Happy Birthday To Céline Sciamma

The wonderful Céline Sciamma will be celebrating her birthday on the 12th November and if you’re familiar with our site then you know that we are HUGE fans of her work. For this piece, we want to discuss her career and celebrate her filmography and how she’s taking on the French film industry and its sexism. She may have only directed four feature films and one short, but Sciamma has already established herself as one of the icons of female filmmaker history. Her unique perspective and story-telling have helped to create engaging conversations with critics and cinephiles alike. Continue reading Happy Birthday To Céline Sciamma

Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States. Continue reading Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

“Portrait Of A Lady On Fire” is a wonderfully subtle, minimalist film, one that trusts the audience’s ability to pick up on the slightest glance, the coyest smirk. It’s also worth nothing that the director is herself a queer woman, having known Haenel as a partner both professional and romantic, and reminding us that queer and trans folk should be taking the lead on LGBTQ+ cinema. Continue reading ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

JC’s Top 20 Movies Of 2019

As we approach the end of 2019, the ITOL team are compiling their end of year lists of their favourite films. Here’s James Cain’s list and his personal top 20 films of 2019!

Another year, another fresh bout of shame. I didn’t see “Hustlers”! I didn’t fit “Always Be My Maybe” onto my list of favourite movies! Anyway, here are my Top 20 Films of 2019. Continue reading JC’s Top 20 Movies Of 2019

The 2019 Women’s Film Critic Circle (WFCC) awards winners

If you’re feeling disheartened by the latest Golden Globe nominations ignoring fantastic female filmmakers just take a look at the WFCC awards. Hopefully, you can find comfort in their celebration of women in film.

The Women’s Film Critic Circle is a group of 75 female critics and scholars. It was established 15 years ago in the belief that women’s perspectives in criticism need to be fully recognised. Continue reading The 2019 Women’s Film Critic Circle (WFCC) awards winners

Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This is the female gaze like you’ve never seen it before. “Portrait”–a film set in Brittany, France in the 18th century–is a showcase of how the depths of insight and poignancy in a work of art comes as a result of the artist having a deep, loving, obsessive understanding of their subject. It is a film about two women on an island with hardly anyone else around them and the painfully, yet deliciously slow romance that materializes from a connection of their minds, bodies, and souls.

The film is thematically rich and daring, yet never once seeks to shove a message or agenda down your throat; it’s a love story, plain and simple. Writer/director Céline Sciamma clearly isn’t interested in subverting history in an effort to appease the needs of a contemporary audience–yet in spite of that, this is a film brimming with human truths. It is reminiscent of the underpinnings and themes found Greek and Gothic literature and poetry. Tender, yet complex and multifaceted–this is in no way a political film, but rather, a subtle social commentary on the kinds of job opportunities available to women in the 18th century. Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire