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

Reviews

On ‘Minari’ and Gently Cultivating a Heavy Story

Minari is a moving piece of poetry with an ordinary story about ordinary people: people who had to upheave their roots for the hopes of a fruitful life. Like what the film’s executive producer Steven Yeun said, the immigrant experience does not need to be romanticized. In this semi-autobiographical film by South Korean-American writer/director Lee… Continue reading On ‘Minari’ and Gently Cultivating a Heavy Story

Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Censor’ is a Campy Gore Galore that Doesn’t Quite Find its Footing

Welsh filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond’s debut Censor is an homage to the 80's and the infamous “video nasties” of the era in Thatcher’s Britain. Enid (Niamh Algar), a film censor, is a workaholic with a meticulous eye for detail. Her job is to protect British audiences from the ”nasties,” as some critics connect these films to… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Censor’ is a Campy Gore Galore that Doesn’t Quite Find its Footing

Reviews

‘One Night in Miami’ and the Debate Between Idealism and Realism

Last December, multiple award-winning actress Regina King made her directorial debut with One Night in Miami, a speculative historical film based on Kemp Powers’ 2013 play of the same name. One Night focuses on the real-life encounter that Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown all had on February 25, 1964, fictionalizing the… Continue reading ‘One Night in Miami’ and the Debate Between Idealism and Realism