Unfinished / Unpublished: Black Bodies in Hollywood

The following is an essay I began writing not too long after Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released in late 2018. As in a lot of the writing I was doing around this time, Get Out served as an initial focal point through which I begin to discuss a larger issue. For this essay, … Continue reading Unfinished / Unpublished: Black Bodies in Hollywood

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Film of the Week: Blackhat

Perhaps a cyberpunk film in a league of its own, Blackhat balances the thrills of an abstract digital world with its more tangible, human, and architectural counterpart. Unlike Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell (1995) or the Wachowski siblings’ The Matrix (1999), there’s no philosophizing here. Instead, Mann highlights the relationship between the digital and … Continue reading Film of the Week: Blackhat

Nina Menkes – Queen of Diamonds

Nina Menkes’ Queen of Diamonds (1991) is the type of low-budget independent film possessed of great magnitude alongside the likes of Wanda (1970), Killer of Sheep (1978), and Daughters of the Dust (1991). Like those films, Queen of Diamonds has also been pulled from obscurity thanks to a new restoration by Arbelos[1]. Tinka Menkes—Nina’s sister—plays … Continue reading Nina Menkes – Queen of Diamonds

Film of the Week: Chameleon Street

Here’s a movie released thirty years ago that still puts its like-minded contemporaries to shame: Wendall B. Harris Jr.’s Chameleon Street (1989). Taking the Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, Chameleon Street seemed to be apocryphal for Black-American independent filmmaking, but history and those who control it would have otherwise. As Harris … Continue reading Film of the Week: Chameleon Street

Michael Palmieri and Donald Mosher – The Gospel of Eureka

Video killed the radio-star, and I’d be quick to add, the death of storytelling’s oral tradition. But one can’t ignore the rise and popularity of audiobooks and podcasts. Michael Palmieri and Donald Mosher’s The Gospel of Eureka appropriately begins with the image of a black screen and an accompanying voice-over: “Everyone loves a good story … Continue reading Michael Palmieri and Donald Mosher – The Gospel of Eureka

Agnes Varda – Cleo from 5 to 7 / Jane Campion – The Portrait of a Lady

The following is part one my coverage of Film at Lincoln Center’s 50th Mixtape: Free Double Features series. The common thread between Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) and Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady (1996) is time and freedom. Cleo (Corinne Marchand), feeling trapped by the chanteuse industry, anxiously wanders Paris … Continue reading Agnes Varda – Cleo from 5 to 7 / Jane Campion – The Portrait of a Lady

Juleen Compton – Stranded

This past weekend, as part of their Juleen Compton x2 series, Metrograph screened Juleen Compton’s Stranded (1965) and The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean (1966). I was able to catch the former and was immediately struck by both its familiarity and uniqueness. In Stranded, Compton plays Raina, a proto-punk, travelling Greece with her American lover … Continue reading Juleen Compton – Stranded