My Final Words on ‘Jojo Rabbit’

These are the last words I will ever write about Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. After almost 4 months of fielding near-constant rudeness from the film’s fans, I’ve gotten tired of it. I’m tired of trying to explain to people who won’t listen why I found this film so harmful and upsetting. I’m just going to Continue reading My Final Words on ‘Jojo Rabbit’

Let’s Talk About The Gay Stuff in ‘It Chapter Two’

This article contains spoilers for It Chapter Two as well as the preceding film and the original novel. Like the Stephen King novel on which it’s based, It Chapter Two opens with a hate crime. Adrian Mellon (here played terribly by former director of note Xavier Dolan) kisses his boyfriend at a Derry carnival, and Continue reading Let’s Talk About The Gay Stuff in ‘It Chapter Two’

‘Phoenix’: The Best Imitation of Myself

She first sees herself in a shard of broken glass, laid so perfectly amid the rubble of a bombed-out concert hall that it might have been placed there for her, for this moment. She’s shocked, she jolts, she steps back, and then she stares. She stares at this face that isn’t hers, this person she Continue reading ‘Phoenix’: The Best Imitation of Myself

Defining the Box: ‘John Wick,’ ‘Hitman,’ and Systemic Spaces

There’s a shot in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum that epitomizes the series’ prime fixation. It’s a tracking shot following Halle Berry’s Sofia during a chaotic gunfight in Casablanca. The camera follows behind her back as she takes shots from behind the cover of a pillar. There’s a horizontal plane on which the action operates; she Continue reading Defining the Box: ‘John Wick,’ ‘Hitman,’ and Systemic Spaces

‘The End of Evangelion’ and Stan Brakhage

The film The End of Evangelion doesn’t open with the normal logo of production house Studio Gainax. Their typically unremarkable, austere card is replaced by the studio’s name briefly appearing in a lower corner of the screen, scratchy and erratically vibrating. Most people won’t think anything of this change (especially not considering the film that Continue reading ‘The End of Evangelion’ and Stan Brakhage

The Analog Terror of ‘The Ring’

I’ve tried several ways of saying it and they all sounded mealy-mouthed, so I’ll just be blunt: Horror movies almost never scare me. Time and again I’m been promised something truly terrifying, from Hereditary to The Witch to The Babadook, and time and again I walk away feeling distinctly unmoved. Even if I like the Continue reading The Analog Terror of ‘The Ring’

Performance and Selfhood in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

“Whose body is this?” Amnesiac cyborg warrior Alita asks it of her adopted father Ido. Her unfamiliarity and discomfort with it has become to much to bear. Salvaged from a scrapyard as a disembodied head and given a new shell, Alita knows instinctively that this body doesn’t belong to her. It doesn’t feel right. It Continue reading Performance and Selfhood in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

‘Escape Room,’ ‘Halloween,’ and the Immortality of Trauma

Hollywood franchising doesn’t leave room for healing. Being an individual possessed of an AMC A-List subscription, last weekend I saw the film Escape Room. It’s the sort of film that Moviepass and its ilk are made for. I’d never make time for this kind of cheapo January horror schlock if I didn’t have 3 tickets a Continue reading ‘Escape Room,’ ‘Halloween,’ and the Immortality of Trauma

SHOT MISSING: ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ and the New History of Found Footage

Orson Welles invented a genre, and died before anyone found out. Had it been released, as intended, in the 1970s, Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind would have completely redefined the found footage genre. Well, “redefined” isn’t the right word. After all, found footage cinema didn’t exist during the film’s production. Welles was inventing Continue reading SHOT MISSING: ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ and the New History of Found Footage

A Jewish Perspective on ‘BlacKkKlansman’

“If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” “Jewish? I dunno, am I?” You probably recognize the former quote, even if you don’t know its origin. It’s a saying by Jewish Talmudic thinker Hillel, one of the most significant figures in Continue reading A Jewish Perspective on ‘BlacKkKlansman’