• Cinephilia

    Review: The Nightingale

    Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale may just be the hardest film of the year to watch. It is brutal and intense, devastating and unflinching. It is also essential, and features perhaps one of the best performances of the year from Aisling Franciosi (“Game of Thrones”). She stars as Clare, a woman wronged who is on the warpath for revenge—though that wildly oversimplifies what Kent has accomplished here: a bold, fiery statement on colonialism, patriarchy, racism, classism…pick your -ism, really. A native of Australia, Kent sets The Nightingale in Tasmania in 1825, when the British were in full imperialization mode and the land was more prisoners’ colony than settled community. Clare is there, toiling away on…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: The Chambermaid

    Like last year’s triumphant Roma, a film by Alfonso Cuarón set in Mexico City, Lila Avilés’s debut feature film, The Chambermaid, follows the life of a servant. In Roma, it was a live-in caretaker whose life unfolded on screen; here, it’s hotel maid Eve (Gabriela Cartol), who cleans and resets guest rooms in a high-rise, high luxury property with internal machinations as bustling as the comings and goings of its guests. Avilés sets her focus on Eve from the beginning, and it’s a tight focus throughout. Though we get glimpses of Eve’s surroundings—the plush guest rooms, the staff cafeteria—the camera is largely concerned with Eve and her day-to-day experience. As such, there isn’t much…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Mike Wallace is Here

    Mike Wallace Is Here

    The generation obsessed with social media and information that’s instantly available may not even know who Mike Wallace was (and they’re the worse off for it). Though 60 Minutes, the show he helped create in 1968, is still on the air and remains a mainstay in television news, featuring some of the most respected journalists of our day, it’s not exactly a go-to for millennials seeking an informed perspective on the world. That could be because it’s a show, like Wallace himself, that takes its time on any given story, preferring to dig deep and uncover all the most important details rather than rush to report and feed the 24-hour-news cycle. Avi…