Anna Biller’s Alluring The Love Witch

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch centers on Elaine (Samantha Robinson), the eponymous enchantress who is on a quest to find true love—whatever that means. Elaine doesn’t seem quite sure herself. Following a divorce by her husband Richard (Robert Seeley), and her subsequent murder of him, Elaine feels romantically adrift. She has men  down to a… Continue reading Anna Biller’s Alluring The Love Witch

The Handmaiden Review

A grand narrative of love and betrayal, The Handmaiden appears to be a build-up and amalgamation of Park Chan-Wook’s earlier films. The provocation of Old Boy (2003), the cold sexual allure of Lee Geum-ja (Lee Young-ae) from Lady Vengeance (2005), and the sleekness of interior design from Stoker (2013) are all present here, wrapped up… Continue reading The Handmaiden Review

The Edge of Seventeen Review

A straightforward coming-of-age dramedy, what The Edge of Seventeen lacks in surprises, it makes up for in the sharp performance of its actors. Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld)—the titular seventeen-year old—feels that the world both revolves around her and wants nothing but for her to be unhappy. Quick witted and quick to anger, Nadine lashes out… Continue reading The Edge of Seventeen Review

“La La Land,” Blissful Ignorance, and the Myth of Jazz

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land can be seen as being comprised of three different films: a romance, a musical, and a film about art. None of these aspects of La La Land are particularly good; not because Chazelle stretches the film thin between themes or sub-plots, but rather, because he lacks nuance as both a… Continue reading “La La Land,” Blissful Ignorance, and the Myth of Jazz

Paul Verhoeven’s Tepid “Elle”

To praise Paul Verhoeven’s Elle simply for its controversial subject matter would be too easy and too dangerous. Such criticism would open the floodgates for a bevy of grossly violent films to be praised on their vulgarity alone. Not that such films don’t have anything to offer, but I think proper criticism should dig deep… Continue reading Paul Verhoeven’s Tepid “Elle”

“The Lost City of Z”

“Apocalypse Now,” “Aguirre, Wrath of God,” and “Fitzcarraldo.” James Gray’s latest, “The Lost City of Z,” stands out from these other Heart of Darkness-esque films by placing a focus on the natives of the story, specifically in making the natives to be a civilized group of people rather than barbarians protecting a mythical city. Consequently,… Continue reading “The Lost City of Z”

Zach Clark’s Moving “Little Sister”

Despite its roots in the American politics of 2008, Zach Clark’s “Little Sister” remains pertinent to the current American political scene. This isn’t to say that in twenty years if the American political landscape were vastly different “Little Sister” would no longer be a good film but that there are certain themes the film grapples… Continue reading Zach Clark’s Moving “Little Sister”