Tag: personal essay

“Booksmart”: Class of Gen Z

When you say coming-of-age film, your mind is instantly drawn to cult classics like “Breakfast Club” (1985), “Pretty in Pink” (1986), “Clueless” (1995), and “The Princess Diaries” (2001). Not stories of straight-A girls going for a rowdy night out the day before high school graduation after realizing they wasted four years in suburbia having not

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I Can’t Understand

By Amy Renee Wasney There are plenty of things in the world I don’t understand. I was never all that interested in physics, or calculus, or automobiles.  There are various topics that I just am not that interested in, or I never took any classes in, or I had a bad teacher or a bad

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The Burden of Heartbreak

When the lights in “Strong Island” (2017) begin to dim and the credits start to roll, the viewer is left with an echo of a scream ringing intensely in their ears. Director and filmmaker Yance Ford has just spoken with the District Attorney in charge of his brother’s case and learns a story left untold

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Strong Island: Documentary Filmmaking as a Coming-of-Age Tale

By Jaylan Salah It’s always the women, the queer, and the blacks. They are the ones who tell stories. They are the ones who dig deep into their families’ histories. They are the ones who try to uncover the truth and make amends with the past so they can live a different future. It’s always

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The Contours of Fear: A Documentary Elegy

By Marjorie H. Morgan The sound of repetitive, relentless punching against a fixed piece of board starts this documentary, and a world upside down and back to front ends it. Every frame of the 107 minutes in between reinforces the idea that the director, Yance Ford, is sharing his personal elegy of grief with the

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The Watchers: The Compelling Gaze in “The Virgin Suicides”

“The Virgin Suicides” film is a feast of watchers: it confirms that we are all watched and we all watch. Like George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” this film reminds the viewer that we are all under constant surveillance. Sofia Coppola directs her own screenplay adaptation of the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides from behind the director’s lens,

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Enchanted by the Details

Orange jumpsuits with chainsaws. A dead oak tree on the front lawn. Midwest suburban house. Four teenage girls in white nightgowns and yellow hair race out of the front door of their middle-class home. The girls push away the men with chainsaws and circle around the tree with their arms linked together, like angels protecting

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American Animals

By Stephanie Dykes The question of who might be trustworthy is a constant point of contention in Bart Layton’s vision in the 2018 film “American Animals.” Can we trust the characters? Can we trust the real people involved in the real situation? Can we even trust ourselves as viewers? Layton creates a world mimicking that

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