REVIEW: Hearts Beat Loud [2018]

“Whoopie pies and Spotify” It’s often at extreme times of upheaval that we find ourselves taking stock of our life, ambitions, and loves. While working hard to be successful enough to support our families, we have a tendency of leaving our dreams by the wayside and/or compartmentalizing our identities to serve the unavoidable pressures of […]

REVIEW: Irma Vep [1996]

“Have you sex with girls?” If you’re going to poke fun at the film industry, you might as well go for broke. Take Olivier Assayas‘ Irma Vep for example. Hot off the success of his acclaimed Cold Water, he was recruited for a project about foreigners in Paris with Claire Denis and Atom Egoyan. When […]

REVIEW: The Killing [1956]

“Just a bad joke without a punch line” After test screenings left audiences confused and frustrated, writer/director Stanley Kubrick and producing partner James B. Harris decided to return to the edit bay and turn The Killing‘s overlapping, repetitious structure into a more linear A-to-B narrative. You can’t blame the former for wanting to do everything […]

REVIEW: Never Steady, Never Still [2018]

“I’m full of memories. I’m full of hope. I’m full of regrets.” With a riveting central performance by Shirley Henderson as a woman dealing with advanced Parkinson’s, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Kathleen Hepburn‘s Never Steady, Never Still (adapted from her short of the same name) was simply about the tragedy of the disease. […]

REVIEW: Bao [2018]

Watching the first half of Domee Shi‘s Bao with a quizzical expression is par for the course. How could you not react that way with this story of a Chinese-Canadian woman who begins to treat a hand-made dumpling like it is her child? It’s one thing to gasp and laugh when the tiny piece of […]

REVIEW: The Rider [2018]

“Don’t give up on your dreams” Whether you’ve ever rode a horse or not, you know what happens when they’re injured. It could be that you saw the black and white decision to put one down in a movie. Or maybe you heard about a bad break during one of the televised derbies people get […]

REVIEW: Hereditary [2018]

“Why are you afraid of me?” If anyone has the ability to dive into the deepest, darkest secrets of an otherwise normal looking suburban family, it’s the writer/director of The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. It’s been seven years since Ari Aster‘s viral short film about incest and sexual abuse came out and yet his […]

REVIEW: L’eau froide [Cold Water] [1994]

“Extravagant maneuvers” Originally envisioned as a 52-minute chapter of a television anthology series with strict thematic and contextual rules, Olivier Assayas‘ L’eau froide [Cold Water] eventually found itself as the much sought-after 90-minute Cannes debut that cemented the auteur’s style, acclaim, and promise without ever reaching American shores due to lapsed music rights. He would […]

REVIEW: American Animals [2018]

“Like what?” The more you hear about privileged white kids shooting-up schools because they’re under such “debilitating” pressure alienating them from the “cool” kids, turn “alt-right” with a projection of hatred that stems from a hatred in themselves courtesy of a false notion that they’re somehow “special,” and find themselves acting out of boredom in […]

REVIEW: The Year of Spectacular Men [2018]

“My path is a squiggle” The time has come to see the “manic pixie dream girl” trope from the other side. We’ve viewed countless depictions of attractively quirky women serving as plot points pushing their male lead counterparts over whatever hump they find themselves struggling to conquer, each a one-dimensional prop used before being discarded […]

REVIEW: Beast [2018]

“I just wanted to go dancing” Everything is and isn’t as it seems with Michael Pearce‘s genre-fluid romantic thriller Beast. What starts with the template of rich girl falling for local bad boy against mom’s wishes turns to a case of serial murder with assumptions made every second that confirm what we believe is real […]