‘The Lady Vanishes’ – To Judge and to Fear

Conspiracy Thrills One life. Hitchcock tended toward the kind of funny that pokes fun at institutions and systems. In "The Lady Vanishes", the humor and drama are essentially about trusting one's self in unbelievable situations. To start, the jolly older woman -Ms.Froy- who ends up caught in a conspiracy plot on her way home to … Continue reading ‘The Lady Vanishes’ – To Judge and to Fear

Choreographing Feeling: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

I finally got a chance to see Wes Anderson's latest, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. I must say that it made me feel like filmmaking was all arts captured and choreographed into colors and shapes before me. The perfection of the character's movements is ironic, the look and feel of their fortunes and misfortunes is mechanical, … Continue reading Choreographing Feeling: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

You know what? 5 Reasons Why ‘Dear White People’ is a Must-See Dramedy

1. Woman with a Camera: In a film which seeks to expose a great number of social issues, giving multiple characters ways of telling and managing their own stories allowed the story to keep moving and these storytellers to keep developing without pausing too much for explanatory notes. When Sam White (Tessa Thompson) holds up … Continue reading You know what? 5 Reasons Why ‘Dear White People’ is a Must-See Dramedy

The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

I love history and I truly appreciate that people who run television networks think historical characters are worth putting on T.V., but why must it all be inaccurate? Can it not be spectacular and real and massively viewed, all at once? Why did a show like "Reign" make it past the first season? Sensationalism. Targeting … Continue reading The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

Private Worlds: Hitchcock’s Penchant for Rule-Breakers (“Rear Window”, 1954)

"Rear Window" is a frustrating story to follow. With unbelievable characters and a seriously Mr. Magoo protagonist, I found it tough to watch. Of course that’s naive, because it isn’t about the character’s development- not how cunning they are or how quick their reflexes…there’s so little traditional ego present in the dialogue. This isn’t a … Continue reading Private Worlds: Hitchcock’s Penchant for Rule-Breakers (“Rear Window”, 1954)

A Look at Police Violence & Race in Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’

Oscar Grant was shot by a policeman at Fruitvale Station in Oakland just after midnight on January 1st, 2009. He was unarmed and had not been charged with any form of misconduct. Grant was shot in the back by an officer who later had his charges reduced because he explained that he mistook his gun … Continue reading A Look at Police Violence & Race in Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’

‘Gideon’s Army’: Documenting the Justice System

Public defenders uphold the constitutional right of an accused citizen to have defense under the presumption of the court that they are innocent until proven guilty. They exist as the line between the for profit prison system and the constitution itself. The state’s defender (otherwise known as a prosecutor) seeks to prove guilt, which is … Continue reading ‘Gideon’s Army’: Documenting the Justice System

Documentary: Framing Cultural Violence in ‘The Act of Killing’

'The Act of Killing' The way viewers react to Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary 'The Act of Killing' comes down to the way each viewer is able to expand their notion of the act of killing. In the liberal, privileged and mono-cultured West, we vaguely, yet virulently, understand murder (especially mass murder) as an unforgivable crime. Abstractly, … Continue reading Documentary: Framing Cultural Violence in ‘The Act of Killing’

Quiet Hipster Films / A Cinematic Whisper in Black/White: ‘Frances Ha’

Frances, O, Frances, where are you? Brooklyn, in the era of Hipsters and post-feminist feminists, in which no twenty-something without a trust-fund can get by on just one job, one gig, or one talent. Not if she pays her own rent and wants to live. That’s where. The words “But I should save money… so … Continue reading Quiet Hipster Films / A Cinematic Whisper in Black/White: ‘Frances Ha’

‘20 Feet from Stardom’ Review

From the first moment, '20 Feet from Stardom' inhale-exhales devotion. Devotion to a group of mega-talented performers who held up (and still do) the music industry during the come one come all simultaneous golden eras of soul, rock n’ roll, blues, jazz, funk, r&b- decades of human soul blessed vocal support by extraordinary professionals trained … Continue reading ‘20 Feet from Stardom’ Review

A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in ‘Concussion’

'Concussion': She said “I have to do something.” Abby Ableman reads and vacuums at the same time, fixes up hole-in-the-wall apartments in Manhattan, and spends inordinate amounts of time in cycling classes, amidst the aimless, though healthy-minded chatter of other soccer moms. Most importantly, Abby violently, helplessly curses at her son when he hits her … Continue reading A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in ‘Concussion’

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ & The Girl

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is a modern fairytale. Modern because it is about a fiercely strong little girl, which is not at all common, and fairytale-like because it is the story of how she comes into contact with unimaginably fantastical struggles. The protagonist, Hushpuppy, tends to hogs, chickens, gators, cats and dogs, coexisting in … Continue reading ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ & The Girl