Author: Ariel Fisher

Review: I, Daniel Blake

In his latest venture, I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach has created a masterpiece. A work of staggering compassion, he’s crafted a profound portrait of the very people the system is failing. Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a grizzled old man viscerally incapable of suffering fools. He’s had a heart attack, and due to systemic issues, his benefits have been cut off. Still unable to work, he is denied the benefits that keep him from living on the streets. Along his Sisyphean crusade for basic human rights, he meets Kattie (Hayley Squires), a single mother of two. She starves herself to keep...

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Review: The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden, the latest feature from Park Chan-wook, is an erotic thriller based on the novel “Fingersmith” by Welsh author Sarah Waters. Chan-wook’s penchant for deception is in fine form here as the film breaks down into three parts, each unveiling a new layer of duplicity. Set in 1930’s Korea, pickpocket Sook-hee has been hired by art forger Count Fujiwara to enter the home of delicate heiress Lady Hideko as her maid. She is to gain her trust, and convince her to marry the Count. In doing so, he would take her fortune, leave her destitute in a mental asylum,...

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TIFF 2016 Review: The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden, the latest feature from Park Chan-wook, is an erotic thriller based on the novel “Fingersmith” by Welsh author Sarah Waters. Chan-wook’s penchant for deception is in fine form here as the film breaks down into three parts, each unveiling a new layer of duplicity. Set in 1930’s Korea, pickpocket Sook-hee has been hired by art forger Count Fujiwara to enter the home of delicate heiress Lady Hideko as her maid. She is to gain her trust, and convince her to marry the Count. In doing so, he would take her fortune, leave her destitute in a mental asylum,...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Julieta

Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, Julieta, sees his return to the realm of women through the words of Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro. He’s adapted three of her short stories, “Chance”, “Soon”, and “Silence”, from her 2004 collection “Runaway”. The stories focus on a young woman named Juliet, and her tumultuous relationship with her daughter, Penelope. Now, Juliet has become Julieta, played by Adriana Ugarte in her youth, and Emma Suarez from middle age onwards. With Julieta, Almodóvar has not only reiterated his skill at depicting women in all their multifaceted glory, but he’s helped showcase what makes Munro’s work so transformative. The film takes...

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TIFF 2016 Review: I, Daniel Blake

In his latest venture, I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach has created a masterpiece. A work of staggering compassion, he’s crafted a profound portrait of the very people the system is failing. Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is a grizzled old man viscerally incapable of suffering fools. He’s had a heart attack, and due to systemic issues, his benefits have been cut off. Still unable to work, he is denied the benefits that keep him from living on the streets. Along his Sisyphean crusade for basic human rights, he meets Kattie (Hayley Squires), a single mother of two. She starves herself to keep...

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Just like us: interview with Unlocking the Cage directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker

For nearly 40 years, documentarians D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus have told the stories of interesting humans. From Jimi Hendrix, to Jerry Lee Lewis, and Bill Clinton, they’ve always been attracted to compellingly divergent characters. Unlocking the Cage is no exception, as the duo turns their gaze towards Steven Wise, an animal rights lawyer responsible for a controversial call for a writ of Habeas Corpus that would afford chimpanzees in the state of New York the right to personhood.

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One person’s trash: divergent perspectives on trash cinema

Most cinematic genres have a clearly traceable trajectory or definition. The term Western was coined in a 1912 article found in Motion Picture World Magazine. The origins of the Horror genre can be traced back to the work of Georges Méliès in the late 1890s. Exploitation has a clear-cut description; a film which attempts financial success through the exploitation of current trends, niche genres, or lurid content. Trash, or Paracinema, has no such clean-cut genesis, definition, or set of guidelines. It can be loosely defined as film genres that typically rest outside the boundaries of contemporary cinema. Its origins...

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