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BOPO Battle

WARNING: Potential anorexia triggers.

I am 22. From age 8 I can remember thinking “I am fat.” I wasn’t. But because I could see people who were skinnier than me, and because diet culture exploded into the popular mainstream around that time, I inadvertently became conditioned to thinking that if I could see someone smaller than me, I must be ‘big’. The first time I threw out my lunch I was 10. I had read about an Olsen twin who lost weight because of anorexia. I didn’t know what this was, so I looked it up. Although the concept wasn’t fully graspable to my prepubescent brain, I understood enough to know that if I didn’t eat maybe I wouldn’t be what I deemed ‘fat’ (a dangerous word that I will come back to later). Little did I know that one Google search would lead me down a path that was…

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Thoughts On: Moonlight (2016)

Given the high levels of anticipation in the run up to its release, and with only one (little seen) feature film under his belt, Barry Jenkins had a lot to prove with his film adaptation of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s 2003 play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue (2003). Luckily, the film is a triumphantly poignant and slow-burning drama; offering a stunning exploration of how perspectives of sexuality, masculinity, and race intersect and react with one another. Decidedly “low-key” in its initial approaches, and with a permanent undercurrent of raw emotional power, Moonlight is a deliciously vibrant study of black life in America that smacks of Romanticism. Continue reading “Thoughts On: Moonlight (2016)”

Thoughts On: T2 Trainspotting

It’s always a risk when directors make sequels for films years after their original productions, and even more so when the director in question has never made a sequel before. Based on the third instalment of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting trilogy, T2 Trainspotting is Danny Boyle’s return to the feverish world of possibly the most iconic British film of the 1990s.

With a twenty year gap between the two films, it’s an admirable undertaking to attempt to emulate the frenetic pacing and trippy aesthetics of such a celebrated adaptation—especially given the varying success of its main actors in the aftermath of the original’s release. Despite this, T2 is nothing short of a spectacular continuation in its ability to use nostalgia efficiently to create enough references to tie itself to Trainspotting without sabotaging its chances of garnering a narrative of its own.  Continue reading “Thoughts On: T2 Trainspotting”

Thoughts On: Jackie (2016)

 

An admirable attempt to place an unconventional twist on the traditional biopic, Jackie (Dir. Pablo Larraín) is a stunning film that aims to shed light on a largely (and surprisingly) under-explored public figure in recent American history. With a focus on Jackie Kennedy’s perspective of her husband’s assassination; the narrative centres itself around an interview scenario in which Jackie (Natalie Portman) recalls her memories of pinnacle moments in the aftermath of the shooting, with the result being a richly layered portrait of a woman intent on placing her emotions aside for the sake of preserving JFK’s presidential legacy.

Perhaps not the biopic many would have expected, Jackie manages to deviate from the preconceived ideas that attached themselves to a film involving content heavily associated with conspiracy theories and explicit violence (thanks to films like Oliver Stone’s JFK). Instead, what Larraín offers up is a tender film that shows preference for recreating its titular character’s famed poise and air of self control, rather than opting towards grand character revelations or messy autobiographical details, regardless of all its artistic license.

Continue reading “Thoughts On: Jackie (2016)”

Thoughts on: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

With a multitude of award nominations under its belt (including categories such as Best Lead Performance, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director in multiple award ceremonies), Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea is one of most well received films of the year so far. This is hardly surprising, given Lonergan’s reputation for crafting deeply intricate stories with layered plot-lines and his ability to write characters with a vibrancy that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Focusing on the themes of inescapable sorrow, personal redemption, and the affect lingering feelings of grief have on both a person’s relationship with themselves and other people; Manchester by the Sea is a deeply melancholic drama that explores whether or not escaping a troubled past is possible—as well as the problems that arise from juggling personal anguish with the burden of caring for others in times of mutual tragedy.  Continue reading “Thoughts on: Manchester by the Sea (2016)”

Thoughts On: La La Land (2017)

After breaking records at the Golden Globes with an astonishing seven awards including Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Score; Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is one of the most lauded films of the year thus far. However, having received critique for its lack of diversity in its casting (given that its narrative centres around the jazz genre), as well as bold statements from both its cast and director about the film’s revitalisation of the movie-musical genre, it remains divided in its reception.

Continue reading “Thoughts On: La La Land (2017)”

Thought On: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

A product of the Harry Potter franchise, and arguably one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Dir. David Yates) is an ambitious attempt to extend the former’s universe that, although making a valiant effort, ultimately misses the mark. Suffering from the common problem encountered by most spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts both struggles to emulate the core elements that made its predecessors so successful and to separate itself enough from Hogwarts to allow itself its own breathing space.  Continue reading “Thought On: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)”

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Based on the novel Tony & Susan (1993) by Austin Wright, and following A Single Man (2009), the long anticipated Nocturnal Animals marks not only the second entry in Tom Ford’s filmography, but another instalment of his brand of meticulously crafted appearance and a much more playful venture in storytelling.

Focusing on an art gallery owner, Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), as she simultaneously struggles to read and struggles to put down a manuscript sent to her by her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). Becoming increasingly unable to separate its fictitious plot of violence, suffering, and revenge from the reality of their relationship, Susan is forced to contemplate and re-live her past mistakes. Continue reading “Nocturnal Animals (2016)”

Thoughts On: The Wrestler (2008)

Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler is a brilliantly poignant hybrid film that exists somewhere between the genres of a tragic drama and sports film, with a narrative concerning the struggles of a faded professional wrestling star, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), as he attempts to navigate the world outside the ring in the aftermath of a heart attack that forces him to retire. Not only functioning as an amazing career comeback for Mickey Rourke; The Wrestler is a definite nod towards the style of Aronofsky’s earlier films, arriving at an aesthetic appearance that would slot in perfectly amongst independent cinema.

Continue reading “Thoughts On: The Wrestler (2008)”

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