Supernatural Beauty and its Cost: Cinema Witchcraft Over the Decades

The family Halloween flick “Hocus Pocus” (1993) became a cult hit due to its iconic New England aesthetics and the flamboyant performance of Hollywood veteran Bette Midler, but didn’t charm a huge audience at the time of its release. Moviegoing youths of the 1990s were more primed for darker materials, snatching up tickets to see a teenage coven of goths rock the dark arts in “The Craft” (1996). Both films have stood the test of time, and make great autumnal rewatches; But how drastically do their spellbinding stars differ in terms of feminist appeal? And have our pop culture perceptions of witchcraft changed much since the turn of the century? Continue reading Supernatural Beauty and its Cost: Cinema Witchcraft Over the Decades

Mary and the Witch's Flower

Witchcraft Month: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

By Tom Moore When it was announced that legendary animator/filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki was retiring from feature filmmaking back in 2013 due to his age, there was a lot of questions as to what the fate of Studio Ghibli, one of the greatest film studios in history, would be. At the time, there was a decision made to put the studio on pause while certain decision … Continue reading Witchcraft Month: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

Every year, for as long as I can remember, from September to November I look forward to the lighting of the Black Flame candle (by a virgin of course!) so you can return from the dead. As a child, my sister and I would sit down in front of the television to take note of the days on the calendar that “Hocus Pocus” would air (on ABC Family, of course) so we could plan our schedule accordingly. I could always count on 24-hours worth of you on a loop on Halloween day. How could I count on this you wonder? Well, that is because you are the best Halloween movie witches to ever exist. Continue reading It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

Witchcraft Month: A salute to Hermione Granger

Harry Potter is the boy who lived, the hero of his eponymous series, but over seven books and eight movies, Hermione Granger is the MVP. There’s no magical puzzle, spell, or dilemma that she can’t figure out, even if she needs a Time-Turner to be in multiple places at once. As Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) once noted admirably in 2004’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of … Continue reading Witchcraft Month: A salute to Hermione Granger

Review: Dear Guest

Year: 2020 Runtime: 11 minutes Director: Megan Freels Johnston Writer: Megan Freels Johnston Actors: Ashley Bell, Noureen DeWulf By Joan Amenn The season of long, dark shadows can’t end now, when we have one last little gem of a scare to enjoy in “Dear Guest” (2020). Director Megan Freels Johnston concocted this quick potion of a disturbing “what if” scenario and although short, it packs … Continue reading Review: Dear Guest

NightStream Film Festival Review: Bloody Hell

Year: 2020 Runtime: 93 minutes Director/Writer: Alister Grierson, Robert Benjamin Stars: Ben O’Toole, Meg Fraser, Caroline Craig, Matthew Sunderland, Travis Jeffery, Jack Finsterer, David Hill, Caleb Enoka By Harris Dang “Bloody Hell” (2020) follows the story of Rex (Ben O’Toole) a seemingly average joe who is at a bank sorting out his financials(?) while trying to woo with the bank teller until suddenly a group … Continue reading NightStream Film Festival Review: Bloody Hell

Rose: A Love Story

Interview with Jennifer Sheridan, director of “Rose: A Love Story”

British horror film “Rose: A Love Story” enjoyed its world premiere at the 2020 London Film Festival. The film’s director and editor, Jennifer Sheridan, spoke to In Their Own League about making her directorial feature debut, and the fun of shooting a horror film in a remote Welsh forest. [This interview has been edited to remove spoilers for the film.] Congratulations on the release of … Continue reading Interview with Jennifer Sheridan, director of “Rose: A Love Story”

Review -Rose: A Love Story #LFF2020

“Rose: A Love Story” is the feature debut for director Jennifer Sheridan, about a married couple living an isolated existence in the woods near a little town in the north of England. Sam (Matt Stokoe) is a man whose life is lived in service to his loving wife Rose (Sophie Rundle) as she struggles with a mysterious illness. Rose’s days are spent indoors, with only a typewriter and a radio handy to keep her occupied in the couple’s dimly lit cabin, while Sam enjoys a separate daily life filled with light, hunting and gardening, and making sure the many locks installed on the outside of their house are secured. Continue reading Review -Rose: A Love Story #LFF2020

Pink Skies Ahead

AFI Film Festival Review: “Pink Skies Ahead”

Anxiety permeates one’s life. It can be an all-consuming burden. So, when Kelly Oxford was on her 2017 book tour, Oxford was receiving feedback on her piece about her anxiety disorder; many people reading When You Find Out the World is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments were drawn to Oxford’s frankness and honesty surrounding anxiety. The talks led Oxford to write and direct “Pink Skies Ahead” (2020). Continue reading AFI Film Festival Review: “Pink Skies Ahead”

Another Round: #LFF20 Review

The last time director Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen paired up, we were given the riveting feature “The Hunt” (2012). Now the two have reunited for another round (pun intended) with “Another Round” (2020), an unusual but deftly crafted look into the infallibility of masculinity. It is a film that recognises the vulnerabilities in people and explores the complications that arise from them, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of chosen coping mechanisms. Continue reading Another Round: #LFF20 Review