The Musical Force is Female: Natalie Holt’s Score for “Obi-Wan Kenobi”

By Brian Skutle When Disney first purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, naturally, one of the first thoughts for many a “Star Wars”(1977) fan was the idea of getting more films and TV shows. “Clone Wars”(2008-2020) was going on Cartoon Network, but the prequel era had divided the fan base. New stories were not just on my mind, however. A new trilogy of films meant, of course, … Continue reading The Musical Force is Female: Natalie Holt’s Score for “Obi-Wan Kenobi”

Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

By Joan Amenn I am a fourth generation Italian American. The stories of my ancestors that I grew up with both mirror and contrast with how my ethnicity have been depicted on screen, much like anyone else’s cultural heritage when subjected to dramatization. Here are some of the films that have special meaning to me. 1. The Godfather Parts 1 & 2 (1972, 1974): I’m … Continue reading Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

Every year, for as long as I can remember, from September to November I look forward to the lighting of the Black Flame candle (by a virgin of course!) so you can return from the dead. As a child, my sister and I would sit down in front of the television to take note of the days on the calendar that “Hocus Pocus” would air (on ABC Family, of course) so we could plan our schedule accordingly. I could always count on 24-hours worth of you on a loop on Halloween day. How could I count on this you wonder? Well, that is because you are the best Halloween movie witches to ever exist. Continue reading It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus: A Love Letter to my Favorite Witches

Cinephiles: it’s not for everyone

The term “cinephile” sounds pretentious, right? Identifying as a cinephile means you are an individual who is fascinated and has a passionate interest in cinema. To me, that means you also have an appreciation for cinema. It’s funny sometimes that people find that cinephiles, and film critics especially, love film so much that they hate it. But that is what we do: criticize, analyze, challenge, obsess, discuss, and adore film and it’s creators. Sometimes I question if I am a terrible critic, because I truly attempt to appreciate each and every film I watch. I compare it to people: people have their flaws and I still try to find the best in everyone I meet. As someone who understands, even at a minimal level, what it takes to make a production happen, I have to appreciate the art that comes from it. Continue reading Cinephiles: it’s not for everyone

ITOL Anniversary: Why I Write About Film

Films, we have been reliably and repeatedly told, give us all a uniting cultural context in which we can share our feelings and experiences. This is basic Film Class 101 and it’s not wrong, even if it has become cliché. Recently, the Pacific Northwest has experienced an eerie foreshadowing of what a nuclear winter would be like due to smoke from wildfires. If I told you I fully expected to see Viggo Mortenson trudging down my street pushing a shopping cart I’m sure you would know exactly what the sky over my head looked like for about a week. That’s the power of film. That mental image that I can share through a cinematic reference gives context to what I experienced and enables me to explain it quite vividly to others. Continue reading ITOL Anniversary: Why I Write About Film

ITOL Editorial: We Need To Do Better

When I first heard of the discrepancies between the amount of male film critics versus female film critics, I knew that I really wanted to do something to make a difference. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew I had to try and help amplify the voices of female, trans gendered and non-binary film critics. The beauty of film is that it’s truly unlike any other form of art, it’s something that can be easily accessible to so many of us unlike theatre for example. A good or even a bad film can connect with us and inspire discussion. Everybody, from all walks of life, watches and enjoys film in some form or another. So, why should only an elite few get to participate in the discussion? Continue reading ITOL Editorial: We Need To Do Better

Why “She Dies Tomorrow” is the ‘Perfect’ Representation of 2020 as a Year

“She Dies Tomorrow” is a horror film like nothing else you’ll see this year. With no word of a lie, you will either fall into two camps after watching this film, meaning you’ll either love it or you will hate it. It’s that type of film which will either bore you to tears (tears of frustration or rage) or it’ll leave you dizzy and intoxicated by its surreal, haunting beauty. Looking online at the audience scores and reviews, “She Dies Tomorrow” seems to have frustrated many regular viewers (basically anyone who isn’t a film critic), and this is understandable. The film marketed as a straightforward ‘ordinary’ horror flick, but there’s nothing straightforward nor ordinary about “She Dies Tomorrow”. If anything, the film and its reaction sums up the bizarre and surreal world we find ourselves in. You either belong to one side of the spectrum, there is no middle ground. You’re either on the side of the film critic or you’re against them. Continue reading Why “She Dies Tomorrow” is the ‘Perfect’ Representation of 2020 as a Year

A Sort of ‘Review’ of Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture

After watching “Dollhouse” I was left feeling that the film was simply an excuse for Brending to express her personal grudges against the trans community. I’m not sure whether this film will hinder her career or not especially considering the current climate. However, the simple fact that it’s been made and screened at Slamdance film festival proves she’s not being oppressed. Her voice is being given a platform. How many trans filmmakers have been able to get their films made and screened at Slamdance, I wonder? Continue reading A Sort of ‘Review’ of Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture

The top 5 (ish) female Muppets

The Muppets are beloved all over the world for their love, friendship, loyalty, mayhem, and can-do attitude. They’ve proven to be capable of adapting their offering to changing times and trends, adding new characters frequently. So as Muppets Now progresses I hope they introduce more female Muppets into the upper tier of recurring characters. Maybe we can fill this fifth slot. Continue reading The top 5 (ish) female Muppets

ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Leave No Trace

“Leave No Trace” is one of those films that remains too painful for me to watch. There’s only a handful of films that I know I’ll struggle to rewatch again, films like “The Grave of the Fireflies”, “Shoplifters” and “Nobody Knows” each one of these films have connected with me on such a personal level and what occurs on-screen eerily mirrors my own life experiences. Continue reading ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Leave No Trace