Beasts of No Nation: A Eurocentric Tale of the Contemporary African Cannibal

  Beasts of No Nation,  a film by Cary Joji Fukunaga (director of HBO’s True Detective), has received an overwhelming amount of critical acclaim, earning the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, and has prompted many to suggest that Idris Elba is one of many actors of colour who have been overlooked during […]

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant and Sublime Cinema

  For fans of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is an affirmation that the classic anti-western (or anti-Western) can, in fact, be effectively adapted to the screen. Though very different in narrative structure, the film is clearly a kindred spirit to the novel in that it questions the ideals of the antiquated […]

Making A Murderer: Why Steven Avery’s Guilt Or Innocence Is Irrelevant

  The Netflix documentary Making a Murderer has set the internet ablaze, leading over 350,000 people to sign a petition to pardon the film’s subject, Steven Avery, thereby expanding the way people engage with film and television and the direct impact that entertainment media can have on the real world.  While many debate over whether Avery […]

The Force Awakens: Social Justice and Homage

  When J.J. Abrams helmed the Star Trek films that relaunched the franchise starting in 2009, he took it not only as an opportunity to pay homage to the source material, but also as an opportunity to provide social commentary, as demonstrated by Star Trek Into Darkness’s commentary on the war on terror.  It is […]

The Visit, The Green Inferno, and The Fear of the ‘Other’ In Hollywood

  It is no secret that Hollywood has a storied history with xenophobia in all its forms, whether it be in Birth of a Nation, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Sheik, and more recently with the forgettable No Escape (which frankly sounds more like the title of a wrestling pay-per-view special that a film).  Though […]

It Follows: An Existentialist Horror Film

  When It Follows was released in the spring of 2014, the film became a modest financial success and received praise for its clever screen writing, beautiful cinematography, and minimalist approach to building suspense.  The ambiguity of the titular ‘it’ opened the film up to multiple interpretations, one of the most common being that it […]

Psychoanalysis, Systematic Desensitization, and Flooding Treatment in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

  In 2012, the BFI’s survey of movie critics ranked Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic Vertigo as the greatest movie of all time (pretty good for a film that didn’t even get nominated for best picture).  Though such a ranking is certainly subjective, there is little doubt as to the high quality of the film. Looking at […]

Why I Won’t Be Watching No Escape

  A few years ago, I had the misfortune of seeing The Impossible.  The film, which had a stellar cast starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, explored the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and how it affected Khao Lak, a coastal region in Thailand.  The issue was that rather than having the courage to tell the […]

Hot Girls Wanted: Documentary or Click-Baiting?

  Hot Girls Wanted boasts of offering an exclusive, never-before-seen look at the adult-film industry and its exploitative and manipulative ways, but what the film amounts to is click-baiting masked as a socially conscious documentary.  The film follows several young women at various stages of their adult-film careers, each demonstrating various degrees of naivety and entitlement, […]

Fury Road: An Opus For Egalitarian Environmentalists

  Self-proclaimed ‘men’s rights activist’ Aaron Carey (no, we did not elect him to represent us) has recently attacked George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, accusing the film, which he had not seen, of ‘feminist propaganda’, or so his ‘Spidey senses’ warned him (if you don’t mind having to click off of an advertisement for […]