My dad died when I was ten, and I’ve been trying to find the best way back to him ever since. Cinema has always been that best way. A movie theatre is a chance to experience the emotions public life demands we repress, emotions like grief. It can be hard to do that anywhere else, in a world that does not welcome the discussion of death. But luckily, movie theatres are open spaces. I go to the movies, and I feel closer to my dad. Today, I can see his influence in all my favorite films.
I know, for instance, that it was my dad’s death that fueled my childhood obsession with space movies, like J.J Abram’s Star Trek franchise. In those movies, I was hoping to find the peace in uncertainty: If space had no limits, perhaps life did not either. I know that in recent years, I have begun learning how to try on film character’s fathers the way I try on shoes. When I saw Eighth Grade a few years ago, I spent the entire movie wondering if my father and I would have danced through my adolescence in the same way the protagonist and hers do.
Continue reading “"Can Movies Bring Back the Dead?": An Essay on Grief and Film”
On my way out of theater, entertained yet unsatisfied, I overheard a father and son discuss the Maleficent character. The young boy deserves credit for identifying the problem with the Disney sequel: “I’m not sure who Maleficent was in this movie actually.” Following the first Maleficent film, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil finds Aurora (Elle Fanning), Queen of the Moors, concerned about the missing fairies from her kingdom along with her godmother Maleficent’s (Angelina Jolie) poor reaction to her engagement to Prince Philip, played by Beach Rat’s Harris Dickinson. Maleficent’s sincere effort to be cordial to Philip and his royal parents, particularly his petty mother Queen Ingrith played by Michelle Pfeiffer, turn sour. When the mistakenly evil witch is framed for cursing King John (Robert Lindsay), the film becomes a surface tale about identity, family and the danger of intolerance.
Continue reading “‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ Lacks A Meaningful Spark”
The end of an era is here and we’re celebrating with a special podcast! For the last season of Game of Thrones, we’re going to have a podcast after each episode.
Dilara Elbir and Lucy May reflect on the last eight years of their life as they discuss the last episode of Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne. Was it worth it? What were the best moments, and the worst? Where do we go from here?
Spoilers lie ahead, so beware! Listen now on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and anywhere else you can find your podcasts!
On our Patreon page, we set a goal of $75 to start working on our podcast and four months ago we hit that goal, thanks to your help! Every time we gain a new Patron, we come one step closer to saving enough money to pay to our writers. You can help us with as little as $1.
See you next week for our last episode on Game of Thrones- featuring Hannah Woodhead!
It’s the end of an era. Game of Thrones ended this week, and while the finale didn’t live up to our expectations, it’s still sad to see it go. To honor this show and everything it has made us feel in this last decade, Lucy (@iconicaesthetic) commemorated the show with an amazing supercut that will remind you why you’ve loved visiting Westeros every weekend it in the first place.
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It started with laughter and ended with a round of applause. No, this was not a comedy show, but it sure felt like one. This was the screening for the director’s cut of Lars Von Trier’s newest piece of controversy, The House That Jack Built. For two-and-a-half hours, von Trier showcased his latest experiment in misogyny, violence, and stroking his own ego.
The House That Jack Built marks von Trier’s return to filmmaking after being banned from Cannes in 2011 for making comments about sympathizing with Hitler. His newest film documents 12 years in the life of Jack, played by Matt Dillon, and the five incidents that he believes have defined him as a serial killer, as recounted to Verge (Bruno Ganz). These five incidents involve the brutal murder and mutilation of female bodies, save for the last incident. To Jack, these murders are an act of high art, markers of his own intelligence — what he’s doing is not wrong because it is in the name of art. The film follows a Dante-like structure as we traverse through the different incidents like the circles of hell, and perhaps even wander into hell itself.
Continue reading “In His Most Self Aware Film Yet, Lars Von Trier Proves He Still Doesn’t Care About Women”
Searching stars John Cho, who makes history as the first Asian-American actor leading a Hollywood thriller. The film is innovatively told purely through screens, as a desperate father attempts to find his missing daughter.
While it could be argued that having a film set through screens is extremely limiting and can create an emotional block, Aneesh Chaganty (co-writer, director) and Sev Ohanian (co-writer, producer) execute certain techniques successfully, that other movies filmed in a traditional format, couldn’t. David Kim (John Cho) often types messages and then deletes them, which successfully bridges the gap between appearance vs reality; what David truly wants to say vs what he actually says.
One thing that continued to surprise me throughout Searching was the extent to which Chaganty and Ohanian understand the relationship teenagers have with social media. I’m not referring to the general “social media is bad” sentiment other filmmakers instill in the audience, but a more nuanced message: social media allows people to be themselves (to an extent) but is also extremely isolating. Margot and David’s relationship from the onset is grounded in tension and unfamiliarity as they try and navigate life without Margot’s mother, Pam. Death brings people closer together, but the sad reality is that sometimes it does the exact opposite.
Continue reading “Interview: ‘Searching’ Writer Sev Ohanian Talks Social Media and the Writing Process”
This piece is part of a series called Jewels Under the Kitchen Sink. Here we try to bring films, that have been overlooked during their time or were (despite their distinctive and timely nature) somehow forgotten, back onto the radar. It’s an attempt at reaching into the dusty niches of time and fishing some true gems out of there. We hope to peak your interest towards some of these films, so they can be reintroduced into today’s film discussion.
I stumbled over Jean-Claude Brisseau’s Céline per accident on Youtube, soon realizing that its presence online borders on non-existence. The rather small amount of voices that I could find, seemed to show an unusually big admiration for the utterly forgotten 1992 Berlin Film Festival competition entry. Descriptions of the film struck a chord with me and how I felt at the moment, and I took a chance on it.
Cèline (1992) – directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau. All Right Reserved.
There is a rather simple base narrative at play here: A nurse named Geneviéve offers Céline – a young, distraught woman – a drive home. When they arrive there, Céline tries to take the first chance to kill herself. Geneviéve prevents her suicide and starts to take care of Céline. They start a healing process – together, as Geneviéve struggles herself.
Continue reading “Jewels Under the Kitchen Sink – The Rocky Path to Healing in ‘Céline’”