Film Review: Son of Monarchs

Year: 2020 Runtime: 97 minutes Director: Alexis Gambis Writer: Alexis Gambis Actors: Tenoch Huerta, Noe Hernandez, Alexia Rasmussen, William Mapother By Tom Moore Outside of filmmaking, writer/director Alexis Gambis also works as a biologist and his newest film, “Son of Monarchs”(2021), brings these two worlds together in a personal story about facing past trauma. The film follows a Mexican biologist living in America named Mendel … Continue reading Film Review: Son of Monarchs

Nosferatu: A Bold Vision of a Familiar Story

a story become too familiar? After almost a century of Dracula narratives, whether they are adapted directly from the Bram Stoker novel or not, the character and his arc feels as familiar as a family heirloom, passed down the generations. This is part of why F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” is the adaptation of the
story I come back to more often than any other- Murnau’s film feels like an oddity, like that weird uncle you don’t really want to talk about. And yet, it still has a place in the family, because the DNA remains constant. Continue reading Nosferatu: A Bold Vision of a Familiar Story

Caramel: Using the Patriarchy to Explore Female Identity in the public and private spheres: Review

Year: 2007 Runtime: 96 minutes Director: Nadine Labaki Writers: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, and Rodney Al Haddad Actors: Nadine Labaki , Yasmine Al Masri , Joanna Moukarzel, Gisèle Aouad , Adel Karam , Aziza Semaan and Siham Haddad By Jillian Chilingerian Caramel isn’t just a sweet, gooey substance used for waxing. Directed and written by Nadine Labaki, “Caramel” (2007) shares a glimpse into the lives … Continue reading Caramel: Using the Patriarchy to Explore Female Identity in the public and private spheres: Review

Review: Beanpole

Perhaps it goes without saying that the Russian historical drama “Beanpole” (2019) is bleak. Directed by Kantemir Balagov, it’s a look at Leningrad after World War II as soldiers trickle back in from the front and people try to put their lives back together after the trauma of war. However, nothing could have prepared me for how twisted and depressing the film is. Continue reading Review: Beanpole

Review: Beginning (Dasatskisi)

“Beginning” (2020) is a hypnotic and disquieting debut feature by Georgian director Déa Kulumbegashvili. Having made waves at San Sebastian it has been selected as Georgia’s entry for the Best International Feature award at the 2021 Oscars. Shot in 35mm, the strength and intensity of the direction in particular makes for a very a striking film. Continue reading Review: Beginning (Dasatskisi)

Review: Song Without a Name

“Song Without a Name” (2020) confronts the persistent horror of child trafficking that has been ongoing in Peru for decades. It is a gut-wrenching situation but the film has strangely few emotionally evocative moments. As a debut film, it is an impressive achievement but could have been even more powerful with just a little more focus on the heart of the story, Georgina (Pamela Mendoza). Continue reading Review: Song Without a Name

Noirvember Retrospective Review: as tears go by (1988)

This strange age we’ve found ourselves in–lockdowns and quarantines abound–has granted me the opportunity to dive deep into the oeuvre of Hong Kong’s cinema god, Wong Kar-Wai. “As Tears Go By” marked Wong’s debut to film two decades ago; with it, was the emergence of an auteur–as well as a resounding Honk Kong new wave. I saw this film for the first time yesterday. Seeing as this month’s Their League theme is “Noirvember”, a piece on this gem appeared to be apropos . Continue reading Noirvember Retrospective Review: as tears go by (1988)

Review: Acute Misfortune

Artist Adam Cullen (Daniel Henshall) says early in “Acute Misfortune” (2020) that he paints because it’s the only job in the world where “your employer wants you to die.” In other words, his work will increase in value upon his death which he takes as justification for his blatant desire for it to happen. The film documents what transpires when a young reporter attempts to put down in words the life of this anguished, talented Australian version of Jackson Pollack in all his rebellious, self -destructive fury. It is not an easy watch but the riveting performances of the two leads make it an emotional roller coaster of a biography that risks making its subject unlikable, even if he is inspiring. Continue reading Review: Acute Misfortune