ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry 37: Blinded By The Light

The screening I attended showed the making of this film and the journey of the director (Gurinder Chadha) and the man whose life influenced this film (Sarfraz Manzoor). I was moved and utterly sucked in just watching the preview! I enjoyed the making of this film; from the director reading Sarfraz's memoir and instantly wanting to make the film to both of them anxiously waiting to hear back from Springsteen after sending him the screenplay. Based on the memoir of Sarfraz Manzoor, the majority of the topics are universal, making them easier to relate. Chadha manages to capture the difficulties individuals endure on a day to day basis all while successfully allowing the music to aid in the narration. Although the story takes place on a different continent to the one I live, it resonated with me. Political issues, social tensions, identity issues, family dynamics, friendships, and many more topics are situations we’re are currently experiencing.

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31 Days of Horror, Day 30: Body At Brighton Rock

"Body at Brighton Rock" is a horror film. However, it's not a very well executed one. There are a lot of jump scares in all the right places: a hand on the shoulder, a loud noise, someone jumps out from the bushes. When well-executed, the jump scare can be very effective. A prime example is in "Jaws", or in "The Shining". However, for the case of Body at Brighton Rock, the jump scare is used as a lazy way to keep the viewer awake, rather than actually scaring them. As a result, you walk away from this film feeling deeply unsatisfied.

Spotlight: Sally Potter- Writer, Director, Choreographer, Musician

A creative force to be reckoned with. This woman graduated as a dancer, choreographed dance shows, made music, directed plays and wrote and directed world-class movies. And all this output can be traced back to when she was the tender age of 14 and made her first 8mm films. Her name: Sally Potter. If you have seen one or two Potter films, you may think that she broke or rejected the conventions of mainstream film making, but that isn’t quite right. What Potter does with her films is let them speak. The ideas within them come out in ways that are free forming and she follows the flow of them until they are completed films. They are not without structure or form; they are parts of the human condition that have been given freedom of expression.

Retrospective Review: Beau Travail

“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).

Female Filmmaker Friday: Jodie Foster as Director

As hard as it is to believe, Jodie Foster allegedly once said, "Acting, for me, is exhausting. I’m more energized by directing. It’s more intense to direct. I can pop in and express myself, then pop out again. It’s a huge passion for me." So why hasn’t she directed as much as she might have?

Review: Stray

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.

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