Kathryn Bigelow – Masculinity through an Empathetic Lens

To fulfill the desire of the audience, but challenge the genre and status quo, popular and well-known directors, Kathryn Bigelow established her cinematic work in this unique war genre most notably in the 82nd Academy Awards Best Picture winner: The Hurt Locker. Bigelow also received Best Director at the Oscars for this film, and still remains the only woman to ever do this, and one of five women to have ever been nominated. Through the careful and considerate use of character development, mise-en-scene, and camera-work the film displays empathy, patriotism, and accuracy to convey its anti-war themes, focusing around the experience of war through one dynamic and conflicted character. Continue reading Kathryn Bigelow – Masculinity through an Empathetic Lens

Review: The Shed

When a vampire hides out in the shed, your premise teeters on the brink of ludicrous rather than serious. Frank Sabatella’s “The Shed” (2019) though has serious chomps to take out of the social paradigm of bullying, abuse, and snap judgements, it’s just a shame this all gets wrapped up in the wrong delivery. Stan is a young man (though seven years too old for a high-schooler) who grows up under the vigilant ‘boomer’ antics of his Grandfather, a crotchety, one-note character who seems determined to berate Stan despite the traumatic deaths of his parents. Continue reading Review: The Shed

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). Continue reading Retrospective Review: Beau Travail

Ad Astra And The Evolution Of Masculinity In Film

“Ad Astra” is more drama than it is sci-fi; this is a rumination on whether or not the pursuit of knowledge is worth the expense of one’s humanity. Admirers of contemplatively mournful futuristic films like “Solaris”, “Gravity”, and “Arrival” will have much to stare at with wonder here. The film is also a provocative meditation on masculinity and how it’s defined by most people today. Continue reading Ad Astra And The Evolution Of Masculinity In Film