MARINA ANTUNES is the Editor-in-Chief of Quiet Earth and co-hosts the Before The Dawn podcast. Vancouver-based, she has written about film since 2005. She’s a member of AWFJ’s Team #MOTW.

  Female Film Critics 24/365  recent blog posts

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO – Brandy McDonnell reviews

In a cinematic era when so many movies seem to drown in exposition, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” addresses a myriad of deep and timely issues – gentrification and displacement, drug addiction and broken homes, toxic masculinity and gun violence – all without ever talking about them directly. Although the storytelling could be tightened up a bit, the film is a stunning feature debut for both its director and star as well as one of the best films of the year.

Read more

Lulu Wang on THE FAREWELL, Immigrants and Traditional Cultures – Nell Minow interviews

Lulu Wang lets the audience know right away that her new film, The Farewell, is “based on an actual lie.” Awkwafina plays a character based on Wang herself, the daughter of Chinese immigrants to the US. The story is about what happened when Wang’s grandmother, still in China, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The practice in China is to tell family members, but not the patient. In an interview, Wang talked about the inevitable conflicts between immigrants and their American-raised children and about deciding when to lie and when she’d like to be lied to.

Read more

STUBER – Review by Susan Granger

Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista team up in the latest entry in the odd couple/buddy action-comedy genre. For months, Vic (Bautista), an LAPD narcotics detective, has been tracking his former partner’s killer Teijo (Iko Uwais), a major link in the local heroin chain. Unfortunately, the day he gets a tip on Teijo’s next big drop, he’s just had Lasik surgery, meaning his eyes are unable to focus.

Read more

WEEK IN WOMEN: Regina King to Direct ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – Brandy McDonnell reports

Oscar winner Regina King is set to direct the fact-based drama One Night in Miami, based on the debut play from Kemp Powers, who has adapted it for the screen. Set on the night of Feb. 25, 1964, the narrative follows a young Cassius Clay as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center as the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Read more

MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 19, 2019: Claudia Myers’ ABOVE THE SHADOWS

Just about everyone ends up feeling invisible at some point during their teen years — but what if you actually disappeared? That’s what happens to Holly in writer/director Claudia Myers Above the Shadows, a drama/fantasy that serves as an allegory for what it’s like to be marginalized out of your very existence.

Read more

For the Love of Gialli – Maitland McDonagh comments

There was a time when few American moviegoers knew what giallo meant, but the gialli genre helped change the landscape of American films during the 1970s, a time of tumultuous changes in American filmmaking. Gialli brought a new sensibility to American shores—not to art houses, but to local cinemas and then television, video, DVD and streaming—one that has thrilled generations of moviegoers and moviemakers. Nightmares are discomfitingly potent dreams, and gialli are candy-colored nightmares it’s oh-so hard to resist.

Read more

THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY – Retroview by Martha P Nochimson

In revising Henry James’s novel as no man would or could, Jane Campion demonstrates more than the changes that have taken place since 1881; she demonstrates the changes that have not taken place. In thoroughly missing the organic relationship of Isabel’s fantasy life to the plot, earlier critics just assumed Campion was flamboyantly showing off her directorial chops, or sensationalizing James. We failed to see that she was giving the audience a piercing, feminist insight into what happens, at least in some cases, on the road to gender equality.

Read more

THE IGUANA WITH A TONGUE OF FIRE – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Even by giallo standards, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is noteworthy for the extremity of its violence, participating in an ongoing spirit of ‘upping the ante’ that would peak in giallo’s classic era with outright nasty efforts such as Mario Landi’s near indescribably brutal Giallo in Venice at the end of the decade (a challenging watch for even the most dedicated giallo loyalists).

Read more

THE FIFTH CORD – Review by Marina Antunes

There’s much to love about The Fifth Cord. One of multiple Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s early works, the movie looks amazing and Storaro’s camera work is mesmerizing. From the first-person camera shots to the amazing framing and cinematography of the cityscapes, every frame of The Fifth Cord offers something new and interesting. Ennio Morricone’s unmistakable score adds flare. And Franco Nero, embodying the proto-typical 70’s macho-man who does things his way and even when he’s wrong, is perfectly cast in the lead.

Read more

FORBIDDEN PHOTOS OF A LADY ABOVE SUSPICION – Review by Maitland McDonagh

Forbidden Photos of A Lady Above Suspicion is a thriller that takes on a whole new significance in our era of, to be honest, frightening biotechnology, in addition addressing—however indirectly—still hot-button issues related to agency, consent and larger social constructs that define a woman’s right to say, “Hell no.”

Read more