Posted inMovies

Holy Crap!

Saint Maud is what can be lovingly referred to as an “uh oh” movie. Unlike silly slasher flicks peppered with jump scares and obligatory loud noises, writer/director Rose Glass’s film quietly and relentlessly churns towards the “uh oh” waiting at the end of the story. Fittingly described as a “slow-burn,” this tale of demented piety […]

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A Rainbow Without Rain

Like a big, consensual hug from a nonbinary person dressed in a sheep costume, Queer Japan is the very best kind of documentary: the kind that leaves you feeling very intimately connected to its subjects. Writer Anne Ishii and writer/director Graham Kolbeins opt not to lecture or preach, not to anchor the film on a […]

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Fascism: Frowned Upon for at Least 400 Years

Shakespeare’s continued relevance sucks. Oh sure, his plays are “timeless masterpieces” that “redefined language.” But it’s decidedly not great that squinting isn’t necessary to see modern day reflections in a delusional fascist ruler encouraged by prophetic messages to violently secure power. A triumvirate of witches cackling predictions about forests that walk wouldn’t make a top […]

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Oscar, May I Air a Winner?

For short films to get any less respect, they’d have to be hired as public-school teachers. Although the Academy Awards are one of the few remaining vehicles that can validate and offer exposure to this specific little medium, Johnny Oscars made a fart noise and booted all three categories of shorts (live-action, animated, and documentary) […]

Posted inCulture

Last call coming for what’s likely Nebraska’s last video store

This story originally appeared in Flatwater Free Press. The dying light of the afternoon penetrates the storefront glass and settles upon rows of DVDs arranged not by genre, but in rough alphabetical order. Thus, Michael Myers from “Halloween” lurks on a shelf near Tracy Turnblad of “Hairspray.” Past a hand-written “DROP OFF MOVIE HERE” sign, […]

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Suicide Is Painless

The Suicide Squad is less like a direct descendent of writer/director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and more like its debauched third cousin once removed (possibly under penalty of law). That’s a compliment, as whack-a-doodle relatives are a biological delight, provided they’re the “harmless lunatic” kind and not the “QAnon cult member” sort. Over […]

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E-I-E-I-Woe

People can have a weirdly upsetting reaction to things that are excessively adorable or beautiful. It is a phenomenon known as “cuteness aggression.” If you are prone to this condition, maybe watch Minari by yourself? Set in 1983, writer/director Lee Isaac Chung’s film tells the simple story of a Korean family starting a farm in […]

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Dollars and Incensed

Clearly, if America needs anything right now, it’s more stuff to be mad at and worried about! If you’ve finished the appetizer that is our ongoing pandemic and would like a side of economic injustice to go with the entrée of racial inequity America is maybe/kinda/sorta ready to finally eat, chow down on Capital in […]

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The “I” of the Tiger

A Walt Disney fairy tale about El Chapo told through the language of Gabriel García Márquez and visually painted as if guided by Frida Kahlo’s hand, Tigers Are Not Afraid is some kind of special. Writer/director Issa López obliterates genre boundaries to tell a story about the globally ignored collateral damage of cartel violence: orphaned […]