My Favorite Movies of 2020

15. Tesla (Michael Almereyda) Michael Almereyda’s film is the type of beast that sees Tesla (played by Ethan Hawke) break into karaoke of a Tears For Fears song when he’s down in the dumps. In yet another scene, the world’s first international theater star- Sarah Bernhardt- enters backstage with music from a rave playing behind her. To call this film anachronistic is an understatement. But its also deadly serious about its dedication in portraying the torturous moments of the brilliant inventor’s life and stacks an adventurous cast around him, especially in the chilly gaze of Eve Hewson (of The Knick … Continue reading My Favorite Movies of 2020

Review: ‘One Night in Miami’

The idea of famous personalities converging in one starstruck place at the same time has been fertile stagecraft for decades. In the mid 1980’s, British filmmaker Nicholas Roeg adapted the play Insignificance by writer Terry Johnson that posited the idea of Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Joseph McCarthy winding around each other in a hotel over the course of one night. Johnson stated his inspiration stemmed from the fact an autograph of Einstein was found among Monroe’s possessions after her death. It’s an interesting film, but one that doesn’t quite deliver on Roeg’s previous visual panache and suffers … Continue reading Review: ‘One Night in Miami’

Review: ‘Sylvie’s Love’

In one scene of Eugene Ashe’s Sylvie’s Love, the woman at the center of it all (Tessa Thompson) is used as a human model for her mother’s very prim and proper lecture on posture. A yardstick serves as her visual guide, gently tapping her daughter on each arch of the body. In the very next scene, those same shoulders and neck are about to be rubbed down with sunscreen as she and her jazz musician boyfriend Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha) relax together on a make believe beach rooftop. It’s a subtle edit, but one that exemplifies the chasm that exists between … Continue reading Review: ‘Sylvie’s Love’

Review: ‘Sound of Metal’

In Darius Marder’s new film Sound of Metal, actor Riz Ahmed begins and ends in two distinct places of stillness. The film opens on him sitting behind his drum set as if in a black void-shirtless, buff and tattooed…. his entire being pulsating with anticipation like a caged animal waiting to strike. And then he does, the stillness broken as he drives a frenzied beat to accompany singer/guitarist and bandmate Lou (Olivia Cook) as she drones the lyrics to their heavy metal/noise sound. It’s probably the happiest he’ll be in the film as his drum beat crescendos and wavers out … Continue reading Review: ‘Sound of Metal’

Review: ‘Borat Subsequent MovieFilm’

It was 14 years ago when Sacha Baron Cohen struck comedic pay dirt with his mockumentary Borat, solidifying his fearless jabs at the idiocy around him and creating a legendary character in the process. It seems only fitting that 2020 is the perfect time for another Borat bloodletting, and boy, he doesn’t hold any punches. In our current state of gross incompetence, bankrupt moral corruption and rampant selfishness, Borat Subsequent MovieFilm feels like a comedic salvo that shows we truly have crossed the satiric other side with no return. It’s amazing that an outrageous character like Borat seems more reasonable … Continue reading Review: ‘Borat Subsequent MovieFilm’