Focus on Alice Brooks: In the heights

Cinematography is defined as the art of photography and visual storytelling in a motion picture or television show. It’s how we as viewers see the film, how the camera moves and tells the story. Jon M. Chu’s “In the Heights” (2021) is a visual spectacle, absolutely deserving of praise for its cinematography. The person we have to thank for this is Alice Brooks, one of the few female cinematographers working in Hollywood today. Cinematography remains one of the most male dominated positions in Hollywood; the number of female cinematographers for major motion pictures is only around four percent. In the history of the Academy Awards only one woman has been nominated in that category- Rachel Morrison for “Mudbound” in 2018. I believe this year, Alice Brooks has a chance at becoming the second female nominee. Continue reading Focus on Alice Brooks: In the heights

Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand!

Barbra Streisand was born April 24, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents, Diana and Emanuel Streisand. Her father died when she was young and she grew up in a middle class family. Streisand did well in school, attending Jewish School as a child, then moving to public school, and finally Erasmus Hall High School. She discovered her love of singing and being on stage early, and took any chance she could to perform. She knew she wanted to get out of Brooklyn and become an actress and at 16 she graduated from high school and moved out of her mother’s house to try and make it on her own. Continue reading Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand!

Shonda Rhimes

Spotlight: Shonda Rhimes

By Kate Boyle There are few people more recognizable in the world of television than Shonda Rhimes. She is an accomplished screenwriter, producer, and author. When her name is attached to a project, it guarantees a carefully woven plot filled with intrigue, tension, and gut-wrenching moments that will haunt viewers for years to come. I don’t know what’s more dangerous, getting attached to a Game … Continue reading Spotlight: Shonda Rhimes

Review: Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

Since the dawn of motion pictures, women have been performing stunts to amaze and entertain their audiences. From the silent film era, to the rise of female action stars in the 1970s, to the present day abundance of superhero movies, “Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story” gives audiences a look into the history of these amazing women and their fight for equal representation and recognition in their field. The film is based on a book of the same name by Mollie Gregory. Both the movie and the book are a must for any fan of film or Hollywood history. Continue reading Review: Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

Review: Fisherman’s Friends

Take any charming music film from the UK and blend it with an unconventional romantic comedy and that’s “Fisherman’s Friends”. It fits right in with films like “Once” (2007) and “Sing Street” (2016). “Fisherman’s Friends” tells the story of city boy, big shot music executive Danny (Daniel Mays) who is visiting a small village in Cornwall with his friends on his way to a wedding. Continue reading Review: Fisherman’s Friends

Review: Radioactive

There have been many successful films based on comic books or graphic novels, but “Radioactive” is something completely different. The story of Marie Curie is brilliantly brought to life with stunning visuals and a terrific performance by Rosamund Pike. Many people are familiar with The Curie’s from science class but don’t understand the struggles Marie went through as an immigrant, a woman in the early 19th century, and as a working mother. Continue reading Review: Radioactive

Review: John Lewis: Good Trouble

The United States feels like it’s at another turning point in its social history. Rebelling against injustice and protesting for change are things built into its core. There could not be a more perfect time for a documentary like Dawn Porter’s “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (2020) to be released. For those unfamiliar with John Lewis, he’s a Congressman representing the state of Georgia, who is well known for his history of non-violent activism during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s and his particular dedication to voting rights. Continue reading Review: John Lewis: Good Trouble

ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Alfred Pennyworth

Not all important male figures in a child’s life are their biological parent. Often a Step-Father or father figure is equally valuable, especially in situations where a child has lost their parent or their father is not present in their life. A prime film example is Alfred Pennyworth from various Batman adaptations. My two favorite versions of this character are in “Batman Begins” (2005) played by Michael Caine and in the TV show “Gotham” (2014-2019) portrayed by Sean Pertwee. Continue reading ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Alfred Pennyworth

LGBT+ Filmmakers & Where to Stream Them

The LGBT+ community has been contributing to the film industry since the industry’s beginnings. Despite this, it is uncommon to find LGBT+ people receiving recognition for their work behind the camera. I’ve compiled a selection of currently available movies with LGBT+ directors, writers, composers/lyricists and where they can be streamed. It’s by no means an end all be all list of the greatest LGBT+ contributions to cinema, so I’m sorry if I’ve left of anyone’s favorites… This is just a place to start. Continue reading LGBT+ Filmmakers & Where to Stream Them

Animated April, Retrospective Review: The Prince of Egypt

“The Prince of Egypt” is one of the greatest animated movies of all time. It has a captivating story, unforgettable music, and beautiful animation which appeals to all viewers, even if they don’t practice one of the religions that feature the story of Moses. This was writer and artist Brenda Chapman’s first film as a director as well as the first animated film featuring a woman director at a major studio. Chapman would later go on to be the first woman to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars for “Brave” (2012). Continue reading Animated April, Retrospective Review: The Prince of Egypt