• Cinephilia

    Watch This: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

    It happened this week: Blue is the Warmest Color hit Netflix streaming. I’ve already written how moving I found this film, what a compelling performance Adele Exarchopoulos delivers. No matter. The news that the film is now streaming on Netflix merits mentioning it yet again. The film didn’t get any recognition at the Oscars. The rumor I read was that France didn’t submit it as their Best Foreign Language pick because the US distributor thought they could finagle nominations in the main categories (Picture, Actress, etc.). Which certainly isn’t unheard of (Life is Beautiful), but unfortunately didn’t pan out. In the waning days of winter, I can’t recommend hunkering down for…

  • Cinephilia

    Watch This: MISS BALA

    In the Fall of 2011, I was in the middle of my run as programmer at the Indy Film Fest, and my curation radar was on high alert. I was seeing more movies than most people see in a decade and no matter how many came my way, I was always looking for the next best one. When I got the opportunity to head up to the Chicago International Film Festival with an Industry credential, I seized it, figuring I’d not only get a chance to spend a weekend home but see a few great films while there. I know I had to have seen at least half a dozen…

  • Bookish

    Watch This: internet video edition

    Please, please – watch this video. You can wash dishes or fold the laundry while you do – he just stands at the podium the whole time. But it’s not the visuals we’re here for, folks. I land somewhere on the voracious end of the “How Much Do You Love Reading?” scale, at least in intention if not always execution (what can I say? I get busy. With movies.) And all due credit goes to my mom, who did exactly what Gaiman describes in that video there: she read to us aloud, my big brother and I tucked into our bunk-beds listening to the adventure of the kids at Wayside…

  • Cinephilia

    Watch This: Brooklyn Castle

    I am a documentary junkie. I watch documentaries like your grandma watches her soaps – often and voraciously. A well-made documentary is one of the most compelling uses of visual storytelling, and I’m always on the hunt for a new one. Enter Brooklyn Castle. From 2012, this is not your typical public-education-is-broken documentary. In fact, the filmmaker has said she wanted to turn her camera on something going well for a change. And did she ever. I.S. 318 in Brooklyn, NY is an urban middle school where more than 70% of students live below the poverty line. It’s also a school with a chess team that’s won national championships year after…