• Cinephilia

    Review: El Angel

    True crime stories are big business. Since the success of the blockbuster podcast Serial, seemingly every producer, writer and director in any medium is looking for the next big crime story to tell. Just look at the latest Netflix offerings on any given week…there’s always a new criminal to profile, a new mystery to try to solve. Which is what makes El Angel, a dramatization of the life of Argentina’s most notorious serial killer, such a captivating treat of a film. Not only is the timing perfect for a profile of the babyfaced, remorseless criminal who terrorized Buenos Aires in the 1970s, but as an import from the southern hemisphere, it’s likely…

  • City Stories

    2018 [on stage]

    I broke a personal record of sorts in 2018: thanks to exceptional access via Third Coast Review (hello, media tickets!), I saw a whopping 35 theatrical productions over the course of twelve months. From storefront productions to world-class opera and everything in between, there were weeks I saw several shows in a row. And of course, who can forget that super-festive holiday run in December. (To put this all in perspective, consider this: I only saw seven shows in 2017!) There are several highlights (and low-lights) that come to mind when I look back on the full list of shows (recorded below for posterity). Generally speaking, I’m most grateful for…

  • 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…