‘Black Christmas’ Is A Loud, Rage-Filled War Cry That Begs To Be Answered

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in December 2019. Content warning: Mentions of rape, sexual assault, and violence. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Colorful lights sparkle and flash. Christmas trees are covered in tinsel. And underneath that tree is a messily-wrapped gift bursting with rage. That gift isContinue reading “‘Black Christmas’ Is A Loud, Rage-Filled War Cry That Begs To Be Answered”

‘The Curse of Buckout Road’ is An Ambitious Debut Feature About The Power of Myth

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in October 2019. Every town has an urban legend. In my hometown, there was the Goatman, hills where your car would get pushed uphill by ghosts, crybaby bridge, and much more. For director Matthew Currie Holmes, his hometown legend is Buckout Road, located in WestchesterContinue reading “‘The Curse of Buckout Road’ is An Ambitious Debut Feature About The Power of Myth”

TIFF ‘19: ‘Pelican Blood’ Is A Disturbing Examination of What a Mother Will Do For Her Child

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. What would you do for your newly-adopted daughter? Give her the best education possible? Address her behavioral problems head-on? Take lactation medication to breastfeed her so she feels closer to you? Yes, all this happens and more in Katrin Gebbe’s film, Pelican Blood,Continue reading “TIFF ‘19: ‘Pelican Blood’ Is A Disturbing Examination of What a Mother Will Do For Her Child”

TIFF ‘19: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘The Truth’ is Well-Acted But Emotionally Light

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. In 2018, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda devastated audiences with his film, Shoplifters, a story about found family and the bonds that hold them together. Kore-eda, in general, is known for his emotional films that feel like punches to the gut. His latest film,Continue reading “TIFF ‘19: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘The Truth’ is Well-Acted But Emotionally Light”

TIFF ‘19: Teen Romance Meets Climate Change in ‘Weathering With You’

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. In the follow-up to his wildly successful animated film, Your Name, Makoto Shinkai has written another whimsical teen romance in Weathering With You. It is about a boy and a girl who meet in a rain-filled Tokyo, where the weather has become wildly unpredictable.Continue reading “TIFF ‘19: Teen Romance Meets Climate Change in ‘Weathering With You’”

TIFF ’19: ‘Murmur’ Is A Search For Love In The Form Of Senior Rescue Dogs

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. With a long puff on an e-cigarette, we meet Donna, a woman with a love of red wine and not much else. But beneath the cloud of vapor and bottles of alcohol lies a deeply sad person who is searching for someContinue reading “TIFF ’19: ‘Murmur’ Is A Search For Love In The Form Of Senior Rescue Dogs”

TIFF ’19: Get Swept Away by ‘Sea Fever’

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. The ocean is a vast, unknown, and frankly terrifying place. It is home to massive whales and other creatures that have adapted to huge amounts of pressure and total darkness. Some of the weirdest animals on Earth can be found in theContinue reading “TIFF ’19: Get Swept Away by ‘Sea Fever’”

TIFF ’19: ‘Honey Boy’ Is A Devastating and Emotionally Raw Portrayal of PTSD

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. Shia LaBeouf has been acting since the age of 12. He made us laugh in Even Stevens, he was the goofy protagonist in Transformers, and he was the paranoid teen in Disturbia. His career has been full of ups, but also some tragic downs thatContinue reading “TIFF ’19: ‘Honey Boy’ Is A Devastating and Emotionally Raw Portrayal of PTSD”

TIFF ’19: ‘Joker’ Tries and Fails to Hide Its Clownery With a Political Message

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. With superhero movies raking in the cash despite how much they’ve saturated the market, studios are looking for new and creative ways to tap into their passionate fanbase. One of these ideas includes standalone movies that address individual characters, both heroes andContinue reading “TIFF ’19: ‘Joker’ Tries and Fails to Hide Its Clownery With a Political Message”

TIFF ’19: ‘Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’ Is A Perfect Example of the Female Gaze

This piece was initially published on Much Ado About Cinema in September 2019. The male gaze is a term often used to address and critique how male directors use the camera to portray the female body as a site/sight of desire. The term, coined by Laura Mulvey, has grown and changed over the decades toContinue reading “TIFF ’19: ‘Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’ Is A Perfect Example of the Female Gaze”