Reviews

‘Definition Please’: A Charming Debut on Sibling Love and Identity

Sujata Day’s charming debut tells the story of Monica Chowdry (played by Day herself) and her family in the Pennsylvanian suburbs. Monica spends her days taking care of her mother and struggling with the failure of living up to her potential since her big spelling bee win. She occasionally teaches a bunch of kids whose… Continue reading ‘Definition Please’: A Charming Debut on Sibling Love and Identity

Reviews

Mapping the Displacement of Innocence in ‘Bullet-Laced Dreams’

The archipelagic structure of our country cultivates a sense of displacement as the mainstream favors the metropolis. Communities from other regions are not given the same favorable coverage, with the plight of the indigenous communities often unheard. This has led to most tribes migrating to the city as well, to gain safety and to have… Continue reading Mapping the Displacement of Innocence in ‘Bullet-Laced Dreams’

Reviews

‘Ride or Die’ Isn’t the Sapphic Runaway Film of Our Dreams

There are two ways in which sapphic stories are portrayed on screen. A lot goes into these categories, mind you, but let's simplify them: good sapphic films and bad sapphic films. Ride or Die somehow straddles the line, but it tips over to undesirable at best and downright problematic at worst. Adapted from Gunjou, a… Continue reading ‘Ride or Die’ Isn’t the Sapphic Runaway Film of Our Dreams

Reviews

‘Raya and The Last Dragon’: More Than A Disney Princess’ Trust Issues

It's quite impressive of Disney to be thoughtful and flexible in transforming their princesses over the generations. It’s almost never talked about, but it can be pretty overwhelming how creating a Disney princess can be a huge responsibility. If you look at it closely, it's beyond a documentation of an era; it's also building an… Continue reading ‘Raya and The Last Dragon’: More Than A Disney Princess’ Trust Issues

Reviews

‘Dead Pigs’: A Cinematic Postcard

Director Cathy Yan of Birds of Prey fame actually made her first directorial debut in 2018 with Dead Pigs, a meditation on loneliness, class, and connection in modern-day Shanghai. Five characters from different backgrounds intersect and intertwine in the style of Love, Actually and Crazy Stupid Love, their stories coinciding with the resurfacing of 16,000… Continue reading ‘Dead Pigs’: A Cinematic Postcard

Essays

‘Malcolm & Marie’ and The Grizzly Business of Inspiration

Contains Spoilers for the Netflix film Malcolm & Marie Malcolm & Marie, the 2021 Netflix film written and directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, is the kind of movie that could only be a must-see event during a pandemic. It’s a bare-bones, black-and-white, single-location drama with only two actors on screen, and a script that… Continue reading ‘Malcolm & Marie’ and The Grizzly Business of Inspiration

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