The King of Staten Island

Pete Davidson is The King of Staten Island, and the state of New York is certainly worse for it. Yet another Judd Apatow movie about an overgrown man-child where a comedian essentially plays himself, Pete Davidson is certainly convincing as a 25-year-old stoner who still hasn’t grown up. A semi-autobiographical slacker comedy about the lead…

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Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy

When we see someone through the eyes of the internet, we look at life through a developed persona. Sure, not all of us spewing a stream of consciousness into the internet are influencers, creating caricatures of ourselves to be looked up to, but we are all filters for what our digital worlds see of our…

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The Burnt Orange Heresy

An art dealer is hired to steal a painting from one of the most enigmatic painters of his day, and he is consumed by his own greed. Insecurities rise as this operation spins out of control. The Burnt Orange Heresy is a slightly uneven but engaging arthouse thriller, led by two fantastic performances and a…

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Tell It to the Bees is a Lesbian Story for Gay Audiences Adapted to a Heterosexual World

The key to a good adaptation is keeping the themes. A book-to-movie adaptation can change plot points, merge characters, and reinvent tone, but the core is always the theme of the original novel. Endings can change, but only as long as they are true to the characters and message that was called for. The film…

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The Long Walk

Anatomy of a murderer by way of a trek through darkness, The Long Walk is a bleak, meditative horror film. It’s an intricate tale of the pain left behind by time, told from the perspective of a serial killer. A deeply emotional time travel story, this horror film from Laos should put the nation on…

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Siberia

Last we saw of Abel Ferrara was with still-undistributed Cannes premiere Tommaso in 2019, starring Willem Dafoe as an aging, self-hating director. Siberia, premiering at Berlinale less than a year later, is perhaps the director’s elusive, hypothetical film. Starring Willem Dafoe again, who had previously collaborated with the auteur on projects like Pasolini, New Rose…

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Days

Cinema without dialogue seems like a strange thing, especially outside the realm of silent film, and even more so when set in a bustling city. The new feature from Taiwanese-Malaysian director Tsai Ming-liang is a slow meditation on loneliness and eroticism. Days opens with a title card that reads “intentionally unsubtitled.” This is not a…

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Disco (2019)

Disco is coming of age tightly wound with religion. Much like Alice Rohrwacher‘s  Corpo Celeste, it’s about the effect intense religious pressure within Christian denominations has on a young woman.  Mirjam (SKAM’s Josefine Frida Pettersen) is 19 years old, and a world champion freestyle disco dancer. Her Evangelical church takes great pride in this, and…

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Luz: The Flower of Evil

Luz: The Flower of Evil is a sort of Southwestern The Wicker Man. It is also the third film of Glasgow 2020 I have published a review of in which I refer to its “pastoral nature” uplifting its “overall dullness.” In this case, at least the dullness is occasionally interrupted by violent outbursts, which are…

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