In order to have a meaningful conversation about cinema and grow as a cinephile and film critic one must become fluent in the history of the art. If I hadn’t watched the “40 Year Old Virgin” this year, I may have never understood the relevance of Judd Apatow and the type of comedy he helped usher in the mid-2000s. If I hadn’t watched Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother), I would continue to believe (wrongly, I may add) that as good a filmmaker as Pedro Almodovar has shown me he can be, he was incapable of crafting a story that was truly moving and personal. Instead, I learned that Almodovar is much more than a provocateur with a keen eye. At his best, as he proved in Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Almodovar can take the tale of a grieving single mother and make it both intimate and universally inspiring.
Continue reading Best Blind Spots of 2018
Summer has come and gone. September greets us in Chicago with the wettest Labor Day weekend in memory. It rained Saturday, Sunday and it stormed on Labor Day. I have had a view of the lake for the last 2-3 years and it looked as if a monsoon had passed. It was quite a spectacle.
Summer has been very interesting from a cinematic point of view. I finally found time to watch Asif Kapadia’s moving 2011 documentary on Amy Winehouse. This was a film that was on my radar for a long time after the very emotional experience I had watching Senna, his previous documentary feature. The majority of my time though was put into catching up with a string of wonderful films released this year, a highlight of which was You Were Never Really Here by Lynne Ramsay.
Continue reading Months in Review: Films of July & August 2018 (part 1)
After a very entertaining weekend in which I was the host of a Halloween party, I decided to spend the actual night of Halloween in good company to enjoy a double-feature-stay-at-home-movie-date.
My evening started with 2007’s “Trick ‘r Treat” followed by 2003’s “High Tension”. Thankfully, both proved to be somewhat entertaining in their own ways making for a rather enjoyable end to the festivities.
Trick ‘r Treat
Directed by Michael Dougherty and starring Anna Paquin, the wonderful Brian Cox and Dylan Baker, “Trick ‘r Treat” follows interwoven story lines that take place on Halloween night in some nameless town in America. At first, I assumed I was watching your typical serial-killer type of movie where our murderer hides in the fully costumed crowds to perpetrate crimes without being noticed. Luckily, I was a bit off. From the beginning, there is a certain element of the supernatural that lurks in the shadows just enough not to become so obvious. The stories do rely a bit on the typical mistakes victims tend to make that ends up getting them killed, which I call “Low IQ horror Flick Syndrome”. Despite the obvious cliches, the film does pull through, especially when we are introduced to the terror-seeking group of kids that head to a quiet part of town to find out if the myths about a school bus massacre are true. As it happens often in Hollywood, talented child actors give a movie a sense of wonderment, innocence and tenderness that is otherwise unattainable with adult actors.
Continue reading Halloween Movie Night