Welcome to Much Ado About Cinema, founded by Megan Christopher and Dilara Elbir! Here you will find features, reviews, and essays concerning all aspects of cinema, written by a young and diverse group of contributors. The work we publish here ranges from graduate-level analysis, to casual commentary on mainstream television, to festival coverage of the latest films. In our work, we emphasise diversity and inclusivity, and we wish to cast new impressions on the traditionally white, male and heterosexual world of film criticism. We take on new regular contributors frequently, and are always happy to welcome guest writers, so if you wish to contribute to the blog, please e-mail us at muchadoaboutcinema@gmail.com.


Dilara Elbir

Dilara is from Turkey and lives in Seattle, US. She writes short stories, screenplays and majored in American Studies in her undergrad. Her interests (other than film) are theatre, architecture, philosophy, literature and photography. She is a second year graduate student of Creative Writing at University of Washington and works as a reader at Seattle Review. Her favourite actress is Marion Cotillard and she’s ready to fight with anyone who doesn’t think she is one of the best actresses ever lived.

Email: elbirlara@gmail.com

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Senior Editor

Mary Beth McAndrews (Online)

Mary Beth is from Washington, D.C. During the day she works for a media company, and at night she’s usually watching some matter of horror media. She’s particularly interested in gender representation in horror films and anime. She is a graduate in English and Film Studies.

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Cassidy Olsen (Print)

Cassidy is from New Jersey. She’s a recent graduate of English and Film Studies from Tufts University and is currently working in Boston as a cooking and lifestyle writer. She once wrote a short screenplay about Elon Musk, and it was very bad.

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Sharmane Tan (Online)

Sharmane is from Singapore. She is currently an undergraduate in English Literature. She is interested in lesbian narratives, neorealist cinema, and the portrayal of gender and sexuality in autobiography. At any given moment, she is probably crying over Gentleman Jack and Florence Welch.

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Staff Writers

Iana Murray

Iana is from the UK. She is an undergraduate in Journalism Studies and a contributor for The Skinny. Her favourite movies are ones about love that make her cry. She is currently learning to skateboard because Barry Jenkins made her.

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Mia Vicino

Mia is from Portland, Oregon. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Cinema Studies, currently works as an intern for the Arts & Culture desk of Willamette Week, and is the eldest of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s adopted children. Her favorite movies are those that feature women exacting bloody revenge, and Hot Rod (2007).

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Sydney Bembry

Sydney is from Northern California. She is living her dream as a first-year film student in Queens, New York and enjoys annoying her peers with hours-long rants about the latest film she is obsessed with. Her favorite season is awards season, and she is particularly interested in more realistic films.

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Tyler “Llewyn” Taing

Llewyn is from Southern California. Hopes to transfer from community college and pursue a bachelors in film production. He has a broad taste in cinema, but he especially enjoys obsessing over subversive genre films and seeing them more times in theaters than a normal human being would enjoy. He is also Steven Spielberg’s long lost son (self-proclaimed).

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Charlie Mangan

Charlie is from Michigan. They are currently a senior in college working towards two Bachelor’s degrees in both film studies and sociology at Eastern Michigan University. They are interested in how cinema changes the way we operate within and view our society, particularly when it comes to how it affects women and the LGBT+ community. Their favorite movies are hyper-masculine horror films and action romps that are not-so-secretly riddled with homoeroticism, and anything the Coen Brothers have ever made.

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Bintang Lestada

Bintang is from Jakarta, Indonesia. They’re currently finishing their bachelor degree in International Relations. They have written for Vice and have a film blog that they co-own with their friends. Since they were a member of theatre club and choir, they lean in on chamber drama that deals with dysfunctional family or relationships. But at the same time, they love musicals and romantic comedy. They love actresses, especially Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore.

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Kareem Baholzer

Kareem is from Germany. His taste in cinema has a broad range, but he is especially interested in challenging and complex portrayals of minorities and foreign cultures. His passionate interests besides (but not necessarily disconnected from) film are sociology and political activism. He also writes screenplays, listens to a lot of music and currently is trying to get into film school.

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Hannah Ryan

Hannah is from the U.K. She is an undergraduate in English Literature and History and fell in love with cinema at a young age, and enjoys writing about both the LGBTQ+ narrative in film and the development of independent movies. She is deeply passionate about the use of music in film and loves dissecting cinematic soundtracks.

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Alejandra Salazar

Alejandra is from San Antonio, Texas. She currently lives in New York City and works as a radio producer. She has a particular fondness for women-led narratives and Latin American films and literature. She is a live music aficionado, listens to too many podcasts, and has a beloved temperamental black cat named Jiji.

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Adriana Gomez-Weston

Adriana is from North Carolina, but is now based in Southern California. She is a fashion school defector turned writer. She has also worked in the underground festival space, and has a passion for uplifting female filmmakers. Her favorite films deal with sexuality, religion, and liberation. She really enjoys finding good DVD’s in bargain bins.

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Alwine Constant

Alwine is from France. She is training to be a clinical psychologist and recently got a degree in forensic psychology and criminology. She loves drawing scenes from her favourite movies and Patricia Clarkson’s nose. While she still can’t read minds, she hopes to use art as a therapeutic medium.


Podcast Host

Charlie Dykstal

Charlie is from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. He is currently pursuing a degree in Cinema and Art History and Visual Culture from Denison University. He hopes to one day either work in the design department for film, or in museum work, most likely in curation. He’s very interested in why people tell certain stories, and how they change and shape our perspective on the world. He is deeply passionate about art, relationships, kindness, and Natalie Portman.

Video Editor

Lucy May

Lucy is from Illinois. She’s been a self taught video editor for over 10 years, putting together videos for fun when inspiration strikes. She’s most interested in the visual aspects of a film, with emphasis on editing and cinematography, and hopes to pursue those fields in the future. Her other interests include writing up reviews on letterboxd, traveling around for film festivals and screaming along at concerts. She recently had an enthusiastic conversation with the Haim sisters about A Goofy Movie and Titanic, which pretty much sums her up.

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