Category: 2019 Film Essays

1920s World Cinema - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Spirit of Revolution: How World Cinema Defined the 1920s

“There is a danger and dynamism to 20s cinema which was gradually eradicated by the standardisation of production processes.”

Prince of the City 1981 Movie - Film Essay About Justice

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #6 – ‘Prince of the City’

“‘Prince of the City’ is a taxing, draining experience, but one that is ultimately rooted in very real despair; the system, it argues, has failed. If these characters are the products of the American criminal justice system, then it ought to be blown up.”

QT8: The First Eight 2019 Documentary - Film Review

‘QT8: The First Eight’ Is a Fun Yet Lacking Look at Quentin Tarantino’s Movies

“‘QT8: The First Eight’ is a serviceable, well-edited survey of Tarantino’s filmography prior to ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.'”

The Nightingale Movie Review - 2018 Jennifer Kent Film

Jennifer Kent Sings a Bloody Song in ‘The Nightingale’

“Jennifer Kent’s ‘The Nightingale’ will not attract the same cult following or breadth of widespread fan devotion as ‘The Babadook,’ but her latest marks significant progress in the filmmaker’s command of story and cinematic language.”

So Proudly We Hail 1943 Movie - Film Essay

Why She Fights: On ‘So Proudly We Hail!’ and Female Camaraderie

“While a number of combat films released in 1943 focus almost exclusively on the male war effort, ‘So Proudly We Hail!’ finds nobility, heroism, anger, racism, sacrifice and camaraderie in its female characters.”

The Mandalorian and Western Elements - TV Essay

Who Was That Masked Man: ‘The Mandalorian’ and Westerns

“A lot can be said about the aesthetics of ‘The Mandalorian’ as they relate to Westerns, but even more so can be said of the thematic elements that comprise the new series.”

Queen and Slim 2019 Movie - Film Review

Love on the Run: Melina Matsoukas Makes Convincing Debut with ‘Queen & Slim’

“The desperate need to locate hope and light (and maybe even love where those things are in short supply) recommends ‘Queen & Slim,’ especially at a time of frustration and division.”

The Curse of the Cat People 1944 Movie - Film Essay

‘The Curse of the Cat People’: Val Lewton’s Groundbreaking Introduction of Childhood Fantasy

“Lewton’s insights into both childhood and adult inner personal conflicts are legacies which deserve recognition in the foundational history of horror, both for psychological thrillers and fantasy films.”

London Korean Film Festival 2019

London Korean Film Festival: Seeking Family and Identity in Four Female-Directed Debuts

London Korean Film Festival: Serena Scateni on ‘Young-ju,’ ‘A Bedsore, ‘A Boy and Sungreen’ and ‘Yukiko’

Tony Hancock - Hancock's Half Hour

Things Go Wrong: Tony Hancock’s Cinema of Despair

“The Hancock persona tapped into a uniquely British strain of malaise, which manifests itself in a fractious fatalism, a dread of impotence which finds its expression in outlandish displays of petulance, pettiness and pomposity.”

Parasite Movie - Film Essay

Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Parasite’ Infiltrates Year-End Best Movies Lists

“Like the Master of Suspense before him, Bong effortlessly blends the horrific and the comic en route to the icebox talk that has viewers questioning their own attitudes and beliefs through the unanswered mysteries of the story.”

Destroyer Movie Essay - 2018 Karyn Kusama Film

Karyn Kusama’s ‘Destroyer’: The Question of Identity

“Kusama skillfully reinterprets the stylistics of classic film noir to explore the genre’s timeless and heady themes: obsession, loneliness, guilt and (most of all) identity…”

The State of Things Movie Film

Sharing the Cinematic Bathwater: From Wim to Jim

“In retrospect, a film can seem so intentional, with every artistic choice so deliberate, that you can’t imagine it being any other way. But these movies that last for generations are often shaped by whims and circumstance.”

Dog Day Afternoon 1975 Movie - Film Essay About Justice

12 Angry Films: Sidney Lumet on Justice #5 – ‘Dog Day Afternoon’

“By creating such a sympathetic, human subject, Lumet deepens the impact of his institutional critique of the justice system; its dehumanizing effect on American society seems all the more tragic when Sonny is its victim.”

Just Don't Think I'll Scream Documentary

Photographic Memory in Frank Beauvais’ ‘Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream’

“Beauvais does what the essay filmmaker ought do: he appropriates film to his own ends. The combination of words and pictures rings nary a false note.”

Klute 1971 Movie - Film Essay

The Absent Presence in ‘Klute’

“In dramatizing themes of absence and presence so thoroughly, ‘Klute’ embodies a central feature of neo-noir; as a self-conscious revision of a classic film cycle, noir is always both absent and present in neo-noir films.”

Judy 2019 Movie - Film Essay

I Sing for Myself: Renée and Judy on Judy Garland

“Judy the Actress and Judy the Icon may have been one in the same after all.”

The Lighthouse 2019 Movie - Film Essay

Robert Eggers Unlocks ‘The Lighthouse’

“‘The Witch’ may be the superior film, but ‘The Lighthouse’ shows Eggers growing by leaps and bounds as a storyteller and visual stylist.”

Hustlers 2019 Movie - Film Essay

There’s No One Driving the Car: ‘Hustlers’ as Neo-Noir

“From the moment Ramona first appears, ‘Hustlers’ announces itself as a new addition to the neo-noir cannon — a film about bright lights in dark places.”

Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death

The Man Who Laughs: Richard Widmark’s Early Noirs

“Widmark offers a succession of performances in ‘Kiss of Death, ‘The Street with No Name’ and ‘Road House’ that show a young actor building, then resisting, and then reconciling his own burgeoning screen persona.”