James Espinoza

when the horizon's in the middle, it's boring as shit

Favorite films

  • Chungking Express
  • Insiang
  • Edward II
  • All These Sleepless Nights

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  • Avatar: The Way of Water

    ★★★

  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

    ★★★★

  • After Yang

    ★★★

  • A Short Story

    ★★★★

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  • Aftersun

    Aftersun

    ★★★★★

    Hindsight is 20/20 because it is only with this tool that we can even begin to truly understand our parents. But much of this hindsight is based on recollection, and memory is such a fickle thing. A flash of a sad expression on their face that you didn't register then but suddenly remember now — is it real or is it imagined.

    Aftersun almost feels like a spiritual sequel to The Lost Daughter because of the shared underlying sadness of…

  • Memoria

    Memoria

    ★★★★

    “I have no desire to go anywhere. Experiences are harmful. They unleash a violent flurry in my memory.”

    The film has a 10-minute scene where Jessica (Swinton) and a sound engineer try to find the perfect sound and it is—I’m telling you—the most compelling piece of cinema you’ll see this year / ever. This is also my favorite scene because it shows how the memories in our head become different once expressed and then altered again when perceived by another;…

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  • John Denver Trending

    John Denver Trending

    ★★★★

    What struck me throughout watching John Denver Trending was seeing John Denver’s ink-stained polo, which remained dirtied despite his vigorous scrubbing. Once he was marked and singled out, there was no way of getting a clean reputation back. Not that John Denver was actually of pristine character, thereby making the film’s message of empathy even more powerful.

    John Denver Trending broke my heart. The sight of a mother’s tearful yet firm resolve to protect her helpless son is something I…

  • Mamu (and a Mother Too)

    Mamu (and a Mother Too)

    ★★★★

    Mamu; And a Mother too overturns the prevailing trans representation in local films by steering away from tragic narratives that, while undeniably real, have been normalized by the recent plethora of trans-centered films. Though the plight of the trans community is still on full display in MAAMT, the film strikes a balance between poignancy and humor by delivering well-positioned jokes, in none of which are the protagonists treated as the punchlines.

    MAAMT is rife with sex positivism and portrays sexual…