Numa Perrier’s feature debut “Jezebel” (2019) is a deeply personal film that makes viewers feel like they’re a part of the action. Perrier, the writer director, and co-star of the film, based the film on her experiences as a cam girl. The film is an important step in humanizing sex workers, a group of people who are often looked down on and disrespected. At its heart, “Jezebel” is about sisterhood and grief through the lens of two sex workers struggling financially and emotionally.
And, while women are being seen in more films, this doesn't necessarily mean they're being heard. Only 34% of all speaking roles went to women, a decrease of 1% from 2018.
It’s almost a cliché to write a thinkpiece about the lack of diversity in the latest set of Oscar nominations. Every year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences congratulates the best films that English-speaking cis-het white men produced in the preceding year, and also some of the bad ones too. Oh, and they’ll also throw in a meagre handful of films made by women, people of color, etc. The slate of nominees for the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards is exceptionally representative of this feet-dragging approach to representation and inclusivity.
Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood” encapsulates everything which made Fred Rogers such an inspiration to children over the years, and the film carries its message of goodness and love so sincerely that even in this increasingly cynical world.
Sometimes, we simply need to pause and reflect on a film, and if you can’t stop thinking of it then it’s worth returning to it. I’m not sure whether I want to see any of Hogg’s other films, or even see “The Souvenir Part II” but I do know that I am grateful that I gave “The Souvenir” another chance.
Most of us have at least a little trauma in us. Be it something minute or something colossal, these pockets of pain have the potential to fuck us up beyond our wildest dreams if not taken care of properly. And it’s on this note that master-filmmaker Lynne Ramsay – featured previously on this series with “We Need To Talk About Kevin” – brings us “You Were Never Really Here”.
The Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 saw 26 people murdered – 20 kids and six members of staff. It remains the largest school shooting at an American primary or secondary school, and is the second-largest school shooting in American history (the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007 saw 32 people murdered). Coming out one year prior, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is a film that explores one of life’s more terrifying recurring nightmares. Based on the 2003 novel of the same title by Lionel Shriver, “We Need To Talk About About Kevin” focuses on successful travel writer Eva (Tilda Swinton) and the relationship with her son, Kevin (Rocky Duer, Jasper Newell and finally Ezra Miller). Kevin seems to antagonise and loathe his mum from birth: crying only in her arms as a baby, being entirely uncooperative with her as a young kid when they’re alone, and taunting her frequently as a teen.
Director Ava DuVernay has, over this last decade, established herself as one of the most important filmmakers in the business, thanks to her incomparable body of work across mediums: from her shocking and vital documentary “13th” on the perpetuation of slavery in the US to the powerful, sensitively constructed series “When They See Us” about the wrongly convicted suspects in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case. Of all of her work over the last ten years, “Selma” is DuVernay’s very best. The film describes the events leading up to and including the 1965 marches from Selma, Alabama to the state’s capital, Montgomery, conducted by Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) and others, as part of a movement to give African American citizens the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
A young woman arrives in an idyllic poolside estate overlooking the desert with her wealthy, older boyfriend. She is scantily clad and coquettish--working a lollipop in quite the lasciviously suggestive way. What seems like a hedonist fantasy at first (an older, wealthy, married man all alone in a beautiful house with a young sexy woman and a weekend filled with their vices of choice: drugs, alcohol, sex) gets upended when Richard’s (Kevin Janssens) sketchy pals, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède) arrive unannounced. This sticky situation is further aggravated when, during a night of partying, Jen (Matilda Lutz) proceeds to drunkenly flirt with them all.