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
Continued from the previous post…below my thoughts on the films watched in June (with a bit of a delay)
Continue reading Months in Review: Films of May & June (part 2)
As the warm summer breeze begins to sweep by Chicago’s sandy lakeshores, one is hard-pressed to find justification for staying indoors. As enjoyable as a film can be, the allure of being able to wear a t-shirt outside after a long wintry hibernation can sometimes prove too tempting.
If the summer is also accompanied by the 2018 edition of the World Cup, then the act of film watching becomes an impossibility. There’s simply no time after putting in an 8 or 9 hour work shift, to find time to watch a movie after you’ve also enjoyed two 90-minute games of soccer.
Continue reading Months in Review: The World Cup + Films of May & June 2018 (part 1)
The tail end of winter seems to have left us and, with it, the start of a new romance in my life. For that and other professional reasons, I have, once again, neglected this blog of mine. Even so, my appetite for movies remains unchanged even if life has a way of sneaking up on the time you thought you had.
In the last three months (February, March and April) I have watched a total of 24 films. The average rating for these has been a solid 3.34 out of 5. There have been a handful of highlights courtesy of a group of films from 2016 that sit among the best reviewed of the year. Such are Fences, Edge of Seventeen, Hidden Figures and Lion. However, I have also been disappointed with cinematic efforts that I was genuinely excited to see. Such are Florence Foster Jenkins, Ghost in the Shell and, to some extent, Hacksaw Ridge.
Continue reading Months in Review: February, March & April
It comes 10 months into 2012 but, for the first time, I am confident enough to make my own list of the “best” films of 2011.
Imagine how important it was for me to wait until now to publish this list, that the film that eventually ends up at the top is one that I only managed to watch 3 weeks ago. Without it, this list would have been a crime against my own taste.
Instead of giving you a top 10 or a top 20, I simply give you a run-down of all of the films that received, at the very least, a 4/5 (very good) in my rating system. The result is that there are 17 films out of the almost 100 films from 2011 that I managed to watch, 11 of which received a 4/5, five films received a 4.5/5 and only one received the very rare 5/5.
Despite still missing some highly praised films released the previous solar year (it is impossible to cover them all), I now give you my favorite films of 2011 (and why they are) when we are already in October 2012:
Continue reading The Best Films of 2011 (updated)
Nearing the conclusion of March, I’m still struggling to keep pace with my film reviews. Here are some of the latest films I have seen:
The Skin I Live In
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Vera Elena Alaya
Pedro Almodovar once again delivers a delicately crafted film that is driven by tragedy, lunacy and, often times, depravity. The Spanish director dares to go where the majority might not, visiting dark, largely forbidden subjects that are very much non-existent in mainstream Hollywood. Almodovar goes beneath the sleek, often times simplistic view of sex that the film industry perpetuates as he explores a world driven by carnal desires and strange fetishes that often supersede moralistic considerations, defying social norms and challenging the viewer to reevaluate his own set of values.
Continue reading Mini Film reviews: February & March (part 2)