Some shocking visuals and a few knuckle-biting moments bring this true story of the Minamata poisoning exposé to life. But despite best efforts the white saviour positioning undermines the power of the film. It's 1971 and once well-regarded photographer W. Eugene “Gene” Smith (Johnny Depp) is at the end of his useful career and drinking too much. Haunted from photographing the horrors of WWII, he has annoyed his publishers too many times to get consistent work and is reduced to endorsing products he doesn’t use for money. Late one night Aileen Mioko (Minami in her first English Language film) visits to beg him to come to Japan and cover the Minamata poisoning. A whole region is suffering from sickness and birth defects from the Chisso Corporation chemical factory pumping mercury into the water.
It was disheartening to read that a butchered version of one of this year’s best films, "Booksmart", was shown on Delta’s aeroplanes. It was reported that “A version of the coming-of-age comedy that is being shown on Delta doesn't include a hookup scene between two teenage girls and eliminates references to female sexuality.” Thankfully, Delta has recognized the problem and is now making the film available in its entirety. This whole story must be discussed as it says some telling things about prejudices and biases that, sadly, are still present today.
Amidst the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, it as become glaringly obvious how pervasive toxic masculinity, harassment, and abuse are in the film industry. With film and television as not just art forms, but avenues of escapism, how do we watch cinema more responsibly?
Following the scathing Weinstein report, MANY men in Hollywood – and some women – have been accused of sexual harassment and assault. This is not a new thing, but we are certainly not remaining as complacent as before. Louis C.K., Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Bryan Singer, R. Kelly and so on are facing exile from the entertainment industry.
One would think that vampires are a trope in horror that has been beaten to death with a clove of garlic. However, Ana Lily Amirpour's "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" not only breathes live into this overdone trope but also gives the classic monster a feminist twist that is both innovative and empowering. Style-wise, the film filled to the brim with moody, cinematography which contributes greatly to the dark, tense vibe that consumes the narrative in a "Sin-City" (2005) meets "Cat People" (1942) vibe.
Described as the 'first Iranian Vampire Western', the film (written and directed by Amirpour) follows a lonely vampire that roams Bad City, a crime-filled ghost town whose residences are unaware that a bloodthirsty beast lives among them. However, the vampire known only as 'The Girl' (Sheila Vand) is certainly not the only monster that lurks in the shadows.
With a title like "Badass Beauty Queen" one would expect this to be the title of some fast-paced action flick set in the world of Beauty Pageants. However, it is actually the title of an incredibly inspirational and thought-provoking documentary about a young woman who took on an entire governmental regime. The Badass Beauty Queen that the documentary is named after is Miss Canada, Anastasia Lin who was set to represent the country at the Miss World Pageant in Sanya, China in 2015. Lin, who has been outspoken about China's appalling human-rights record, was declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Chinese authorities preventing her from gaining access to the country.
The documentary “This Changes Everything” carries irony in its title and fire in its heart. Part history lesson, part call to action, the film packs enough statistics and anecdotes from top names in the industry about gender inequality in Hollywood to prove eye-opening, even to those who support women in film and television.
While the ratio of film school graduates along gender lines is roughly 50/50, the percentage of the top 1,200 grossing films in the last ten years is around 4%. The response by TimesUp is the 4% challenge, announced at a panel and in a headline-grabbing impassioned speech by Tessa Thompson.
By Juli Horsford Since “IT Chapter 2” is coming out this month it seems like a great time to talk about one of its stars: Jessica Chastain. To be honest anytime is a great time to talk about Chastain. Can you tell that we are slightly obsessed? If you don’t know who she is then... Continue Reading →