Essays

‘The Matrix Resurrections’: Destroying the Illusion of Binaries in Society

In Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections, we find Thomas Anderson, A.K.A. Neo (played by Keanu Reeves), having to choose whether to take the red pill or the blue pill while watching a similar scene from the first Matrix movie projected on the screen of an abandoned theater, with Morpheus (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) showing… Continue reading ‘The Matrix Resurrections’: Destroying the Illusion of Binaries in Society

Essays

‘Blood and Black Lace’: The Yellowed Mysteries of Giallo Films

Down and Dirty Cinema explores exploitation films and how they helped shape the cinema of today. *** Watching the opening sequence of Blood and Black Lace, it feels like you’re in for a ride. There’s a hall of mannequins lit in colorful neon lights; jazzy music plays in the background as the camera pans over… Continue reading ‘Blood and Black Lace’: The Yellowed Mysteries of Giallo Films

Essays

Hope in The Time of Chaos: How Action Films Make Great Christmas Films

Christmas films are usually a different beast from the typical movies made with the expressed goal of bringing hope in hopeless times. Normally, the inspirational aspect of these films comes not from extraordinary people or events, but from ordinary people with ordinary morals and failings. They come together in this time of year to find… Continue reading Hope in The Time of Chaos: How Action Films Make Great Christmas Films

Reviews

‘Benedetta’ and How Power Structures Validate The Beliefs We Have

Spoilers ahead. Paul Verhoeven might be one of the greatest modern-day iconoclasts in film history. A satirist and provocateur who never lets good taste get in the way of his moral statement, he has made some of the most subversive critiques of Western society while making them fun and accessible to a general audience.  His… Continue reading ‘Benedetta’ and How Power Structures Validate The Beliefs We Have

Essays

‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

Spoilers ahead. There’s a great scene in the final season of Atypical that provokes a burst of freedom in me every time. Casey (played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine) has just decided to quit track and drop out of Clayton. She was only in that high school in the first place because she runs super fast, but… Continue reading ‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

Festivals, Reviews

A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

I remember reading once this quote about cinema: “The cinema is truth 24 frames per second.” It felt, to me, like it came from the early Soviet filmmakers, perhaps the person who did Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis. (The quote comes from Godard, which makes more sense than my first assumption.) Even in a world… Continue reading A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

Reviews

‘Trese’: Dealing With the Lies of the Past

Spoilers ahead. There’s a point in Trese that I find really interesting; something that pops out even outside the messy plot and the extremely convoluted double-twist ending. It’s when Datu Talagbusao (voiced by Steve Blum in the English dub) tells Trese that what she has been defending, the Accords—an agreement between the engkanto and the… Continue reading ‘Trese’: Dealing With the Lies of the Past

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

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