Black History Month Tribute: Dorothy Dandridge

"Dorothy Dandridge was the face of the tragedy of what might have been if only she been given the opportunities to develop her amazing talent."

Sundance Exclusive Review: Promising Young Woman

“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.

Retrospective Review: “Cam”

Doused in colorful lighting, Lola (Madeline Brewer) sits in front of a webcam with a knife in hand. She raises the knife to her throat and carefully presses down, releasing fake blood that flows down her front. Lola’s fans go wild, tuning in to more of her shows and sending her tips. Lola, who goes by Alice off-cam, is thrilled — she’s moving up the ranks of the livestreaming site thanks to her hard work crafting unique and exhilarating shows like the fake suicide show. With her newfound success, Alice continues to set up eye-catching shows to move further up the ranks. Another cam girl gets in her way, though. And she looks freakishly similar to Lola/Alice. The film takes a quick turn into psychological horror territory as Alice embarks on a mission to find the doppelganger and get to the bottom of things. 

Best Actress of the Decade, Entry No. 25: Alicia Vikander

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 last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 25 is Alicia Vikander, and writer Bee Garner discusses the actress and her work over the last decade.

“Marriage Story”: A Feminist Fairy Tale

"Marriage Story" is actually a tale about a divorce - that of two successful theatre artists, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson). Initially, the film appears to be entirely Charlie’s story but without Nicole, there would be no movie. In the beginning, he is unable to see his wife for who she really is but he grows to see her so clearly that he can fully appreciate the extent of what he’s lost. That theme - of appreciating women as fully formed human beings, equal to their male partners and counterparts - is what makes "Marriage Story" a feminist love story.

The Very Last Day Examined

Sexual assault is a crime that has been perpetrated upon far too many women; some who’ve unfortunately gone through this may find this film to be one too difficult to sit through. An experience like this is not one which needs re-living--especially when it hits this close to home (which happens to be the case of the director/screenwriter/producer, Cédric Jouaire according to my press notes).  A best-selling writer is seduced, then kidnapped by a stalker who accuses him of rape. She claims that the rape occurred 20 years ago and that he has used her personal tragedy and exploited it by making it the plot of his latest novel. The author insists that this is merely a coincidence and that his work is merely one of fiction, yet the vengeful woman persistently forces him to confess.

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. 

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 42: The Love Witch

Anna Biller's 2016 film, "The Love Witch", is a magical, sensual exploration of female sexuality and empowerment. With stunning cinematography, set design and costume design, this film inspires praise for both it's undeniable style and thought-provoking messages. The film follows witch and burlesque dancer, Elaine on her quest to find true love. However, her outlook on men and their capability to love is concerning to her fellow witches, especially since many of Elaine's intense love potions do not result in a happy ending of any kind.

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