In re-reading the Exodus narrative today, I was reminded of a few things. First, the many great films that have been made about Moses and the Israelites (The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt, etc.); the story itself is rich, and cinematic history attests to this. Second, I was struck in particular by the potencyContinue reading “An Exodus From Our Own Empire”
It seems that Halloween has never fit better into a calendar than in our current year. Indeed, a day devoted to our greatest fears seems to hit particularly close to home in a year as truly terrifying as 2020. Yet I think this day serves as an astute reminder to all of us: sometimes theContinue reading “LeavittLens’s Top 10 Spooktacular Movies to Watch on Halloween”
We have seen elements of this southern thriller style wow us, even in recent Hollywood history (No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood both come to mind), and so the problem certainly isn’t the content in this adaptation. It seems instead that the lack of narrative drive found within the violence itself makes it more appalling than drawing, more puzzling than thought-provoking. The result is a film that has impressive moments elevated by a terrific cast that get lost in a bloody and murderous attempt at commentary on the southeastern United States. Just as one character mentions that “Some men were born just so they could be buried,” it turns out the same is true for some movies.
In SPVTW, a modernistic audience is forced to admit the presence of the supernatural as an assumption going into the story, allowing the characters to embody dramatic flaws and successes that serve as greater vehicles for commentary on the human condition. The result is a refreshing take on our modern storytelling, a myth that is messy and magical, at once otherworldly and strikingly human.
All in all, it seems that Tenet is par for the course for Nolan, a movie with enough technical wizardry to satisfy the cinephile and enough big-tent appeal to satiate the casual moviegoer. Yet for a film touted for its creative time-bending, it also seems clear as the closing credits roll: Nolan is undeniably stuck in his ways.
No art is made in a vacuum. Humans–and thus all of their creative endeavors–are unbreakably connected to the myths, movements, and moments of our cultures. Such connection is not unilateral, however; it is intrinsically bidirectional. Culture works on art by providing raw materials (present social moments, meaningful settings, relevant characters, etc.) and informing assumptions (onContinue reading “Reading Underneath The Screen”
Just as Bryan’s rearview mirror reflects upon his eyes as he drives through the Alabama night, illuminating his sight in spite of the darkness around him, we as an audience are challenged to open our eyes, to hear the stories, to fight for justice with a radical hope that transcends our broken systems. Maybe then we will see what just a little mercy can do.
Release Date: July 3rd, 2020 Director: Thomas Kail | MPAA Rating: N/A | LeavittLens Rating: 8/10 I can’t help but feel–as one of the many people who were unable to see Hamilton in its original stage delivery–that I am somehow late to the party. Half a decade has passed since its debut at the RogersContinue reading “Hamilton”
Release Date: December 25th, 2014 Director: Ava DuVernay | MPAA Rating: PG-13 | LeavittLens Rating: 8/10 In a world full of explanations, inundated with reasoning and argumentation, it remains metaphor that speaks most directly to our hearts, rattling our individualized cages and opening our eyes to truth otherwise hidden. As Denise Levertow puts it, “StraightContinue reading “Selma”
Release Date: June 12th, 2020 Director: Spike Lee | MPAA Rating: R | LeavittLens Rating: 7.5/10 Spike Lee has managed to make a career out of films that largely speak above and beyond their frames, working on a variety of cultural levels. Yet he has managed this sort of vision using (and often adding to)Continue reading “Da Five Bloods”