Between Worlds Cigarette

Film Review: Between Worlds

Israel’s Between Worlds is an intriguing film about an unexpected friendship between two women, one of whom uses a false identity. Director/ screenwriter Miya Hatav lets the audience in on the reason for the deception, which adds a note of tension throughout. A young man named Ulli is taken to a Jerusalem hospital after being seriously injured during a stabbing attack. His religious mother Bina (Maya Gasner) goes to stay with him. It is the first time in quite a while that she has been with he[Read more]
Europa Europa Star Of David

Film Appreciation: Europa Europa

Introduction Conventional wisdom holds that you should know as little as possible about films before watching them, in order to form a clear and unbiased opinion. And then there are films like 1990’s Europa Europa. I think a lot of people would dismiss this film if they went into it cold. Director Agnieszka Holland (who also wrote the script using additional material from Paul Hengge) eschews the “based on a true story” intertitle that would become ubiquitous a few years later. There is a [Read more]
Frantz With Family

Assumed Identities: List For Week Ending August 20, 2017

Our films this week all deal with characters who are in situations that force them to assume new identities. Amal in Between Worlds, who is Palestinian, does this so that she can see her Jewish boyfriend in the hospital. Solek in Europa Europa, who is Jewish, must adopt a new identity to avoid capture by the Nazis. Assumed identities can make compelling cinema. This is not intended as an all-inclusive list. Reader suggestions are welcome. If you know an addition to this list, please write using [Read more]
Still Tomorrow Field

Film Review: Still Tomorrow

Jian Fan’s documentary Still Tomorrow is an unpretentious, haunting film about poet Xiahua Yu. Like the poems written by Ms. Yu, this film never tries to win you over. It simply presents its case with such dignity that you surrender to it of your own accord. Yu came to national attention in 2015 when her poem Cross Half Of China To Sleep With You went viral online. This is not a love poem but a fantasy created by a woman deeply unhappy within her current relationship. Yu’s striking imagery a[Read more]
The Sessions Kissing II

Film Appreciation: The Sessions

When Fox Searchlight Pictures released The Sessions in 2012, the studio went with taglines like “The festival hit of the year!” and “Based on the triumphant true story”. It is not hard to see why the studio took a low-key approach. The film’s story, how disabled writer Mark O’Brien hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity, requires careful handling. In the wrong hands, this narrative could be exploitative or, on the other end of the spectrum, preachy. Thankfully, it is ne[Read more]
Classics are still being made

Film Review: Between Worlds

Film Review: Between Worlds

Israel’s Between Worlds is an intriguing film about an unexpected friendship between two women, one of whom uses a false identity. Director/ screenwriter Miya Hatav lets the audience in on the reason for the deception, which adds a note of tension throughout. A young man named Ulli is taken to a Jerusalem hospital after beingContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: Europa Europa

Film Appreciation: Europa Europa

Introduction Conventional wisdom holds that you should know as little as possible about films before watching them, in order to form a clear and unbiased opinion. And then there are films like 1990’s Europa Europa. I think a lot of people would dismiss this film if they went into it cold. Director Agnieszka Holland (whoContinue Reading

Film Review: Still Tomorrow

Film Review: Still Tomorrow

Jian Fan’s documentary Still Tomorrow is an unpretentious, haunting film about poet Xiahua Yu. Like the poems written by Ms. Yu, this film never tries to win you over. It simply presents its case with such dignity that you surrender to it of your own accord. Yu came to national attention in 2015 when herContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: The Sessions

Film Appreciation: The Sessions

When Fox Searchlight Pictures released The Sessions in 2012, the studio went with taglines like “The festival hit of the year!” and “Based on the triumphant true story”. It is not hard to see why the studio took a low-key approach. The film’s story, how disabled writer Mark O’Brien hires a sex surrogate to helpContinue Reading

Films About Poets: List For Week Ending August 6, 2017

Films About Poets: List For Week Ending August 6, 2017

Our films this week all depict poet’s lives, either in documentaries or in docudramas. This is not intended as an all-inclusive list. Reader suggestions are welcome. If you know an addition to this list, please write using the comments below. Still Tomorrow (2016) (Reviewed In Thinking Cinema 8/4/17)  http://www.thinkingcinema.com/film-review-still-tomorrow/ The Sessions (2012) (Article In ThinkingContinue Reading

Film Review: Brigsby Bear

Film Review: Brigsby Bear

Dave McCary’s Brigsby Bear is an eccentric, sweet-natured film that succeeds largely because of a winning performance by Kyle Mooney. This is a promising debut for director McCary and star Mooney (who also co-wrote with Kevin Costello). Although you may have seen elements of this film before, it is not likely you have seen themContinue Reading

Film Appreciation: The Truman Show

Film Appreciation: The Truman Show

It is sometimes said that a great film makes news and goes on making news. Certainly, that is the case with Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Story. This is a deceptively gentle satire on corporate behavior and mass media that may require more than one viewing to register fully. The basic story is aContinue Reading