REVIEW: Capone [2020]

Let’s catch some of his marbles on the way out. Thanks to a bout of syphilis contracted before the age of fifteen, Alphonse Gabriel “Scarface” Capone found himself trapped inside a prison much worse than the federal penitentiaries in which he also spent time. With almost seven years spent within their concrete walls, the notorious gangster had almost eight more to live within the confines of a rapidly deteriorating mind. We can therefore speculate about the dementia’s effect on his already volatile personality because we understand how the disease operates.…

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REVIEW: High Flying Bird [2019]

I love the Lord and all his Black people. A film like Steven Soderbergh‘s High Flying Bird is exactly what the Netflix model makes possible. You could even say the whole thing is a metaphor for the streaming service’s desire for a seat at the cinematic table. They’re a disruptor proving that what they offer is more valuable to the industry than the industry is to them. The theaters need content to stay in business, but the content makers no longer need theaters to screen to the public. The dynamic…

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INTERVIEW: Keith Behrman, writer/director of Giant Little Ones

One of my favorite things about going to the Toronto International Film Festival is finding the time to see the smaller movies that aren’t on everyone’s must-see lists. While the gamble sometimes turns out to be a dud, the risk is easily justified when you’re able to discover a work as genuinely memorable as Keith Behrman‘s Giant Little Ones in the process. A film about adolescence that isn’t afraid to delve into sexuality’s ever-broadening landscape of experimentation and fluidity with still violent repercussions, this story of two best friends falling…

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TIFF REVIEW: Giant Little Ones [2019]

Why did you tell her anything? Writer/director Keith Behrman knows exactly what he’s doing when introducing a variety of people along the sexuality spectrum in his latest film Giant Little Ones. He’s intentionally flooding his canvas so that we have no choice but to accept them all rather than turn our focus onto just one. There’s no room for token characters anymore, the real-life disparity between heterosexuals and homosexuals closing as each year passes. So Behrman looks to represent that change on the big screen by giving his lead (Josh…

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REVIEW: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me [1992]

“And the angels wouldn’t help you cause they’ve all gone away” Without European money, American auteur David Lynch wouldn’t have many features to his name. His style isn’t necessarily conducive to our general population’s tastes, its surrealistic and highly sexualized depictions of the darkness underlying American society’s false façade of harmony a hard sell. So it was surprising he’d have a primetime television show at all, let alone one that sparked as much excitement as “Twin Peaks” during its Season One heyday. But there it was: a goofier and more…

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REVIEW: Blue Velvet [1986]

“Now it’s dark” After finding critical and commercial success with The Elephant Man—earning his first Oscar nominations for directing and screenplay—David Lynch became bankable enough to mount what would end up a large-scale disaster in Dune. Whereas many would probably count the latter as a failure across the board, the truth is that the sci-fi epic is much more attuned to the auteur’s sensibilities. Anyone who had seen his debut feature Eraserhead in all its strange surrealistic glory would concur, but by that time there were surely not many (and…

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REVIEW: Inside Out [2015]

“I call it the Happy Core Memory Development Program” The simplest ideas really are the greatest and Pixar’s made a legacy built on just such an ideal. They brought toys to life as living companions caring for our children. They humanized the monsters in our closets, conjured a spark of love in the circuitry of a tiny robot, and gave an old curmudgeon tired of too much loss the opportunity to rediscover the joy of living. So it wasn’t a surprise when the germination of Inside Out was announced on…

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REVIEW: The Librarian: Quest for the Spear [2004]

“I should’ve known he was evil. He gave me an A-minus.” With my exposure to Noah Wyle being limited to his role in “Falling Skies”, I can’t necessarily be blamed for assuming his character in The Librarian: Quest for the Spear would be a similar Tom Mason type. After all, both men prove to be an intellectual thrust into perilous situations and leadership positions they never would have original thought they’d be in. And by the look of the poster, Flynn Carsen is quite obviously an Indiana Jones for the…

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REVIEW: Mao’s Last Dancer [2009]

“The world up here is huge and bright” Like the frog in an old children’s story his father told, young Li Cunxin had no idea what awaited him outside his well. Plucked from a classroom at eleven years old to be tested for agility and balance, Chairman Mao’s government took control of his life by excising him from family in order to be educated and groomed into an elite dancer. He was to be a spokesman for the Communist party, a beloved son of China carrying his culture into a…

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