• REVIEW: Lady Macbeth [2017]

    “We did it” At the back of William Oldroyd‘s Lady Macbeth (adapted for the screen by Alice Birch from Nikolai Leskov‘s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) are the ideas of oppression, power, and the fluidity of both as the oppressed often find themselves clawing their way to a position of becoming oppressor above another […]

  • REVIEW: Dunkirk [2017]

    “He may never be himself again” War is often depicted as a quantifiable number of those who survived and those who did not. Many films choose this route, picking a battle to show the firefight’s chaos and cost. We remember the Battle of Gettysburg and D-Day as turning points, insane offensives that wrought heavy casualties […]

  • INTERVIEW: Matt Tyrnauer, director of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

    Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, Matt Tyrnauer‘s Citizen Jane: Battle for the City has received rave reviews across the country as it opened in limited release April 21st, 2017. Centering on Jane Jacobs—a journalist, author, and activist—the film showcases the problems inherent to how urban planners in the mid-twentieth century worked. […]

  • REVIEW: A Quiet Passion [2017]

    “Give me something pressed from truth” I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who never heard the name Emily Dickinson, although I’m probably not alone insofar as being ignorant to her work. For someone as prolific as the Amherst, Massachusetts-born poet with approximately 1,800 poems to her name, I’m sure I’ve heard at least […]

  • REVIEW: Bacalaureat [Graduation] [2016]

    “Do what’s best for you” The amount of corruption to simply exist within the borders of Romania as displayed by Cristian Mungiu‘s Bacalaureat [Graduation] is insane. So much so that I feel bad admitting to what it reminded me of on a much more insidiously vile scale. Yes, it was nearly impossible not to see […]

film reviews

TFF17 REVIEW: Tilt [2017]

“Can we get away with anything we want?” If only we could go back to the days when mid-life crises happened at fifty-years old and at best meant buying an expensive car (at worst asking for divorce to marry younger). Now this existential breakdown occurs much earlier—let’s say thirty-years old. This is what happens when […]

TFF17 REVIEW: The Endless [2018]

“Please, be quiet” To resolve is to settle, finding the determination to do something rather than simply wait for something to happen to you. A resolution isn’t therefore a firm ending. On the contrary, it serves to provide beginnings. That decision has the potential to set you onto a path towards freedom either from the […]

REVIEW: Unforgettable [2017]

“Time doesn’t exist at your age” There’s a new “erotic thriller” in theaters this week and its called Unforgettable—a title that should keep critics busy figuring out the most unoriginal pun ever to put their colleagues to shame. What’s glorious about this name is the reality that its attempt to inherently force us not to […]

REVIEW: Under sandet [Land of Mine] [2015]

“I’ll make it home” War is a horrific reality that forces people into doing terrible things. Everyone sees him/herself as being on the side of “good” and “righteous”—look at the discrepancies from one history book to another in how education systems describe certain events to shine one’s own nation in a rosier tint than it […]

REVIEW: Prevenge [2017]

“Listen, Mommy. That’s how I was made.” Television actresses retain a sense of job security film actresses don’t when pregnant. Productions can work around this natural life choice with wardrobe, blocking, and script alterations. You can’t simply be cut loose once your casting has become an integral piece of the overall work. In Hollywood, however, […]

REVIEW: Mil gritos tiene la noche [Pieces] [1982]

“To Hell with the book. The book says get the killer.” Cult classic horrors are a special breed. While I often see the appeal, I don’t always find them winning me over. The disconnect lies between those laughing at themselves and those that aren’t. I appreciate the former because the comedy is intentionally applied for […]

REVIEW: Tommy’s Honour [2017]

“A man’s got to use every club he has” I’ve never been one for golf—playing or watching. I know many who feel the same and many of those who found themselves becoming fans during Tiger Woods’ heyday anyway. You can’t blame them for it either. Celebrity, national pride, and the excitement surrounding both are tough […]

REVIEW: Ghost in the Shell [2017]

“I give my consent” **Spoilers included** The backlash against Rupert Sanders‘ Ghost in the Shell remake has been fierce and constant—for good reason considering it’s inarguably racist. Is that racism intentional? Not necessarily, but it exists just the same due to choices made. While hyperbolic declarations about it being “the reverse Get Out” are exaggerated […]

REVIEW: Junior [2011]

“I think I’m strange” Writer/director Julia Ducournau‘s Raw might be taking the horror world and cinema in general by storm this year, but its success wasn’t simply born out of thin air. Its Cannes-winning feature takes a lot of inspiration from the artist’s Cannes-winning short Junior back in 2011, another story about a young girl’s […]

REVIEW: The Fate of the Furious [2017]

“That’s a lot of ice cream and Tay Tay concerts” A new era in The Fast and the Furious lore has begun almost four years after original co-star Paul Walker passed away doing exactly what his character Brian O’Conner did in the films: drive fast. With his role shelved by retirement rather than death, the […]

REVIEW: Frantz [2016]

“I don’t want to forget him” Loosely inspired by Ernst Lubitsch‘s post-WWI-set film Broken Lullaby (itself an adaptation of Maurice Rostand‘s play), François Ozon‘s latest Frantz similarly deals with a French soldier searching for the family of a German casualty of war. It doesn’t, however, focus upon this foreign stranger entering the nation his army […]

REVIEW: Sand Castle [2017]

“A war story can’t be true unless it’s got some shame attached to it” Similar to lead character PVT. Matt Ocre (Nicholas Hoult), screenwriter Chris Roessner joined the United States Army in July of 2001 to serve in the Reserves and earn college money. Two months later 9/11 changed everything. Suddenly he was thrust into […]

REVIEW: T2 Trainspotting [2017]

“Friends is just another class of victim” Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) “chose life” twenty years ago—or what he believed was the best chance at having one at the time. This on-again/off-again heroin junkie had just stolen the sixteen thousand pounds he and three friends (Jonny Lee Miller‘s Simon, Ewen Bremner‘s Spud, and Robert Carlyle‘s Begbie) […]

REVIEW: Gespenster [Ghosts] [2005]

“And I walked towards the music” Three women caught in disparate existential crises are converging in Christian Petzold‘s Gespenster [Ghosts] to seek answers despite reality only supplying opportunity to exacerbate their already volatile shortcomings. Nina (Julia Hummer) is a late-teen orphan hopeful to discover an avenue towards a brighter future that will assist her in […]

REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better […]