Release Date: December 25th, 2020 Director: Pete Docter | MPAA Rating: PG | LeavittLens Rating: 9.5/10 (If you haven’t seen Soul yet, you may want to wait to read this until you have watched it in full). When I first heard the news that Pete Docter–writer of perhaps the most emotional, existential, and thought-provoking filmsContinue reading “Soul”
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COVID Chronicle: Day 1
Well, friends, I have contracted the dreaded and maligned disease of our day, COVID-19. Since I will be quarantining for the next 10 days or so, and since I will likely have much time on my hands, I felt compelled to chronicle a bit of my experience with this terrible, microscopic demon, if for nothingContinue reading “COVID Chronicle: Day 1”
LeavittLens’ Top 10 Films of 2020
In a year that began with many organizations and companies discussing the importance of “vision” and “direction,” bringing double meaning to the numbers 2020, we are wrapping the year with a striking, months-long realization: we don’t have the vision we once thought we did. Indeed, 2020 has been characterized far more by loss than vision,Continue reading “LeavittLens’ Top 10 Films of 2020”
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Release Date: September 4th, 2020 Director: Charlie Kaufman | MPAA Rating: R | LeavittLens Rating: 7/10 “Cogito, ergo sum.” -Rene Descartes There is an innately disorienting element to the human experience, one that can often paralyze us in the midst of introspective reflection. Because we assume we are capable of perceiving what is real andContinue reading “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
An Exodus From Our Own Empire
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”
LeavittLens’s Top 10 Spooktacular Movies to Watch on Halloween
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”
The Devil All The Time
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.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: A Restoration of Myth-Making
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.
Reading Underneath The Screen
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”