I grew up with the Saw series. As much as I prefer and love the first, I still returned and watched every other iteration that Darren Lynn Bousman brought us. And I was genuinely sad to know that Spiral was delayed because I was excited to see him return to the franchise. I might have lost some of that excitement during Death of Me because uh, this movie ain’t it bud.
Possessor premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever (and also, no time at all, thanks Covid) to see it. Seeing nothing but praise for the film, and so I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. This week I got to see it, and holy shit. Holy actual shit. They did that.
I will be honest, writing this review might have been one of the hardest things I have to write to this day. Not because I hated the film but because of how much I found myself enjoying it and how much I ended up loving it. Putting words to why and what makes this film special was so hard that for days I found myself staring at a blank page. Kajillionaire is already out in theatres, I watched it a full month before its release date and I have no idea when this will be out. But I know I will try my damn best to say why I found Kajillionaire to be one of the most entertaining films of 2020.
“There came a time where I couldn’t lie to myself anymore.”
In 1968, a little off broadway play that was incredibly ahead of its time came about. A play about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party, only for an unexpected guest to intrude. It was one of the first times queer storytelling was unapologetically put on stage during a time not nearly as accepting as now; and only two years later a film adaptation came out and garnered one of its stars a Golden Globe nomination. For its 50th anniversary, Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) revived the play for Broadway with an all star cast led by Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) which ended up being a major hit. This brings us to this year’s film adaptation, with the same cast from Broadway, of The Boys In The Band.
When I had the chance to write a retrospective look-back on this film, I was beyond thrilled. Not only is today the 25th anniversary of it’s release (which also happens to be my birthday), but it’s one of my favourite films from one of my favourite directors, David Fincher. Films like Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network and Gone Girl never fail to rope me in with their superb writing, twisty plots and dark character drama (no matter how many times I’ve watched them). But before all those, there was one film that truly established Fincher’s style, and practically changed the game for the psychological-thriller genre. That film was Se7en.
I previously wrote some of this review a year and a half ago for The Film Queue. And for a million and one reasons, it feels like a lifetime ago. I was given the opportunity to watch it again in honour of it being released physically today, on September 22nd. So, please, go watch it. Rent it, buy it.
I also got to sit down (socially distanced of course) and talk with the Toronto-based director Zack Bernbaum. My interview will be posted soon.
Here is my updated review of The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova.
Going into a film not knowing much about it usually makes things more exciting. Not knowing exactly where the film is heading makes things more unpredictable; and we all know trailers spoil too much nowadays so I avoided the trailer for this movie. I soon realized that not knowing anything going into this film may have tainted my experience because the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder, do I care where this is going or is this even going anywhere for that matter?
Criticism, whether you’re critiquing art, film or anything in between, can be a very persuasive tool. This “power of the critic” can make the most insignificant things seem meaningful, or the most valuable things seem worthless. To put it simply, it’s all one big trick. This is exactly what The Burnt Orange Heresy is trying to convey.
From a young age, the horror genre has always stood out to me. It was the ultimate escape from reality and the pure adrenaline from being scared shitless was my go to for a good time. The more I got into film, I realized that a large part of why I enjoyed certain films came from whether or not I liked or could relate to the characters. I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) is quite literally why it’s one of my favorite movies. But the older I got and the more I began to understand who I was, I started to notice that I wasn’t necessarily seeing someone like me in horror. There was never the gay friend in a slasher movie, the queer kid who’s part of a family living in a haunted house, or even a gay couple in a home invasion, etc. Thankfully that’s finally changing.
To what extent does the past continue to dictate our future? Antebellum explores the relationship of slavery to the modern day, as main character Eden/Veronica (Janelle Monae) tries to navigate her life as a slave.