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A Guide for Film Students

I want to share some tips and tricks that I passed on to colleagues of mine when they entered the fantastic world of film school.

"Glass" Values Ideas Over Thrills

In the trilogy capper of the "Eastrail 177 Trilogy" (or the Unbreakable trilogy, if you prefer), David Dunn (Bruce Willis, Unbreakable), Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy, Split), and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson, Unbreakable) find themselves locked together in an asylum, now wards of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story), whose mission is to convince them their superhuman beliefs are mere delusions of grandeur. Meanwhile, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy, Split), Joseph Dunn (Spencer Treat Clark, Unbreakable), and Mrs. Price (Charlayne Woodard, Unbreakable) try to convince the system that their friends and family are as special as they say they are. Of course, being a Shyam

God Bless the Weird | REGARDING 2018

I appreciate the original and the weird. The images and stories that are uniquely cinematic. It's for this reason that David Lynch became one of my favorite filmmakers over the past couple months. Why The Tree of Life is my favorite movie of all time. Of course, it's not merely style that makes a great film. But great style reveals a remarkable creativity on the part of the filmmaker that isn't always utilized in popular cinema. So in Part 3 of REGARDING 2018, let's celebrate the weird. As talked about on Wednesday ("About That Animation"), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse celebrated being unique through its amazing story, but it also demonstrated this through its visual style. Creating sho

About That Animation | REGARDING 2018

I love the animations. Each year they get more beautiful and more daring, and one of them is usually fighting for the top spot of my list. That's no different this year. But more than that, 2018's key animated releases showed that animation can address as strongly as live-action fare, if not moreso, relevant issues and themes important for today's American society. I remember Zootopia got plenty of praise for this, using a comedy about animals to allegorically address issues of race, gender, and prejudice. Ralph Breaks the Internet was more on the nose, but it still addressed internet toxicity and insecurity of men. While I think it could have used a plot device called literally anything els

7 Things I Learned from M. Night Shyamalan | WEEKLY 7

Some spoilers for Unbreakable, Split, and The Village lie ahead. My most anticipated film of the year, Glass, is coming out this week. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the sequel to 2001's Unbreakable and 2017's Split is getting early mixed reviews from critics. However, anyone familiar with his career knows that mixed reviews aren't anything new for Shyamalan. After some knockout thrillers, he hit a rough patch before his major comeback The Visit. I really like him as a filmmaker--amongst my friends I'm a The Village apologist--so to kick off the first new segment of the new year, The Weekly 7, here are 7 Things I've Learned from M. Night Shyamalan! 1. Take Opportunities M. Night Shyamalan d

Those I Didn't Love | REGARDING 2018

I have noticed a small swell of internet critics and content creators rejecting the idea of "worst of" lists. Certain social media communities, especially in 2017, became notoriously toxic, so perhaps this rejection is a reaction to that. Besides, it kind of sucks to be told you are among the absolute worst pieces of creation that existed that year; smaller voices on the internet echoing that sentiment just isn't productive for anybody. So while these were the movies I liked least this year, I wouldn't consider this a "worst of" list. In fact, I mostly enjoyed all but one movie I saw this year. Even these "lesser" few had something I really dug. But as part of this 8-part retrospective on 20

Most Anticipated Films of 2019

2018 is getting a strange rap. For many there weren't too many offensively bad movies, but they also didn't find "The One," per se. In my experience, as you'll see in my upcoming 8-part retrospective of 2018 this month, I didn't overwhelmingly dislike very many films, and I often left the theater satisfied at worst and blown away by a unique wonderwork at best. But this isn't about 2018. 2018 is dead like the old Taylor or Kanye's cell phone security. Except when it comes back in my upcoming 8-part retrospective of 2018 this month. After that, then it is surely dead. Actually, there's still the Oscars—the point is, there are films coming out this year that I am particularly looking forward t

What to Look Forward to from Me in 2019

I want to briefly address my hiatus and my plans for this site in the year ahead. I saw a record number of new films this year—according to my Letterboxd, 38 and counting, including Netflix comedy specials—but I didn't write about many of them. In fact, after I reviewed Hereditary, there was radio silence here until now. While my gut response is to chalk it up to time constraints, there are more honest reasons. Some films I just didn't know how to write about, and others I felt I saw too late. I never gave myself deadlines. I also took a class on film criticism this past fall, which prompted me to unconsciously stop as I learned about the genre beyond evaluative popular reviews. And the bigg

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