2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

Experiencing the Greater Hunger in Lee Chang-dong’s Burning: Review

✯✯✯✯✯

Burning opens like any other thriller, with a sort of protagonist that we’ve already accepted as normal, but Lee Chang-dong challenges why we’ve seen this turn as being the norm. If anything else better describes what South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong had managed to capture with every minute of Burning, it never feels so easy no matter how straightforward everything may sound. Yet because of how off something may feel, you keep your eyes peeled to the screen, paying attention to every small detail and you just feel like everything’s in the right place. To say the very least, that was the very impression that I got from watching Burning. It’s a film that keeps you wrapped up in the core mystery to that point you already start questioning even what the film already presents you from first impression a la Gone Girl. There’s so much going on in this joint from Lee Chang-dong, and if there’s anything else that I feel can already be so easily said about it on the spot, but I knew already from the moment it started that this would not be something I could forget so quickly too.

Continue reading →

Sorry to Bother You, But You Should See ‘Sorry to Bother You’

✯✯✯✯✯

I had zero idea what I was going to expect from the way in which Sorry to Bother You was marketed but walking in with somewhat of a basic idea of what the film was about definitely did not prepare me for what I was about to experience. The directorial debut of rapper Boots Riley of The Coup already has a weird enough premise with an idea based around African-American telemarketers mastering a “white voice” in order to win customers over but somehow it only turned out to be the least crazy of many things that Boots Riley showed us in Sorry to Bother You. But to talk about what goes on in Sorry to Bother You would be spoiling the film, and the film is best experienced walking in completely blind – because what you’ll see in Sorry to Bother You simply isn’t something that can be repeated again so quickly. But even trying to talk about it would be challenging enough because it’s just so off-the-walls in a way that would never be expected to work, yet it does.

Continue reading →

Okja – Review

✯✯✯✯

Netflix’s feature films have never been particularly great ones at that but the idea that Bong Joon-ho was directing one to be distributed under their name only left me feeling optimistic. Bong Joon-ho only left behind a sign of promise when he transitioned towards directing English-language films with Snowpiercer and with his second Korean-American production, what has come by goes beyond just being exciting. It only wears that on the outside, but then comes by something far more thoughtful almost akin to the early work of Steven Spielberg, drawing upon something far more impactful. And as far as Netflix-distributed original features have gone, Okja is not only the most exciting one of the bunch but it also might very well be the best one by far. And by the standards of their original features, it says a lot for what Bong Joon-ho provided in Okja is a fantastic film as expected of him.

Continue reading →