• Cinephilia

    Review: All In – The Fight for Democracy

    For longer than I care to admit, before seeing All In: The Fight For Democracy, I referred to it in shorthand as “the Stacey Abrams documentary.” I meant no offense by this; rather, it was simply a quick way to reference a film about a rising political player who made a name for herself during her historic 2018 run for the office of Governor of Georgia. Reader, so that you don’t make the same mistake I do, please know that this important documentary about the history and value of voting rights in America is not so much “Stacey Abrams’s documentary” as it is an urgent call to action to every member…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Sibyl

    After winding its way through film festivals around the world since premiering at Cannes in 2019, Justine Triet’s Sibyl is now available to screen in the United State through limited-capacity theaters and at-home virtual cinemas. And the film, about a therapist trying to become a writer despite one last client who refuses to let her go (and vice-versa), is a serviceable option as a bit of an escape from the dreary, nearly-fall chill that’s recently set in over Chicago. But the script, which Triet co-wrote with Arthur Harari, is a bit too confused—despite the title—about whose film this is exactly, and it comes quite close to being stolen entirely by a supporting…

  • Cinephilia

    Review: Rent-a-Pal

    While I don’t have much reason to interact with “incels” (involuntarily celibate (usually) men), like anyone who spends any time online, I’m familiar with the trope. Rent-a-Pal, written and directed by Jon Stevenson, is set some twenty years before that concept ever caught on, but it plays like an instruction manual for how to build a bitter, unfulfilled man who’s so entrenched in his own victim mentality that those around him become victims to his brutality. Stevenson’s directorial debut is a moody, retro exploration of toxic masculinity, both historic and contemporary, one that will disturb more than scare. Brian Landis Folkins is David, who lives in a dank, small house with…