ESSAYS

September 30, 2010

Central Station and the Cinema Novo tradition

Central Station is one of the most popular and internationally acclaimed Brazilian films of the 1990s. It heralded a renaissance in Brazilian cinema.
July 24, 2011

The Tree of Life, or how to fail at the impossible

The world is whole beyond human knowing. -Wendell Berry The Tree of Life, by renowned director Terrence Malick, is years in the making. Its history starts even before Malick’s previous film, The New World, was distributed in 2005. After generating a substantial amount of ink in the media, and hot on the heels of the film’s highly publicized win of […]
March 26, 2010

The City and the Dogs (Francisco J. Lombardi, 1985)

he City and the Dogs, based on the popular novel of the same name by Mario Vargas Llosa, is an allegory of power in South America.
March 22, 2010

Funny Dirty Little War (Hector Olivera, 1983)

Although separated by more than a decade, Funny Dirty Little War and Macunaïma both try to provoke social change by using satire.
March 22, 2010

Araya (Margot Benacerraf, 1959)

The most striking aspect of the movie Araya is its beautifully contrasted black-and-white photography. Benacerraf effectively conveys her love of Venezuela.
September 28, 2010

Coming Home: Melodrama and social change

David Ehrenstein condemns melodramas like Coming Home for perpetuating the illusion that they can affect social change instead of creating real change.
September 28, 2010

Flowers of Shanghaï (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 1998)

Hou Hsiao Hsien’s depiction of life in Flowers of ShanghaÏ explores the inherent contradictions in the era’s Chinese society.
October 1, 2010

Election (Alexander Payne, 1999)

There are some movies that change your perception of what is possible, what is allowed. Alexander Payne's Election was that for me.
September 28, 2010

In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)

Wong Kar-Wai is considered influential. In the Mood for Love (2000) was a big commercial success for him. How does it compare to Wong Kar-Wai’s other work?
February 27, 2018

On the dopeness of Black Panther

I’ve been excited about Black Panther from the moment I heard about it. Anything that involves Our Lady Lupita (you know her as Lupita Nyong’o) get me psyched. I adore Lupita—and the fact that she can actually spit some bars is icing on a fine cake.
June 3, 2011

In defence of criticism: The case of The Hangover Part II

“Most critics really don’t get it.”, as they say. I feel compelled to respond to the casual filmgoers who don't understand the critic’s perspective.
October 1, 2010

The African diaspora: Colonialism and displacement

The transatlantic slave trade was one of the most disruptive acts in history, separating Africans from their backgrounds, traditions, and identities. This has had a significant impact on diaspora films.