Film of the Week: Europa Europa

Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa (1990) centers on Solomon “Solek” Perei (Marco Hofschneider), a German Jewish boy who survives the holocaust by pretending to be the enemy—first a Communist at the Bolshevik orphanage he takes flight to, and later, a Hitler Youth in the Nazi army. Solek survives through his ingenuity, carefulness (as a solder, he…

Film of the Week: Marseille

  Angela Schanelec’s Marseille begins with a close-up shot of a female driver seen from behind. The driver asks her passenger three questions, all of which are answered “no.” “Where is it,” “Do you know your way round,” and “Is there a map in there?” Marseille stars Maren Eggert as Sophie, a young photographer who…

Film of the Week: Unguided Tour

In Susan Sontag’s Unguided Tour (1983), the past subsumes the present. Sontag emphasizes the stories permeating underneath the camera’s frame; the essence and memory of things. An unnamed couple walk through Venice. The woman (Lucinda Childs) ruminates on the parallels between the city and her relationship, both faltering. Sontag directs and edits Unguided Tour as…

Film of the Week: Wanda

Barbara Loden’s Wanda can be similarly compared to Agnes Varda’s Vagabond. Both are films centered on female drifters who struggle to find a place in society, albeit for different reasons. Whereas Mona in Vagabond wanders as a form of resistance towards societal norms expected of women, the titular Wanda wanders out of what appears to…

Film of the Week: “The Watermelon Woman”

In Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996), a search into film history becomes one inextricably tied to personal identity. A quasi-documentary, Dunye plays herself, a young Black-lesbian film director working day-to-day at a video rental store. She uses her workplace as an opportunity to delve into a vast library of not just any cinema, but…

Film of the Week: “Wendy and Lucy”

I’ve seen two Kelly Reichardt films: “Certain Women,” which I saw at the 54th NYFF, and just recently “Wendy and Lucy.” A press conference attended by Reichardt and the stars of the film followed the screening of “Certain Women” and one particular moment now stands out to me. A member of the audience had analyzed…

Film of the Week: WINTER’s BONE

Debra Grenik’s “Winter’s Bone” is a film where Grenik certainly employs a show and don’t tell method of filmmaking.  The story is about Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), a 17-year old girl on the hunt for her father wanted by the law. Should she fail to find him, her family will be evicted from their home…