Year: 2013 Runtime: 93 Minutes Director: Nicole Holofcener Writer: Nicole Holofcener Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette By Ariana Martinez "Love is Worth Living For, Enough Said." As we reach the final months of 2019, it is a moment of reflection, specifically through In Their Own League’s Top 50 Films of the... Continue Reading →
When making that perfect meal, there are two key rules - follow the recipe, and get the very best ingredients. Everything else is just adds to the general appearance, but if you get those basics right? You won't go far wrong. Making a film is pretty similar - get the right story, and deliver it with the best creative team, and you'll almost certainly get an enjoyable film. "Jennifer's Body" is the exception that proves this rule. Let me take you back to 2009. Megan Fox was one of the hottest properties in cinema, with her face and body being plastered all over the unfathomably internationally successful first couple of entries into the Transformers franchise. Amanda Seyfried was a key part of popular movies like "Mean Girls" and "Mamma Mia!", along with a major role in hip TV show "Veronica Mars".
2019 was the year that Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest seized the zeitgeist with full gusto. The Fleabag character had people all over the world fanning themselves to avoid a case of the vapours, with his actual name remaining a mystery. He was merely the latest - one of the most libidinously triumphant – in a line of on-screen hot priests. Others include Father Brian Finn in “Keeping the Faith”, Father Grandier in “The Devils”, Father Andrew Kiernan in “Stigmata”, Reverend Adam Smallbone in “Rev” and, perhaps most obviously, Friar Fuck in “Sex and the City”. One of the finest men of the faith was given to us by Park Chan-wook in his 2009 vampire romantic-horror, “Thirst”.
“American Mary” (2012) is a criminally underrated dark comedy and horror film directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Due to its subject matter and gore, it was not widely released. It was released to V.O.D. and DVD quickly, though, helping the film amass a cult following. “American Mary” is often left out in discussions about women in horror. It’s overshadowed by more popular cult classics like “Jennifer’s Body” and “The Descent” — both of which are vital to discussions about women in horror — but it’s a mistake to ignore “American Mary.” The film is disgusting, cathartic and creative. It deserves to be ranked amongst the best body horror and rape revenge films of the past decade.
“Beau Travail” (1999) is a poetic film about French Foreign Legionnaires by director Claire Denis. It shows an unexpected side of masculinity given the setting and the characters, and it celebrates the beauty of men’s bodies. Twenty years after it was made and Claire Denis’s "Beau Travail" still offers a unique perspective on a subject matter which has the potential to be plagued by violence and toxicity. The film follows Legionnaires based in Djibouti, West Africa. The story is somewhat loose but it centers around three main characters – Chief Master Sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant), his superior Bruno Forestier (Michel Subor), and a new recruit Gilles Sentain (Gregorie Colin).
Anthology films have always been a great outlet for new filmmakers to not only share their own visions but also collaborate with other filmmakers. The horror genre has been mainly home to this kind of storytelling and has seen plenty of filmmakers make their mark through strong and scary short films. However, when I think back through the anthology films that I’ve seen, there aren’t many times where I can think of female directors getting their chance to tell their stories. For the most part, horror has been a male-dominated genre, but, thankfully, there actually is an anthology film out there solely full of female talent that’s worth diving right into.
By Jenni Holtz
Nena Eskridge’s “Stray” (2015) tackles the aftermath of trauma and the ongoing pain that infiltrates Jennifer’s life even after she tries to start again. The micro-budget psychological thriller is an unusual story of the not-so-pretty effects of abuse. With the limited resources it had, “Stray” still manages to be a thought-provoking thriller with strong performances.
“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson has often been described as the perfect ghost story. Due to all of its acclaim it was inevitable that it would be adapted for the screen, but it must have posed some challenges. For one thing, director Robert Wise opted to shorten the title. There were more complicated matters of subplot that would need to be addressed to make a film from this genuinely scary story. For the most part, Wise succeeded and “The Haunting” (1963) is worthy of its source material. Unfortunately, along the way some of the subtext of the story was muted or cut out altogether. This leaves the audience with questions regarding how mental illness as well as how one character’s sexuality was depicted.
"Office Killer" is one of those films which has so much potential, but it just lacks a certain something that I can't quite put my finger on. Released back in 1997, the film looks very dated and there's something comical about seeing people using big bulky laptops and our main character experiencing issues using a computer. In fact, despite the film being set in the late 90s, the world the character inhabit feels alien as if it exists outside the constraints of time. It's neither set in the now or 1997 but somewhere else, a foreign time landscape, which makes for a disorientating viewing experience. Regardless, the time setting is the least of the film's problems.