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

ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Alfred Pennyworth

Not all important male figures in a child’s life are their biological parent. Often a Step-Father or father figure is equally valuable, especially in situations where a child has lost their parent or their father is not present in their life. A prime film example is Alfred Pennyworth from various Batman adaptations. My two favorite versions of this character are in “Batman Begins” (2005) played by Michael Caine and in the TV show “Gotham” (2014-2019) portrayed by Sean Pertwee. Continue reading ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Alfred Pennyworth

ITOL’S Cinematic Dads: Life With Father

William Powell is a stockbroker who thinks he runs his house like a well-oiled machine. Irene Dunne is his wife who outmaneuvers him on finances, family relations and pretty much everything else. Together they are raising four boys in 19th Century Manhattan. Powell is too much an old pro of comedic timing to let his portrayal stray into an annoying curmudgeon. Continue reading ITOL’S Cinematic Dads: Life With Father

ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Pa Kent

But an indelible screen dad doesn’t have to have a huge role. I’m thinking of Glenn Ford as Jonathan “Pa” Kent in 1978’s “Superman”. (This was one of my early ventures to the movies as a kid, so I’d no idea at the time that Ford was a screen legend whom Rita Hayworth toyed with in 1946’s “Gilda”.) He’s a great example of an understated moment saying so much and impacting the main character long afterward. Continue reading ITOL’s Cinematic Dads: Pa Kent

ITOL’S Cinematic Dads: About Time

“About Time” (2013) is a wonderfully charming film, with a central romance that truly stands out. However, there’s another relationship within the film that’s just as important, as both a catalyst for the story and an emotional tether throughout, which is that of father and son. While our star, Domhnall Gleeson, is perfectly suited as the lead, Bill Nighy’s portrayal is essential. The always incredible actor shines as the father introducing his son to their ability to time travel, but more than that, passing on his wisdom on the appreciation of life. Continue reading ITOL’S Cinematic Dads: About Time

“I, Tonya” and the Preponderance of Trauma

When you watch the trailer for “I, Tonya” (2017), you get the tonal sense of the film.  It is a dark comedy about infamous skating figure Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie).  I can yammer on all day about I am still not over Robbie losing the Oscar; her performance is magnetic.  She was captivating from start to finish.  It was a career-defining performance, one that demonstrated her innate talent…but I am seriously digressing.  Robbie is incredible in the film, which is why I think the abuse and trauma we see in the film makes it all the more difficult to watch.

I have my Master’s degree in Professional Counseling.  One of the courses I took was on trauma-informed therapy.  Trauma is everyone.  Trauma is, in essence, completely defined by a person. Continue reading “I, Tonya” and the Preponderance of Trauma

Why I Hate Star Wars

I’m old enough to remember 1977, and as a young 6 year old I got all caught up in the excitement of “Star Wars”. I had two copies of the 1978 annual. I read them avidly, cover to cover, multiple times. Because of how long it took for feature films to make it to British television, I’d actually see “The Empire Strikes Back” at the cinema before I ever saw the first film, but I knew the story forwards, backwards and sideways. I remember getting Alan Dean Foster’s ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ spin-off novel from our school library multiple times.

So this sounds like the origin story of someone who totally loves and adores “Star Wars” right? No. I hate “Star Wars”. Continue reading Why I Hate Star Wars

Trilogy of Star Wars – “Return of the Jedi”

Most people who meet me would not immediately think “Star Wars” fan and those people would be right.  And I don’t think when @FilmBee put out the word in our Saturday meeting that she was looking for a few Star Wars pieces, whether good or bad feelings on the subject, that she would’ve ever thought I would be one to write one up. But there was a time in a galaxy far far away when…… 🙂

In these weird never before experienced times, I did something I probably should have done years ago.  I did cleaning projects.  I’ve found things that I didn’t remember ever buying – things like loads of never used makeup and enough hair products to stock a small store.  But I also found these amazing VHS tapes that I had been given and saved from a time in my life long past – A collection of original special released “Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition.  Continue reading Trilogy of Star Wars – “Return of the Jedi”

Editorial: It Is Exhausting Trying to Find Myself in Cinema, And That’s a Problem

Do you remember the first time you saw yourself in a movie or television show?  Do you remember the feelings that go with it?  The shock of seeing your reflection.  The little guilt that comes with your weaknesses or faults.  The elation you feel seeing yourself.  And also the relief that there is at least one person in the world who sees you, authentically and unabashedly.

I find it difficult to have those moments.  The first film that ever struck me that way was 2010’s “Easy A.”  Emma Stone stars as precocious, intelligent, ego-centric teenager Olive, who thinks she can outsmart life and feelings.  I loved that film so much.  I still feel a bit of a high every time I see it.   Continue reading Editorial: It Is Exhausting Trying to Find Myself in Cinema, And That’s a Problem