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Posted inFilm/TV

Comedy duo: ‘Triangle of Sadness’ and ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’

Reading Time: 4 minutes After a year short on laughs—in world affairs and at the cineplex—it’s welcome to have two excellent new comedies drop almost simultaneously. Don’t let the title deter you. Triangle of Sadness had me laughing out loud more than any film since 2020’s Borat sequel. As an added bonus, it has the best comedic vomiting sequence […]

Posted inFilm/TV

‘Hell-Bound Train’ (1930)—an ingenious moralizing oddity of early Black cinema

Reading Time: 3 minutes A few years ago, to fill in some gaps left by my formal education, I took a community college course on African American history. The assigned textbook, Freedom on My Mind, contains a still image from the 1915 Civil War/Reconstruction epic The Birth of a Nation. “D. W. Griffith’s silent cinematic masterpiece The Birth of […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘Prey’ is a trophy case of good filmmaking

Reading Time: 2 minutes Concluding 2022’s surprise “women marching into the dark, unknowable wilderness” trilogy that began with Firestarter and Hellbender is Dan Trachtenberg’s remarkable Prey. Quietly the fifth installment of the Predator franchise, a series of action/science fiction films involving extraterrestrial game hunters, Prey is the rare prequel unencumbered by lore or smug callbacks that refines the core […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘Elvis’ + ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’m hard pressed to name anything registering as a complete scene in Elvis, Baz Luhrmann’s fever dream of an Elvis Presley biopic that doesn’t so much cover the landmark events of the superstar musician’s life and career as it condenses those moments into an extended trailer advertising the American mid-twentieth century. That isn’t a criticism; […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Before MeToo, Egypt’s ‘Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story’ put a spotlight on gender inequality

Reading Time: 2 minutes African and Middle Eastern cinema tends to receive precious little attention in the United States, with Iran among the better represented in terms of State-side theatrical distribution (such as Panah Panahi’s Hit the Road, shamefully the only 2022 Middle Eastern release I’ve seen so far). Streaming and the DVD market have done a great deal […]

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