Wren’s identity flickers as she tries to find her feet, and we soon learn that her cool mystique has little underneath.
Author: Amelie Lasker
Amelie Lasker joined FF2 Media in early 2016 after graduating from Columbia University where she studied English and history. She has written plays and had readings for Columbia’s student-written theatre company Nomads, edited the blog for Columbia’s film journal Double Exposure, and worked on film crews and participated in workshops at Columbia University Film Productions. She spent junior year abroad at Cambridge University, where she had many opportunities for student playwrights to see their work produced.
In ‘Danzon,’ a Dancer Looks for Her Missing Partner and Finds Friendships Instead
It’s a beautiful story of a woman’s friendships, her wants and dreams, and her love for the Cuban dance danzón. (AEL: 4/5)
Punk, Violence, and Nostalgia for Live Music in ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’
A treasure trove of interviews with influential bands and footage from performances, featuring Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, the Germs, and more. (AEL: 4/5)
‘The Connection’ Portrayed Addiction Unapologetically in 1961—and Gave Us an Instant Classic Jazz Performance
This is a movie about all kinds of connections: between one’s wants and needs, between loyalty and dependency, between the insular world formed by addiction and the outsiders who cross paths with it.
Characters Respond to an Uncertain Crisis in Reichardt’s Innovative ‘Meek’s Cutoff’
The film introduces us to the sensory experiences of their perilous routine: silent, diligent group chores; unknown threats on the horizon. (AEL: 5/5)
A Romantic and Imaginative Summer in ’27 Missing Kisses’
The film is filled with absurd and sometimes fantastic images; a layer of unexpected tragedy keeps the viewer riveted. (AEL: 4/5)
Exploring a Cruel, Misogynistic Practice and Hope’s Power in ‘The Day I Will Never Forget’
Through this critical look at the arguments around the practice, the film presents a compelling discussion of women’s needs, concerns, and dreams. (AEL: 4/5)
Three Stages of Womanhood in Marzieh Makhamalbaf’s Triptych ‘The Day I Became a Woman’
Writer and director Marzieh Makhamalbaf explores womanhood in Iran, complete with its yearnings and losses.
‘Born in Flames’ Boldly Imagines a Women-Led Political World
The film is a passionate portrayal of intersectionality and injustice within a fictional social world that looks a lot like our own. (AEL: 4/5)
“Girlfriends” Is a Friendship Love Story
I’ve joked before that I’ll always want to watch a movie about two friends in their twenties facing existential growth and discomfort. And it’s true! I would.
Poet Forough Farrokhzad Tells a Haunting Story of Illness and Beauty in ‘The House Is Black’
A haunting visit into the lives of patients in a facility for people with leprosy in 1960s Iran.
A Beautiful Take on Family and Friendship in ‘XXY’
XXY is about wielding love over fear, about parents realizing that “wanting the best” for their children sometimes means something unexpected.
‘Antonia’s Line’ is a Feminist Fairy Tale that Takes on Heavy Topics
Antonia’s Line is a female-focused fairytale from the mid-1990s that transports viewers to a quaint Dutch village where Antonia builds a multi-generational eclectic family.
‘Strangers in Good Company’ is a Uniquely-Female Docufiction Experience
It’s remarkable to have a film with no men present that is entirely focused on women simply existing together. But more importantly, the way that it deals with aging and mortality is unique.
Mineworkers and their Families Fight Joyfully in ‘Harlan County, USA’
Full of conversations from the center of action at organizers’ meetings and on picket lines, the documentary gives a vivid picture of the mineworkers’ lives and dreams. (AEL: 4.5/5)
Lina Wertmüller’s Seven Beauties is a poignant portrait of the worst of humanity
Expertly directed by Lina Wertmüller, the film is full of stunning visuals, even if it’s a difficult watch for a modern audience.
Kelly Reichardt’s Lovely Story of Friendship in ‘First Cow’
This movie is about friendship, but also xenophobia, class warfare, and the necessity of cooperation for survival. And this complexity makes the movie feel expansive, and leaves me thinking about it days after seeing it. (AEL: 4.5/5)
‘Vitalina Varela’ Forms an Extraordinary Picture of Grief
Vitalina Varela tells the story of a woman who arrives in Lisbon after the death of her husband, and subsequently tries to disentangle the history of his life there without her. (AEL: 4/5)
YOU GO TO MY HEAD (2017): Review by FF2 Media
Following a mysterious car accident in the desert, Dafne suffers from post-traumatic amnesia. Jake, the first person she sees when she regains consciousness, tells her he’s her husband. You Go to My Head opens 2/14. FF2 review coming soon!
‘Stuffed’: The Art of Taxidermy
Stuffed is a documentary about taxidermy. It sounds grim, and it definitely is. But it’s also quirky and beautiful, and the people who do it are incredibly refined in their craft. (AEL: 3.5/5)
A Frenetic and Sweet New ‘Addams Family’
The animated revival of The Addams Family is perfect for celebrating the fun and light side of Halloween spook (any time of year). (AEL: 3.5/5)
‘Love, it’s the New Style’: The Triumphant Sweetness of the ‘Fiddler’ Documentary
In Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, writer-director Max Lewkowicz and writer Valerie Thomas illuminate the rich history behind the classic musical, unpack its artistic influences, and explore the sources of the story’s universal power. (AEL: 4.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Amelie Lasker In one of my favorite sequences in the documentary, many Tevyes are spliced… Continue reading ‘Love, it’s the New Style’: The Triumphant Sweetness of the ‘Fiddler’ Documentary
A moving argument for transgender rights in ‘The Most Dangerous Year’
In The Most Dangerous Year, Knowlton takes a personal approach, telling her own family’s story as well as those of other families in the community. (AEL: 3.5/5)
CATCHING SIGHT OF THELMA & LOUISE (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker
In Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise, fans and members of the original cast and crew share their experiences with the iconic film. Documentarian Jennifer Townsend enlists a group of fans to explore the film’s funniest and most difficult moments, and to appreciate the cultural significance the film retains. (AEL: 4/5)
Teen Girl Friendship and Sexuality in ‘Slut in a Good Way’
From French-Canadian filmmakers Sophie Lorain and Catherine Léger, Slut in a Good Way is a comedy about three friends who start working in a toy shop–one where there are so many cute boys. The film celebrates teen girlhood, sexual freedom, and the special humor shared among best friends. (AEL: 4/5)
‘Styx’ is a searing drama on the open sea
With two compelling co-stars and a tight, heart-wrenching plot, Styx is a drama that’s hard to get out of your head. (AEL: 4.5/5)
‘Juliet, Naked’ carries through on a winning premise
Thanks to the filmmakers’ handle on the romantic comedy genre, Juliet, Naked is highly watchable, a fun take on a winning premise. (AEL: 3.5/5)
LET THE SUNSHINE IN (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker
Through a repetitive narrative cycle and an intimate arc portrayed by lead actress Binoche, acclaimed French filmmaker Claire Denis explores how depressing and isolating the search for love can be. (AEL: 3.5/5)
LOU ANDREAS-SALOME – THE AUDACITY TO BE FREE (2016): Review by Amelie Lasker
A gentle score and soft, dreamy flashbacks give this film the feel of a period romance, though the story’s loyalty to Lou’s own obstinate personality ultimately makes it a fascinating character study. Well done, Lou Andreas-Salomé! (AEL: 4/5)
THE RIDER (2017): Review by Amelie Lasker
Zhao has woven a story that is delicate and visually gorgeous, based on real ambitions and pains in the lives of Jandreau and his family and friends. (AEL: 5/5)