African Cinema, Film Features

How Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS quietly offers the closure our forbearers never got during slavery

This piece contains spoilers for Atlantics Did we bury the lede after soaking in Mati Diop’s stunning debut feature film ‘Atlantics’? Rooted in the painful reality of modern sub-Saharan Africa the defining theme of the story for me has grown to be loss; loss of youth, loss of love, loss of dignity, loss of agency… Continue reading How Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS quietly offers the closure our forbearers never got during slavery

Film Reviews

BIRDS OF PREY offers a fantabulous emancipation and a hoard of trashy men

'Birds of Prey: The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn' and Men are Trash. Yes, men are trash, the incendiary dog whistle known to bring out the savage in many a folk online, should have been part of the gloriously eccentric title because zero fucks were given for the feelings of the so-called superior sex.… Continue reading BIRDS OF PREY offers a fantabulous emancipation and a hoard of trashy men

Film Reviews

JUST MERCY offers inspiration and urgency but wants for a nuanced dissection of hope

Based on a true story, ‘Just Mercy’ is at its most effective when it highlights the disconcerting ways the bar of justice and decency for black people is lowered to upsettingly low levels. It tells the story of Harvard law graduate Bryan Stevenson’s (Michael B. Jordan) idealist charge towards righting some wrongs on the death… Continue reading JUST MERCY offers inspiration and urgency but wants for a nuanced dissection of hope

Film Reviews

The zestful BAD BOYS FOR LIFE proves life can begin after 50

We are partying like its 1995 in 'Bad Boys For Life' as Belgian directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah inject streams of wit and vitality into a series that left a sour taste in many mouths some 17 years ago. The only way was up for the iconic Will Smith-Martin Lawrence vehicle when… Continue reading The zestful BAD BOYS FOR LIFE proves life can begin after 50

Film Reviews

THE INFORMER ticks the box for serviceable January action fare

'The Informer' offers more genre thrills that its lame title would have you think. This Joel Kinnaman led vehicle is the kind of January action cinema fare we have come to expect, packaged in a semi tedious confidential informant drama that finds its feet when it finds itself within the confines of a prison movie.… Continue reading THE INFORMER ticks the box for serviceable January action fare

African Cinema, Film Reviews

GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked and bloated script

Is Afro-noir going to be a thing after ‘Gold Coast Lounge’, the latest cinematic offering from writer-director Pascal Aka? Film noir serves as the obvious inspiration for this post-independence crime flick which is rife with distracting anachronisms brought on by budget constraints and drab archetypes given life by an undercooked screenplay. Whilst the aesthetic and… Continue reading GOLD COAST LOUNGE offers fleeting pleasures despite an undercooked and bloated script

Film Reviews

My favorite pictures from 2019

Ash Is Purest White This list is no particular order but I would cite Jia Zhangke‘s ‘Ash Is Purest White’ as my favorite of the year. I went into 2019 certain 'The Irishman' and its legendary components would be irresistible cinema never fails to surprise. There is something meta about ‘Ash Is Purest White’ beating… Continue reading My favorite pictures from 2019

Film Reviews

The strong pull of the safe and familiar sinks THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

There is a moment in 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' where Adam Driver’s cracklingly compelling Kylo Ren has the helmet he smashed beyond recognition in ‘The Last Jedi’ repaired. The end product looks whole but is clumsy and grotesque with its fiery fissures, backed by minimal innovation and even less purpose as the helmet… Continue reading The strong pull of the safe and familiar sinks THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Film Reviews

ASH IS PUREST WHITE surrenders to the power of time in absorbing fashion

Love, crime, and change coalesce into a sprawling feat of storytelling in director Jia Zhangke’s 'Ash is Purest White'. Of the three elements that make up the film, change is the purest, standing the test of the fiery narrative forge Zhangke presents. For as alluring as the criminal underworld gets and as absorbing as the… Continue reading ASH IS PUREST WHITE surrenders to the power of time in absorbing fashion

African Cinema, Film Reviews

Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS is a textured supernatural mystery about love and longing

It’s unfair the amount of baggage I took to 'Atlantics', French-Senegalese director Mati Diop debut feature. This film has already appeared in some best of 2019 lists after winning the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where Diop, became the first black woman director to be in contention for the Cannes Film Festival's… Continue reading Mati Diop’s ATLANTICS is a textured supernatural mystery about love and longing