ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.18: Cameraperson

You may have not heard of cinematographer Kirsten Johnson but we are more than certain that you have heard of the films she's shot. Johnson has been the cinematographer for several important documentaries including the likes of Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 9/11" (2004), Kirby Dick’s "The Invisible War" (2012) and Laura Poitras’s "Citizenfour" (2014). In fact, Johnson's career has spanned over 25 years and her documentary "Camera Person" is made up of 'memories' all captured on film. Johnson has been to places that we only hear in fleeting news reports on the morning news, she has seen horrors that we can only imagine, but never does "Cameraperson" ever feel exploitative or invasive. Instead, what we have here is an absorbing initiate potratrit into humanity, and a passion for a career.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 23: Hustlers

In "Hustlers", dancer and den mama Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) posits that New York City—the whole country, really—is one big strip club. “You got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance,” she says. Writer-director Lorene Scafaria ("The Meddler", "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World") never loses sight of who’s doing what throughout this entertaining crime caper, bringing a decidedly female gaze to the world of strip clubs and sex workers that feels fresh because we’ve seen so little of it.

Action Woman: Happy Birthday To Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow is a woman of action. The director, who turns 68 on Nov. 27, is known for training her eye on vampires, cops, surfing bank robbers, and especially soldiers—but she’s not merely after an adrenaline rush.  Rather, the first—and still only—woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director with 2008’s "The Hurt Locker" is drawn to the circumstances surrounding violence, as well as characters’ choices. “I don’t like violence. I am very interested, however, in truth. And violence is a fact of our lives, a part of the social context in which we live,” she’s said.

Editorial: The Backlash Against Calls For Better Gender Representation On Screen

On 21st November Anita Sarkeesian tweeted to highlight the lack of female characters in the first episode of Disney’s new Star Wars show "The Mandalorian" and it caused an immediate backlash. The discourse that’s still raging raises some fairly universal arguments which are worth exploring. It’s this discourse I want to focus on here, not the accuracy or otherwise of Sarkeesian’s tweet as I have not seen "The Mandalorian".

Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Last year, audiences were asked a simple question from a documentary about an iconic symbol of goodness – Won't you be my neighbor? Ah, yes, I’m talking about the heartfelt documentary about Fred Rogers from director Morgan Neville that won the hearts of critics and audiences, but oddly didn’t enough love to earn, or even be nominated for, many major awards. It was actually one of the most talked about and head scratching snubs of last year, however, it seems like Mr. Rogers will find another chance for award recognition this year as director Marielle Heller crafts a heart-warming and heartfelt film that displays the raw power of good that comes from the iconic figure with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 30: Toni Erdmann

With her third feature film, Maren Ade announced herself on to the international scene during 2016, with her robust, confounding comedy of delicate, deliberate and disastrously strained parental ties. A thematic notion achieved with such success is not often seen in cinema, capturing the fraught emotional bonds of a career-driven daughter and her aloof father. As varying dynamics exist in relationships between adulthood and childhood and vice versa, very few directors have successfully articulated and dramatised them as well as Ade. A remarkable cinematic achievement, creating a film that is deeply human and tragically nostalgic and profound whilst absurdly comedic.

Why Feel Good Movies Are Necessary

With all of the Scrooges out there bashing “Last Christmas” (2019), it seems that it is important to remind people that feel good movies are something we all need.

The flack “Last Christmas” is receiving is from Tarantino/Scorsese/Kubrick Film Bros (my assessment of the situation), who think that every movie needs to be riddled with piousness, plot points that make no sense, and toxic masculinity. So, when “Last Christmas” (2019) hit theaters, it certainly did not please this crowd.

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