TIFF19 REVIEW: Ema [2019]

You’ll forget all this. There’s a lot to unpack in Pablo Larraín‘s dance film Ema. From two lead characters as unreliable to the plot as they are fickle with each other to an elaborate scheme preying on the weaknesses of man and the pleasures of flesh, it’s tough to know what the director wants us to laugh at: the wildly unorthodox situations he’s created or the sociopathic characters within. I think his hope is the former as his talk after the screening heard him admitting he didn’t like the reggaetón…

Read More

REVIEW: Coco [2017]

“Seize your moment” Disney and Pixar have lately begun to tell more stories that aren’t intrinsically linked to their white male sensibilities (even if they have a tendency to push out voices that should be talking for their characters like Brenda Chapman on Brave). It’s definitely an evolutionary process—one that might actually be helped with John Lasseter‘s ouster if stories about his inability to listen to outsiders are true. It was Aladdin‘s white directors Ron Clements and John Musker who moved from Arabian nights to Princess and the Frog‘s Cajun…

Read More

The 89th Oscars recap through tweets …

  pic.twitter.com/oGJkXytnQ2 — PwC LLP (@PwC_LLP) February 27, 2017 So that actually happened. Warren Beatty opened the Best Picture envelope, furrowed his brow, and looked for another card. He’s thinking, “This is wrong.” He stalls—his body language coming off as a joke in the moment, the audience and his co-presenter Faye Dunaway laughing at what appears to be an old man who forgot his glasses. And since no one came running onto the stage to say something actually was wrong, he silently turned to Faye with the card. And the…

Read More

REVIEW: Neruda [2016]

“He’s the king of love” Pablo Neruda was a Chilean legend. He was a poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, a diplomat holding multiple posts including that of Senator for the Communist Party, and ultimately so feared by President González Videla and President Augusto Pinochet that his death is rumored to have been murder hidden underneath a cancer diagnosis. It’s a diverse and implausible life that could just as easily have been fiction rather than the reality it was. He rallied together a country desperate to…

Read More

TIFF15 REVIEW: Desierto [2016]

“Welcome to the land of the free” A tense thriller of survival set against a desolate landscape of quiet austerity until the deafening sound of our heroes’ pursuer returns after a brief respite allowing these strangers the time to emotively talk about their lives—no, it’s not Gravity. Filmmaker Jonás Cuarón certainly has a type, though, since his sophomore effort in the director’s chair Desierto has a lot of formal similarities to his and father Alfonso Cuarón‘s Oscar-winning ride. Thematically different since the whole exists in the wasteland battlegrounds of the…

Read More

REVIEW: Rosewater [2014]

“I used to think only the most pious shared that scent” We all need inspiration to propel us onto new paths we may previously have never thought about pursuing or at least never found a good enough reason to take that first step. The director’s chair called Jon Stewart through a story deserving to be told in which he actually played a periphery role. Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari was always going to be scooped up by Iranian officials and held in the same prison his sister and father were decades…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda February 2013: A Snort of Fresh Air with ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘Identity Thief,’ ‘Charles Swan’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. February. Just outside of the dump month that is January and yet still devoid of any true must-sees besides the arty ones no one has heard of and the umpteenth…

Read More

REVIEW: The Loneliest Planet [2012]

“Give me a verb” Films like Julia Loktev‘s The Loneliest Planet are what make me fully aware of the fact I will always be a cinema lover who writes about movies and not a legitimate critic. Like the work of Kelly Reichardt, I just can’t access the importance so many of my peers easily uncover. I get what’s happening—the psychological verisimilitude on display with an engaged couple trekking through Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains—and yet I’m numb to it all. Traumatic experiences hit everyone and it’s not always pretty when each victim…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda January 2013: The Top 10 Movie Posters of 2012

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Another year is complete and the time has come to revisit the best one-sheets that did all they could to help their films achieve box office glory. Unsurprising to those…

Read More

TIFF12 REVIEW: No [2012]

“Happiness is coming” What began with a coup ended by the courage of a select group of citizens believing Chile was ready to think about their future. Without bloodshed, bullets, or illegal maneuvering, a misguided attempt by dictator General Pinochet to let the world know he had his country’s support became his ultimate downfall. After legalizing political parties, pressure from the US in 1988 called for the General to issue a plebiscite vote to decide whether or not to extend his reign by eight years. Allowing political detractors to advertise…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda May 2012: Monkeys on a Typewriter

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. This month may be one of the least creative in terms of movie posters ever. Between the laziness, litany of character sheets, and over-used technique, I think I only actually…

Read More