Not since Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend has a film so adeptly captured the experience of alcoholism, showing the creative aspects of the substance not as mutually exclusive with its destructive tendencies, and its destructive side not silencing its positive effects. Tactfully constructed, the film shows both sides of the coin. The rise and fall, the illumination and the curse, the divine drunkenness and the deadly hangover. Without judgment but with a narrative that allows us to evaluate all this,…
☆"When you got the Devil on your back, you oughtta just stay still, let him do as he pleases. 'Cause once he's done, find a cleaver for your throat, because the Lord has seen your treason."☆
What were you doing when you were 17? Probably not what Phillip Youmans is doing, that is, making an Independent Spirit Award-nominated picture. The now-19-year-old (enjoy it kid, it's all downhill from here) is up for the coveted John Cassavetes Award this year --…
Burning Cane tries to reconcile what is heard and experienced in church with what is seen and felt when Sunday service is over. That’s a daunting task for any film, let alone one made by a 17-year-old still in high school. Phillip Youmans’ writing-directing debut, a shocking accomplishment given his age, takes place in rural Louisiana, where a grandmother named Helen (Karen Kaia Livers) negotiates a fragile relationship with her alcoholic son (Dominique McLellan), fearful of what his own boy…
Originally posted on my blog.
This rediscovery by streaming provider MUBI is one of the most interesting films you can watch. On the surface, this is because of the fantastic political insights given by Baldwin, the subject of this short documentary.
After all, this is a film of him speaking about his life as a writer in Paris, that is fascinating enough. Of course, it being Baldwin – one of the most important voices of recent history (recently immortalised in…
“Memory is the selection of images, some elusive, others printed indelibly on the brain. Each image is like a thread, each thread woven together to make a tapestry of intricate texture. And the tapestry tells a story, and the story is our past.”
What an emotional banger this masterfully crafted high drama excursion into southern gothic is. Filled with swampy atmos and terrific performances, I’m Amazed that this got made in 1997... and even more amazed/saddened that this would barely…
Eve's Bayou is a forgotten gem of American cinema. It is a character study that doesn't give away too much, too soon. It rewards the patient viewer, and it also lets the audience decide what memories they choose to take away from the film.
Eve's Bayou has a Southern Fried feel mixed with a jazzy New Orleans groove. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the landscape truly is a central character in the film. Kasi Lemmons' directing is near-flawless, and Amy…
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
- Ode on a Grecian Urn
With simplicity we can say the most complex things. I am convinced that this is a singular and universal truth. I've always considered it an artist's burden to chip away at the ugly reality and find the beautiful truth hidden behind it.
The world is, essentially, an awful place, but life isn't. Or shouldn't…
"[there's] always another day, right?"
a soft, relaxing ode to the brave act of getting out of bed every morning, and continuing to find your own avenues of creativity, love and support in a world that doesn’t hand you any. practically radical in its insistence on a simple, quiet, warm existence where everyone in the american working class is striving, creating and loving despite everything else trying to confine them. your first and last piece of art is the life you live—monumental, highly doubt there will be a better movie this year.
In a prior article regarding Giverny I (Négresse Impériale) (2017), a short film by director Ja'Tovia Gary, I wrote that by “incorporating standards of collage art, flicker movies, structural cinema, animation, glitch art, and various other experimental traditions, Gary once again sculpts a shape for her film that seems open at all ends, producing innumerable associations within the disparate materials at play, up to and including the material of film itself… [drawing] connections between politically urgent aspects of contemporary life…
I never realized my own silence until I watched this film. While a lot of the issues addressed here is common knowledge to me, it's Marlon Riggs voice and perspective that makes it profound.
I too was overcomed with joy discovering A Portrait of Jason as I hung on to every word uttered by this unabashedly queer black femme as he acted as my only window to the past (there are times when I feel cheated because no one ever…
The title is simplistic enough in telling us what the film wants to achieve. Not 'trouble', not 'boy' but a man like anyone else. In a turbulent political period for America the front line battle for racial equality has been well documented, yet for the majority, the men and women unseen by the cameras, the daily grind of acceptance from others continued.
Which is exactly what we are shown here. A regular guy living a regular life, shown within the…
"They may not use a knife, but they have other ways."
Movies about racism to this day rely on cliché conflicts and physically violent clashes often to communicate nothing more than "racism exists and it is bad" (or in the case of pablum like THE HELP, "racism existed and it was bad until good white people stopped the bad white people from being so gosh darn racist."). What NOTHING BUT A MAN reminds us is that the violence of institutionalized…