Review: Emma.

I walked into the screening for this film without any knowledge of the story nor have watched any previous adaptations. I'm a sucker for period pieces and after watching the trailer to this film, I immediately knew this would be on my to watch list. "Emma" is directed by Autumn de Wilde and it stars Anya Taylor Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Myra McFadyen, Josh O'Connor, and Callum Turner. This film follows the "Handsome, clever and rich" Emma Woodhouse who's been meddling in other people's lives as a matchmaker. The costume design and production design are the strongest suits in this movie. Oh gosh, the costumes in this film are gorgeous. The attention to detail in the movie is impeccable.

Review: The Turning

Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw is a staple in the horror genre. It's been adapted into plays, radio show, and several movies. The latest adaptation is Floria Sigismondi's "The Turning"(2019). This is the first time this story, primarily about a woman and her mental state, is being told solely by a female director. "The Turning" tells the story of Kate (Mackenzie Davis), a young teacher turned governess for a young girl (Brooklynn Prince) who recently witnessed the tragic death of her parents. The girls troubled and slightly creepy older brother (Finn Wolfhard) is sent home from boarding school shortly after Kate starts her new job. It's then that Kate starts to notice strange and unexplainable things going on in the house and thinks there may be something sinister or supernatural going on...

Sundance Exclusive Review: Vivos

“Vivos” is a documentary that follows the families of 43 students who forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. On the night of September 26, 2014, a bus full of students, from Ayotzinapa, was intercepted and confronted by the police. Many were killed at the scene, others were severely injured, and 43 students utterly disappeared. The government claims that these students were turned in to the local cartel, who murdered all 43 then burned them. They were supposedly burned in a big bonfire where later their “remains” would be found.

Review: Mr. Jones

“Mr. Jones” tells the story of a young Welsh journalist named Gareth Jones who uncovered the truth of the Holodomor, a man-made famine in the Ukraine in the early 1930s. It is a socio-political thriller as Jones (James Norton) pursues the story despite threats to his own safety. Written by first-time screenwriter Andrea Chalupa and directed by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, the film stumbles along the way but is held up by great performances and a story that needs to be told. 

Review: Horsegirl

“Horse Girl” (2020) is an oddity of a film, but a moving and harrowing one at that. Alison Brie stars and co-wrote it with director Jeff Baena, known for his ability to construct a marriage of dark subject matter and comedy. Here, there’s definitely a gloom, and while there is some humor, “Horse Girl” is mostly a rabbit hole down one woman’s detachment from reality. It also provides Brie, an incredibly talented and versatile actress, a chance to embody a role entirely.

While I missed the film at Sundance, I was able to chat with Brie briefly, and I know how personal this story was to her. Even without that context, it’s clear. It is a tour de force for Brie, showing her devotion to the performance in every way.

Review: Baden Baden

Having made two short films with the same actress as the lead character, "Baden Baden" (2016) is Writer-director Rachel Lang’s debut feature. This French-Belgian comedy-drama is a gentle but poignant summer spent with Ana looking for work, looking for meaning and ill-advisedly renovating her grandmother’s bathroom. It’s funny and awkward but also hopeful.

Review: Come to Daddy

Horror genre cinema has been making a lot of impact in the indie circles this past decade. With upcoming filmmakers from all over the world like Julia Ducournau, Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, Coralie Fargeat and others; it is an exciting time to be a filmgoer. But there is one man that has not only starred in great genre pieces, but has helped produced many of them as well. That man is Elijah Wood.

Best known for his work in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, he has acted in interesting projects that took him out of the blockbuster luster. While there were films that did not succeed so well eg. "Green Street"; there were films that shocked audiences due to his change in image like "Maniac" (2012) and "Sin City" (2005). Since then, he has worked on more genre films like "Grand Piano" until he started his own production company (with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller) called Spectrevision; which produced fantastic films like "Mandy", "The Greasy Strangler" and "Colour Out of Space".

Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States.

Retrospective Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

ove is messy. Life is even messier. Sometimes the hurt is too much. There are moments, after watching this film, where I wonder, would I want to forget? Would you? It would sure be easier. Or is it?

In the case of Joel and Clementine, in the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004) nothing is simple, everything is messy, but ultimately (despite its surreal- dream-like sequences) it is also an honest appraisal of love in its many forms.

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