With the beginning of February, Netflix in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America began to offer Ghibli Studio films in its repertoire. This announcement generated great joy and inspired fans to refresh those classics. Hayao Miyazaki tends to, more often than not, select a female protagonist as a lead and a hero of his films. Coming-of-age stories about young women in a world of fantasy and magic are a great manifesto to learn from, perfect for the young female audience. Two films that are personally very dear to me are "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Spirited Away."
Hey you! Yes, you! Are you looking for a new binge watch filled with incredible adult humor spewing from instantly likeable characters? Or a blood-splattering good time that stems from gore-fueled animation? Or an empowering, bonkers, and female-driven storyline with plenty of wild moments that will continuously keep you hooked. Are you maybe even interested in seeing some of your favorite DC character in a comical new way? Well, then I have a show that you simply cannot miss – especially if you’re a DC fan. All carnival sideshow slang aside, there’s hasn’t been a show that’s become my absolute obsession like DC Universe’s “Harley Quinn”. Premiering towards the end of last year, the animated series has set new standards for what DC can offer and presented through fun animation and incredible humor that isn’t like anything DC’s done before.
Bong Joon-Ho’s “Parasite” (2019) finally hits British cinemas this week after months of sweeping award circuits all across the world, from the Palme d’Or, to most recently, the BAFTAs. It has been a long and painful wait, but it has been worth it. For “Parasite” is one of the best films to grace the twenty first century. It is a masterclass of virtually all filmmaking realms. But where it shines brightest is in its commentary as a scathing critique of modern capitalism.
It is sadly not an uncommon story. Especially in the United States. “Unarmed Black Man Killed by Police.” Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Philandro Castile. Michael Brown. Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut, “Fruitvale Station” (2013) took an intimate look at the life and murder of one young man named Oscar Grant III. The film starts with actual cell phone footage from the train platform minutes into the new year. You see the bystanders calling out police for accosting a group of men, Grant among them. There’s a scuffle. And a bang.
When it comes to countries blighted by war, it’s easy to become used to thinking of that nation as simply a warzone. You read about towns being taken, bases being mortared, bridges being destroyed, thinking of the poor civilians losing their lives in a fashion to which you probably can’t relate. You might forget that in between all of this, the people of this warzone nation are going about their daily lives, however strange or bleak this normalcy might be in comparison to your own. BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated British documentary short “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)” reminds you of this routine (or strive for routine) in quick fashion.
The recent Oscar buzz around Sam Mendes’ “1917” prompted a reviewing of one of the more famous war films of the 1940’s, “Best Years of Our Lives” (1946). Myrna Loy deserved a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in this male dominated film as a much-needed representative of the women who welcomed their men home from WWII. To a lesser extent, Teresa Wright also deserved recognition, but it is Loy who helps tie the stories of three servicemen just returning home together into one powerfully moving story.
To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019, we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team has selected 30 actresses. Guest Writer Alexandra Petrache looks back at Lupita Nyong'o and her career over the last decade.
The British Academy Film Awards are somewhat of a black sheep in the trinity of lavish, self-indulgent film awards ceremonies in the early months of each new year. Their bizarre practice of pre-recording the ceremony – so the winners end up announced before it’s even televised – then editing out a bunch of the technical and ‘smaller’ awards, makes it a very lacklustre viewing experience. Though that being said, there’s a lot to say about the awards and the ceremony itself.
First, and most obvious, is the sweep of “1917”. Seven wins out of nine nominations, only losing Makeup and Hair to “Bombshell” and Original Score to “Joker”. Not unexpected given the film’s staggering momentum this awards season, plus the film being British which the BAFTAs highly favour. But it’s still telling. Expect “1917” to make a similar sweep of the upcoming Academy Awards, with a near-guaranteed shot at Best Picture and Best Director, winning both of its equivalents here.
“Promising Young Woman” is one of those films that begins with a very good idea. Ideas that involve the camera lasciviously objectifying men on a dance floor the way women typically are. Granted, it's played for laughs rather than sex appeal, since there's nothing resembling eye candy, but you can't have everything. Or maybe it's an early indicator of what the movie's real agenda is, which is condemning anyone who violates its ideas of what good behaviour should be, rather than people who suffer from such expectations.
Not that it's a bad idea to condemn violence, which is the real villain in “Promising Young Woman.” In case the marketing left any doubt, the movie addresses a very specific kind of violence that dares not speak its name here.