• Cinephilia

    2018 [in films]

    Whenever people learn that I keep a spreadsheet to what films I see every year, the news is inevitably met with a bit of a giggle and a slight raise of the eye-brows. It’s geeky, I know. But I also don’t care, because movies—in case you didn’t know by now—are kind of my jam. Some people have sports, some people have cars…I have movies. This year, I had 182 movies to be exact. That’s a new personal high since I’ve been tracking—which, at least with spreadsheets, is five years. I notched those films in any number of ways, from theatrical screenings (53 of those, including a few film festivals); to…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

    If Beale Street Could Talk

    This is a cross-post with Third Coast Review. To those with just a passing awareness of such things, Moonlight may only be known as that film at the center of Envelopegate at the 2017 Academy Awards; the cast and crew of La La Land ascended to the stage thinking they’d won Best Picture, only to realize the wrong title had been announce and, in a reversal welcomed by cinephiles everywhere, Moonlight emerged as the true winner. The snafu cost Barry Jenkins and his remarkable film its much-deserved moment in the spotlight, but as legacies go, if it’s that memorable moment that gets this exceptional film on anyone’s radar, well…all’s well that ends well.…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: On the Basis of Sex

    On the Basis of Sex

    This is a cross-post with Third Coast Review. It could be reasonably argued that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the most important American woman alive today. In a deeply divided political climate, she sits in a pivotal seat on the highest court in the land, hailed by liberals and condemned by conservatives. In recent years (particularly after the 2016 elections), a certain portion of the nation has elevated her to celebrity status, complete with merch and memes galore in her honor. To put an even finer point on it, On the Basis of Sex is not even the first film this year to take on the woman behind the…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: The Favourite

    About a decade ago, when I was a young, budding, innocent cinephile, I heard about this film, Dogtooth. You must see it, they said. Naive and trusting as I was, I did just that. And I was never the same again.  Dogtooth is filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’s break-out feature about grown siblings confined to their home by over-protective parents. Claustrophobic as that may sound, things go very, very quickly from strange and intriguing to flat out weird, leaving one to wonder just what boundaries Lanthimos and co-writer Efthymis Filippou have left to cross. That film went on to garner an Oscar nomination, and Lanthimos went on to make more weirdly wonderful films,…