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Cage flirts with radioactivity in the Ghostland.

WHAT IS THIS MOVIE??!

Six days into a film festival you start to feel your mind rebel at the thought of processing another Clever Indie Gem or World Illuminating Documentary. If you could retreat to the snack bar in that moment and buy yourself something crunchy and sweet and feed it directly into your eyeballs, Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland would be that seven dollar cinematic sugar rush.

Nicolas Cage makes movies fun to watch. This is showbiz canon, and nobody can stop it from being true. Silver nitrate runs through his veins — this is his world, and…


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Marian (or is it Vivian?) makes herself up to look like her sister in Erin Vassilopoulos’s thriller Superior.

Right away, Erin Vassilopoupous’s 16mm gem grabs your attention with exciting editing and perfectly composed shots, cutting back and forth between a high-stakes murder on a highway, and a homemaker cooking an egg.

Popping with color, costumes that sizzle, and juxtapositions that highlight the different ways of being a woman along with every comedic, thrilling, and desperate angle of navigating a man’s world that comes along with it, Superior plays with the notion of friction between the choices that women make and how they separate us from ourselves.

Haunted by a man she may have killed in self defense, cool…


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Mother-daughter duo Leonor and María (Amalia and Ale Ulman) keep up appearances in the face of encroaching poverty in El Planeta.

Amalia Ulman’s feature film debut El Planeta, which shares its title with that of greater metropolitan Boston’s daily Latino newspaper, delivers the story of a mother and daughter who struggle through increasingly difficult financial times in Gijón, Spain as they drape themselves in furs, designer clothes, and other vestiges of luxury.

In the opening scene, Leonor (played by writer/director Ulman) meets a man at a cafe for an interview. The job turns out to be in the field of sex work, and particularly degrading. …


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Boss (Tor Thanapob) and Aood (Ice Natara) find regret and redemption on a journey down memory lane.

Baz Poonpiraya’s road journey, One For the Road, opens vividly in a bar of the same name as smooth operator Boss (Tor Thanapob) shakes cocktails and mixes with the ladies that perpetually surround him in his seemingly charmed big city existence. When old friend Aood (Ice Natara) interrupts his latest conquest to ask for a favor, he allows his loyalty to pull him away from his penthouse and nightlife, however reluctantly at first, to drive him to meet an old flame.

Aood, who is dying from cancer, stepped away from the very same penthouse lifestyle himself years ago, abandoning Boss…


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Griffins, and Dragons, a Kraken, oh my!

While looking for twigs to keep their campfire alive, a couple of pot-smoking hippies stumble nakedly into a compound full of mythical creatures. After the man, Matt, is gored by a unicorn, the woman, Amber, bashes it with a rock in a fit of fear and vengeful rage, taking its horn as a trophy before stumbling further into what turns out to be a zoo full of savage cryptids.

The zookeeper, Lauren Gray, an army-brat-turned-veterinarian who was saved by nightmares as a child by a rare and magical creature called a Baku, has since dedicated her life to the rescue…


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Rashida Jones and Bill Murray on the town, spying on a potentially philandering husband and getting to the bottom of what makes marriages tick.

“And remember. Don’t give your heart to any boys. You’re mine. Until you’re married. And then you’re still mine.” Bill Murray’s instantly recognizable voice launches Sofia Coppola’s latest film On the Rocks to a black screen as he dispenses these words of wisdom to a skeptical young daughter. The scene opens on two lovers stealing away from the reception on their wedding day.

Several years and two children later, wife Laura, played by Rashida Jones, has given her heart to this boy. Early one morning, after husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) creeps into their bed after returning from a business trip…


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Big Brother is totally judging you, slut.

I finally watched Wonder Woman 84 last night. It took me a while to get around to it because I still haven’t seen the first one. Well, I did see a few minutes after ducking into a theater on my way out of Dunkirk. Based on those few minutes: a deafening CGI fest of apocalyptic destruction and sound-system-test-as-score, a la the entire second half of Man of Steel, I figured I’d seen quite enough. Hollywood, please stop ending movies this way, and if this is your idea of a climax, please stop having sex. Nobody wants that.

It took me…


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Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen! Bill Paxton as Private Hudson addressing his fellow dogs of war. Aliens, 1992.

During the period between the end of the Civil War and World War II, the rights of American voters broadened from white, Christian, landowning males to include blacks, women, and a vast sea of immigrants. Immigrants piled into our coastal cities while blacks traveled up the Mississippi to midwestern towns. Women began organized political movements and careers. All were in search of fair work, opportunity, and freedom: the American ideal.

Meanwhile, groups of white Christian landowning men, many of them dissatisfied with these turns of events that left them, in their minds, with a smaller piece of the pie than…


Flying In Slow Motion

I was flying in slow motion.

I saw the ground approach my face but I didn’t feel anything. My phone had flown with me, disconnected from the charger in my left hand, and landed softly in the dirt just a foot away from my face next to my sprawled right hand. I reached for it as he grabbed the charger out of my left hand and cuffed it. He was on top of me, his knee pinning me into the dirt from between my shoulder blades with all of his weight. He reached for the wrist…


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In which a white lady examines her privilege from behind bars.

I was raised as a privileged child, no question. Born the “right” color to two loving, married parents that always made sure there was enough. They didn’t start out with much, but they started young, and came from families that emphasized hard work. Hard work was always more of an option for me, I’ll admit, though I am happy to say that it means I do appreciate a challenge.

I was arrested once a while back, this would have been 2003, during an anti-war protest, for videotaping protesters that congregated on . I spent the night in jail with a…

Just A Girl From Cleveland

Throwing heartfelt shout-outs to Cleveland-area & other underrepresented artists, filmmakers, writers, & musicians, just as loudly as they’ll let me.

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