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…

Anna Biller’s Alluring The Love Witch

Anna Biller’s The Love Witch centers on Elaine (Samantha Robinson), the eponymous enchantress who is on a quest to find true love—whatever that means. Elaine doesn’t seem quite sure herself. Following a divorce by her husband Richard (Robert Seeley), and her subsequent murder of him, Elaine feels romantically adrift. She has men  down to a…

The Edge of Seventeen Review

A straightforward coming-of-age dramedy, what The Edge of Seventeen lacks in surprises, it makes up for in the sharp performance of its actors. Nadine Franklin (Hailee Steinfeld)—the titular seventeen-year old—feels that the world both revolves around her and wants nothing but for her to be unhappy. Quick witted and quick to anger, Nadine lashes out…

“La La Land,” Blissful Ignorance, and the Myth of Jazz

Damien Chazelle’s La La Land can be seen as being comprised of three different films: a romance, a musical, and a film about art. None of these aspects of La La Land are particularly good; not because Chazelle stretches the film thin between themes or sub-plots, but rather, because he lacks nuance as both a…

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…