Review: “Jezebel”

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.  Continue reading Review: “Jezebel”

Review: The Operative

Year: 2019 Runtime: 120 Minutes Director/Writer: Yuval Adler Stars: Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, Cas Anvar By Mique Watson Adapted from the novel “The English Teacher”, writer/director Yuval Adler has made a film wherein for almost the entire run time, we have no idea what and who it is about: is about Rachel, a woman recruited to infiltrate a company potentially involved with nuclear weapons in … Continue reading Review: The Operative

A first timer’s view of “Little Women”

I have never read the book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott or seen any of the previous adaptations. I have little interest in period dramas, frocks and debutant balls. All I knew about the film was that there were a bunch of teenage-ish girls, it was written 150 years ago and the Joey on Friends got upset about one of the characters dying.

So, I knew I’d be a hard sell on this but after a shaky start this film really won me over. Continue reading A first timer’s view of “Little Women”

Rey: The Force Will Be With You Always

2015. It had been 10 years since the Star Wars saga had wrapped up with 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith”. There I was standing in a massive line around noon waiting to get into a 7 pm showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The first outing post-Disney buy out. No one quite knew what to expect. Reviews hadn’t gone live, advance screenings started at 3pm, the script had been kept tightly under wraps, it was all up in the air.

The marketing at this point had all eyes on Finn as the supposed new Jedi of this trilogy, with Rey as the leia type character. Portrayed by Daisy Ridley, nothing was known about this character, other than she was a scavenger who played into the story somehow. Little did we know she would actually be the main character of this new trilogy. So it took everyone by surprise when at the end it was her wielding the lightsaber in the climactic battle against Kylo Ren play by Adam Driver. Continue reading Rey: The Force Will Be With You Always

Review: Little Women (2019)

It’s not an easy task to adapt one of the most famous American novels of all time for the screen. Not only has Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” been beloved since it was first published in 1868, it has also had several well-regarded film adaptations before, starring actresses like Katharine Hepburn and Winona Ryder. And yet, if anyone was going to take on this mammoth task, Greta Gerwig seems like the perfect person. Gerwig broke onto the directing scene in 2017 with her first film, “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age story starring Saoirse Ronan. She returns this year with one of the most iconic female coming-of-age stories of all time, “Little Women,” refreshed and updated for a modern audience without losing any of the spirit of the book — and once again starring Saoirse Ronan.  Continue reading Review: Little Women (2019)

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 10: Zero Dark Thirty

We often associate the “male gaze” in cinema to how female sexuality is portrayed, but I would argue that it exists when it comes to modern military movies, as well. This is one of the thoughts that found itself moving through my brain rewatching Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” There is a jingoistic, action-driven version of this or “The Hurt Locker,” Bigelow’s Oscar-winning drama about bomb diffusers in Iraq, that could be made by a Michael Bay or Peter Berg. It would have been empty thrills compared to the contemplative work Bigelow does in both films. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 10: Zero Dark Thirty

Black Christmas: The constant cycle of Misogyny and Violence toward Women

Christmas time is always one of the most emotional times of the year. It brings joy, happiness, and jolly good cheer. But it can also bring other emotions too: pain, sorrow, fear. In Bob Clark’s 1974 slasher masterpiece “Black Christmas”, these emotions are all brought to the forefront in very realistic and sometimes unnerving depictions. At the core of this film is women fighting for acceptance, the right to their bodies and ultimately their lives. Continue reading Black Christmas: The constant cycle of Misogyny and Violence toward Women

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 16: Revenge

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.  Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 16: Revenge

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 17 : Winter’s Bone

Based on the book by Daniel Woodrell, “Winter’s Bone” is a truly engrossing and remarkable film by Debra Granik who is such an underrated director and it’s wonderful to see two of her films make our ITO Top 50 countdown. Adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini, “Winter’s Bone” takes place in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, where teenage Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is trying to provide for her household: her mother has become catatonic with depression and her younger brother and sister (Ashlee Thompson and Isaiah Stone) need looking after. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 17 : Winter’s Bone

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”. Continue reading Editorial: The Backlash Against Calls For Better Gender Representation On Screen