• Cinephilia

    Review: Blaze

    Blaze

    Ethan Hawke has been nominated for an Oscar four times, twice for writing and twice for acting. This year, he may just add another for his spellbinding performance in Paul Schrader’s gut-wrenching First Reformed. Though not recognized to the same degree, Hawke has also spent his fair share of time behind the camera, from 2001’s ensemble piece Chelsea Walls to the 2014 documentary Seymour: An Introduction. Hawke returns to the helm with his latest film, Blaze, a biopic about Austin-based musician Blaze Foley (nee Mike Fuller).  Blaze combines a lot of what Hawke (who makes a small cameo in the film) loves, including Texas, music and Richard Linklater. With an indulgent 127 minute…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: White Boy Rick

    This is a crosspost with Third Coast Review. The most compelling part of White Boy Rick, the true story of a Detroit teenager who became a hustler, an FBI informant and a drug kingpin all before the age of 16, comes at the very end of the film, when a brief epilogue addresses Rick Wershe, Jr.’s fate after the same enforcement officers he’d informed for desert him when he becomes a defendant. In an instant, an already multi-layered drama about the strength of family ties, coming of age in a crime-riddled city and the choices we make when we’re painted into the proverbial corner manages an even more meaningful depth as an…

  • Just This

    Wedding by the Lake

    When you grow up in the Midwest, it’s not uncommon to ask friends or even extended family what they’re up to for the weekend and get in response something to do with “heading to the lake house.” Whether it’s Michigan or Wisconsin, having a lake house (or regular access to one) in a neighboring state is Chicago’s version of a place in the Hamptons. Hate to disappoint, but I did not grow up with, nor do I have as an adult, a lake house.  So when I was invited to a late-summer wedding complete with an extra bed at a lake house the bride and groom had rented for the…