One of my first CD’s was a bootleg of Destiny’s Child The Writing’s on the Wall. My mom gifted me with Survivor not too long after, and I later added …Baby One More Time, The Emancipation of Mimi, and the clean version of Encore (from my dad, of course.) My silver and purple boombox sat on the floor as I played my favorites and gave bedroom concerts to an imaginary audience. When my cousin came over, it was better because we could split up the singing parts. Fake microphone in hand, with my mom’s Von Dutch purses and clear lip gloss on, we thought we were IT. Hitting those runs and high notes had me thinking I was really the 5th/4th Destiny Child. “Who gets to be Beyoncé this time,” was a constant dilemma. I almost always lost that argument because I was the younger one, but it’s okay because I took the part right back after she left.
In 1989, the first film written and directed by a Black woman and produced by a major Hollywood studio was released. That Black woman was Euzhan Palcy, and her monumental, award-nominated film was A Dry White Season. Palcy was the first and only woman to direct Marlon Brando. He received an Oscar nomination for his role- also making her the first Black person to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination.
Just two years later, in 1991, Julie Dash wrote, directed, and produced the first film by a Black woman to get a widespread, US theatrical release. This film was Daughters of the Dust. Both of these films received critical acclaim, making them some of the most historically important and classic films to date. However, many people have 1.) never heard of them; and 2.) never heard of the amazing women behind them. Why is that?
We are living through an age of re-invention. Whether it is through fashion trends, slang, or in the case of The Invisible Man (2020), horror films. Re-invention is more than just re-adaptation or a reboot. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) was a reboot of the eponymous 1984 film. However, The Invisible Man is the re-invention of its 1933 predecessor.
Instead of re-telling the old story of Griffin- a maniacal scientist who turns himself invisible- this is the story of Cecilia “Cee” Kass (Elizabeth Moss) on the run from her sociopathic, abusive boyfriend, Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen.) Adrian is an optics scientist who has gained indispensable wealth through his inventions. One invention in particular, however, he has kept to himself, and it is a suit covered in cameras that renders it’s host invisible. So after Cecilia’s prison break from Adrian’s physical grasp at the beginning of the film, he fakes his own suicide and uses his invisible suit to continue his abuse towards Cecilia in a more sinister and horrific way.
Atlantics (2019) was first released at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival when it competed for the Palme d’Or. The films director and co-writer, Mati Diop, made history when she became the first black woman who directed a film featured in the competition- also winning the Grand Prix award for it. After its release at Cannes and later in Senegal, the film was picked up and released on Netflix for wide viewing.
ARRAY is the new voice of film artists of color and female filmmakers worldwide. Founded by Ava DuVernay, the independent film distribution company places focus on black stories and female voices, with it’s most recent release, Jezebel, being a manifestation of both.
Jezebel (2019) is a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age film written and directed by Numa Perrier. The story follows 19 year old Tiffany (Tenille) through the struggles of growing up and losing her mother, while she also finds work as a cam-girl.
This is it. This is the feeling I wish I could leave with every time I watch a new movie in theaters. I guess that wouldn’t make the feeling so special then, huh? So, I’ll just hold on to this for as long as I can. Watching Little Women (2019) yesterday in a packed theater while I get over this annoying cold was a moving experience with an epiphanic ending.
Marriage Story (2019) is the brand new Noah Baumbach film released on Netflix this month. The film and its stars have been nominated for numerous upcoming awards, and its clips are being shared and discussed all over the tweeter every day. Whether you’ve liked the film or even seen it, you’ve at least heard of it and its explosive scene between the two main characters- Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver.)
“Make me look good, honey boy.”
That’s what James says to his son, Otis, at the end of the film, when he tells him he’ll be writing a movie about him. “Honey boy” is a term of endearment for Otis from his father, and it’s also the title of this film.
Honey Boy (2019) is the autobiographical screenplay written by Shia LaBeouf and directed by Alma Har’el. It’s the story of a young boy named Otis (played by Noah Jupe) as he finds himself in the spotlight of the acting world while also dealing with the turmoil and abusive relationship with his father James (played by LaBeouf himself.)
**The following review contains spoilers for the film**
Howard Ratner is a Jewish man with a large, unified family, a beautiful wife, three loving children, and a renowned jewelry shop that he owns on the diamond district in New York City. Howard also has a hot girlfriend, a gambling addiction, and over $100,000 in debt to multiple people across the state of New York. Such a versatile man, with a dirty, mixed cocktail of a life leaving him intoxicated and fucked over with every sip he takes.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my lovers, my friends, my in-betweeners, and my single party people!
What’s better than spending $100+ on a date night out? If you’re like me, then staying in and watching some good movies is always better. Right now, streaming services have a slew of romantic films for you to cuddle up to and revel in the bliss of Hollywood-curated love. Netflix has gems like Obvious Child (2014), The Notebook (2004), and Her (2013). You can cry along to If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) or binge 90 Day Fiance on HULU. Or you can get a little wild and watch The Big Sick (2017) and Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) on Amazon Prime. No matter what streaming service you choose, love is in the air.
HOWEVER, if you’re a gal like me, there’s nothing like snuggling up with a good horror movie for any day of the year. Horror films are the epitome of comfort to me, so I have special one’s I watch for every holiday. Krampus (2015) and Black Christmas (1974/2019) on Christmas, Jaws (1975) on the Fourth of July, and My Bloody Valentine (1981) for Valentine’s Day (watch for free on Crackle)!