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

Reviews

‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’: An Ode to Life’s Urgency to Create

Much can be said about Jonathan Larson’s short-lived life. He’s best known for the musical Rent, which success he tragically failed to see after a sudden death. A gifted playwright, Larson spent his 35 years of life dedicated to writing and composing musicals about grief, love, and a bucket load of questions: Fear or love?… Continue reading ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’: An Ode to Life’s Urgency to Create

Reviews

‘Mothering Sunday’: On Grief and Love of the Unloved

Starring Josh O’Connor, Olivia Colman, and Colin Firth, Eva Husson’s film Mothering Sunday already promises a beloved British period drama from the cast alone. That said, the film cannot be saved by their great performances.  Mothering Sunday is based on a book about the aftereffects of World War I on the lives of tight-knit British… Continue reading ‘Mothering Sunday’: On Grief and Love of the Unloved

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘The Worst Person in the World’—Understanding Millennial Angst Under Societal Pressure

The ironic titling of Joachim Trier’s film is the perfect way to capture how some of us describe ourselves at one point in our lives. Whatever our reasoning may be, however major or minor, we think of ourselves as “the worst person in the world” over it. In the final film of his “Oslo trilogy”… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘The Worst Person in the World’—Understanding Millennial Angst Under Societal Pressure

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’—a Playful Take on the Tortured Cat Painter Genius

Cats have been worshipped for centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, paintings of anthropomorphized large-eyed cats were in circulation. Cats, then still a bit of a mystery, became the mainstream, all thanks to a man named Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch).  The Electrical Life of Louis Wain follows Wain’s journey from being the sole… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’—a Playful Take on the Tortured Cat Painter Genius

Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Last Night in Soho’—Stylish yet Clumsy

After a successful milieu of comedic films (and an action), director Edgar Wright now dips his toes in psychological horror. Last Night in Soho is Wright’s first try with the subgenre, a film set in the beloved titular London district known for being the center of entertainment. Soho follows Elle (Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring fashion… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Last Night in Soho’—Stylish yet Clumsy

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Scarborough’—A Stirring Look in this Diverse Toronto Neighbourhood

The Canadian film scene is a mixed bag full of stories from different walks of life, though most of the recent ones are stories about bourgeois struggle. Then came Scarborough, an adaptation of the 2017 book by Filipino-Canadian author Catherine Hernandez. This captivating book, which received so much praise and prizes, is translated onscreen by… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Scarborough’—A Stirring Look in this Diverse Toronto Neighbourhood