Legendary directors Max Ophüls and Luchino Visconti are all over its sets and settings, but in its bones Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel pays tribute to the effortless glamour, ineffable humor, and pleasurable melancholy of Ernst Lubitsch.
Terence Davies's Of Time and the City is about the most desperate and profound longing, that impossible desire to return to something intangible—to have known then what we know now, and in the process save something of ourselves.
Now edging past middle-age, Chicano, raised in southeast L.A., a professional educator, I’ve been engaged in an affair with movies that has lasted a lifetime—and realized I’m always riding shotgun myself when it comes to truly sharing a common film past.
The first few times I saw Chasing Amy, I loved it. Central to my adoration was the inimitable Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams)—her confidence and swagger as she sat on a playground swing set and impishly demonstrated the act of fisting with her hands, interrogated heterosexual men about their limited perceptions of sexuality and desire, and played gratuitous tonsil hockey with another woman on the crowded dance floor of legendary NYC dyke bar Meow Mix (RIP).
The older I get, the more I find myself impressed by Audrey Hepburn as an actor who was great in spite of her packaging; by the evolution of her raw and untrained talent over the span of her relatively short career; and most of all, by the undeniably prickly undercurrent of her most iconic films.
The now of Joan Micklin Silver’s 1977 masterpiece Between the Lines is a major concern for the characters. What is this generation’s identity now, another decade into adulthood and another decade removed from the days in which they believed they might actually change the world?
Barbie is not entirely a musical. It’s more a patchwork quilt of influence: the scuttlebutt dialogue of Hawks, the quiet sensuality of Almodóvar, the transient yearning of Wenders. But it’s the musicality that brings it to life—that pours soul into Barbie’s plastic limbs.
Brazen and radical, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion offers not only a beautiful story of friendship, but also forces each of us to journey back to those hallowed grounds of high school, and to reexamine the years since.
News from Home reminds us that film, as an art form, is only capable of reconstructing, re-making paths that have already been trod, of showing scars but not soothing the wound, of hearing from home but being unable to change the fact that it took you a long time to come back.
Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman manages to recognize the rich and complex interiority of children—a rarity in art, especially art made by and for adults; it simply depicts children as children know themselves to be.
Claire Simon's Our Body is not only a fascinating look into the modern healthcare system, but is also, as with any documentary worth its weight, a peek into the ordinariness of extraordinary things.