TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID — Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

tifers are not afraid posterWith her 2017 feature Tigers are Not Afraid, Mexican filmmaker Issa López became the first woman to ever win the Best Horror Director award at Austin’s Fantastic Fest where it premiered. López’s potent and deeply beautiful film tells the story of a group of children abandoned as a result of the brutal dominance of a powerful drug cartel in their urban Mexican neighbourhood. Centred around an extraordinary performance by young actor Paola Lara in her feature film debut, she plays eleven-year-old Estrella who – like many of the children with whom she unites in an attempt to survive a world of unimaginable violence and pain – while often fearless, must necessarily negotiate her experiences from her youthful perspective. Continue reading…

read more

San Diego Comic-Con 2018: Expanding Fan Support for Women in Film — Leslie Combemale reports

san diego comic con logoFor many years, there have been symposiums, panels, and gatherings at many of the world’s film festivals to educate and support women both in front of and behind the camera. This has always made sense. There are far more opportunities for female filmmakers and stories in the independent space. Recently, another study announced the continued bleak percentages of women being hired to helm films at the major studios. What reason then, would there be for expanding representation of women on panels and at events surrounding San Diego Comic-Con, or SDCC as it’s known to fans? It is the convention that celebrates the most popular, most promoted, and studio-driven projects in Hollywood. As it turns out, every reason in the world. Continue reading…

read more

BLACKKKLANSMAN — Review by Brandy McDonnell

Based on an outrageous true story, Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” veers wildly between hilarious and harrowing, thrilling and appalling, smart and stylish. Most importantly, the two-time Oscar nominee’s latest “joint,” as Lee calls his films, is undeniably relevant, even though most of the events it chronicles happened 40 years ago. Continue reading…

read more

What’s Up Down Under? Monica Bellucci Fronts NEKROTRONIC at TIFF Premier — Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Up from Down Under, look for a stunning performance from iconic French screen legend Monica Bellucci in Nekrotronic, the sophomore effort from Australian horror filmmakers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner and their production company Guerilla Films. Nekrotronic stars Bellucci as a corrupt demon-hunter whose turn to the darkside threatens life both online and off, leaving the fate of humankind in the hands of Howard (Ben O’Toole), Molly (Caroline Ford), and Torquel (Tess Haubrich). Continue reading…

read more

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME — Review by Susan Granger

I really enjoy supporting women writers/directors, which is perhaps why I was a bit disappointed by Susanna Fogel’s buddy-comedy caper which, unfortunately, wastes the prodigious talent of SNL’s Kate McKinnon. In the midst of a shootout at an open air market in Vilnius, Lithuania, halfway across the world in Los Angeles, Audrey (Mila Kunis) is celebrating her 30th birthday, having just been dumped – via text – by one of the gunmen, Drew (Justin Theroux). He’s a C.I.A. agent and he doesn’t want to place Audrey in danger. Continue reading…

read more

Godard and Sound: Acoustic Innovation in the Late Films of Jean-Luc Godard — Book Review by Kathleen Sachs (Guest Post, Exclusive)

Albertine Fox does a fantastic job summarizing the book’s theoretical mission in the first chapter. The book is not only a good resource for the topic at hand; it also provides ‘mini-lessons’ on subjects with which readers may be unfamiliar. This reflects the author’s thoughtfulness—she doesn’t assume that everyone reading is familiar with every reference, and she elaborates in such a way that even those who are familiar will glean something new from how she connects the ideas to her own. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE

read more

THE MEG — Review by Susan Granger

Lurking in the depths of the Pacific Ocean is something very, very scary – according to former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham), who now spends his time in a drunken stupor on Thailand’s waterfront after a questionable decision cost him his career and his marriage. Summoned by billionaire Jack Morris (Rainn Wilson) to a deep-sea research facility called Mana One, located 200 miles off the coast of China, Jonas discovers that his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) is trapped in a tiny submersible 11,000 meters down, beneath a layer of hydrogen sulfide in the Mariana Trench which, apparently, covers an even deeper canyon. Continue reading…

read more

THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Supergirl Soars, Gal Gadot Speaks, SAG-AFTRA Counsels — Brandy McDonnell reports

Look! Up in the sky and on the big screen: Warner Bros and DC are developing a feature film based around Supergirl. The similarly superpowered cousin of Superman, will finally get a chance at silver-screen redemption after the fizzle of her widely planned 1984 film starring Helen Slater. Gal Gadot fans will hear the Wonder Woman star’s voice as the tough and gritty Shank in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet, which hits theaters this Thanksgiving. SAG-AFTRA and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation are working together to provide workplace sexual harassment counseling services for members of the union. The services are administered by trained counselors at The Actors Fund, a national human services organization for entertainment, media and performing arts professionals. Read the details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

read more

THE WIFE — Review by Susan Wloszczyna

THE WIFE POSTERI was somewhat distracted by a nagging voice in my head as I was savoring the sight of Glenn Close slaying it in The Wife as a devoted yet increasingly fed-up spouse of a self-described “narcissistic bastard” of an acclaimed novelist. “How does she not have an Oscar yet,” it kept saying every time she took her modulated slow-burn performance to the next level of perfectly expressed pique. Yes, it is often annoying when a critic makes awards predictions before the season starts. But with six losses under Close’s belt for career-defining and culturally significant roles – making her the living actress with the most nominations without a win – such speculation is hard to resist. Continue reading…

read more

EYE ON MEDIA: Keeping Up With Hugh Grant — Profile by Martha Nochimson

hugh grant head 2On IMDb.com, a biographical note by Steve Shelokhonov, who has made his mark, such as it is, as the author of IMDb mini-biographies, describes Hugh Grant as an actor known for “playing characters projecting warmth and sincere happiness.” It’s not an important piece of scholarship, but it is widely read, due to its venue, and it is, unfortunately, typical of the kind of entertainment journalism that promotes reductive stereotypes of star reputations. It’s undated, but couldn’t have been written much after 2003, so it grows out of Grant’s early work. Even so, it is a distortion. Continue reading on EYE ON MEDIA

read more