of ‘I Care A Lot’

In media, anti-heroes are usually men, like Don Draper and Walter White. I Care A Lot tries to subvert this by making the anti-hero a woman. While this idea sounds great, the film does not develop its lead beyond being a woman; it does nothing to address the cruelty of the protagonist’s actions, which leaves… Continue reading The Convoluted Messaging of ‘I Care A Lot’

Festivals, Reviews

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’: A Powerful Film with the Best Performances of the Year

Judas and the Black Messiah is a film from a rising Black director, starring two of the most talented Black actors in Hollywood, about one of the most prominent figures of the Black Panther Party: Fred Hampton. As someone who isn’t American, I knew very little about the Black Panther Party other than their open… Continue reading ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’: A Powerful Film with the Best Performances of the Year

Reviews

‘Herself’: An Empathetic, Cinematic Manual for Self-Builders

After fleeing from her abusive husband Gary (Ian Lloyd Anderson), a young Irish mother named Sandra (Clare Dunne) reconstructs her life by DIY-building her own house for her two children in Phyllida Lloyd’s (known for Mamma Mia! and Iron Lady) third and recent empowering film Herself.  Dunne, who also wrote the film, gracefully embodied her… Continue reading ‘Herself’: An Empathetic, Cinematic Manual for Self-Builders

Reviews

“Supernova” and Its Little Lesson About Silence

In Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace squarely said that you know you found the one "when you can just shut the fuck up" and never feel the need to fill the silence with empty small talk. Harry Macqueen's Supernova shows Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth derive both pleasure and unease in silence, but mostly… Continue reading “Supernova” and Its Little Lesson About Silence

Essays

On Post Break-Up Films: The Beginnings they Offer After Endings

Breakups in film have always been portrayed as a painful and dramatic experience: the heated exchanges between couples, the tearful parting, and a resolution where they either reconcile or find someone new. Turning to film and seeing these did not provide a lot of comfort and hope when I had to deal with my own… Continue reading On Post Break-Up Films: The Beginnings they Offer After Endings

Reviews

‘The Dig’: An Idealistic Escape

As lockdowns and restrictions persist in most countries, it is no surprise that streaming giants are taking advantage of their accessibility. Renowned directors like Noah Baumbach are having exclusive deals with Netflix; Ryan Coogler just signed a 5-year exclusive deal with Disney. It’s not a far-off prediction that film distribution has changed forever, to the… Continue reading ‘The Dig’: An Idealistic Escape

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Flee’—A Beautiful Documentary Dealing with a Man’s Journey to Freedom and Identity

It starts with Amin finally telling his story to his filmmaker friend, the documentary’s director, under the condition that his name and the places mentioned are changed to conceal his identity. This led to the choice of telling this story through animation, with some mix of archival footage. Rasmussen and Amin knew each other when… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Flee’—A Beautiful Documentary Dealing with a Man’s Journey to Freedom and Identity

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Try Harder!’—An Electrifying Documentary that Captures the Life of Overachieving Students

What’s amazing about high school-centric documentaries is that we all went through what the subjects are going through, so we already have this affinity towards them. Debbie Lum’s Try Harder! captures the life of seniors attending a top magnate public school in San Francisco as they prepare for the next step in their academic life.… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Try Harder!’—An Electrifying Documentary that Captures the Life of Overachieving Students

Essays

‘Irma Vep’ and the Place of Audacity in Cinema

There is something strange and bold about Olivier Assayas’s 1996 film Irma Vep. Even with more than twenty years removed from the subject, the film can still evoke strong feelings about its subject matter. Even in today’s film environment, it finds itself remaining relevant through its outlook on the commercialization of the film industry and… Continue reading ‘Irma Vep’ and the Place of Audacity in Cinema

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘The World to Come’—Another White Lesbian Period Film

Spoilers ahead. The World to Come is another white lesbian period film. After the success of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and the mixed reception of Ammonite, it seems this subgenre of LGBT romance found an audience that would constantly eat it up (including me!). Directed by Norwegian director Mona Fastvold, who co-wrote the… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘The World to Come’—Another White Lesbian Period Film