Elevate Difference

Reviews by Joanna Chlebus

Joanna Chlebus is a media scholar based out of New York City. She has a Masters Degree from New York University, where her studies focused on the generic development of the movie musical. She has been blogging about film and New Media since 2006.


Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest film, Biutiful, survives on the quality of its performances but suffers under the morose weight of Iñárritu’s bleak worldview. It is not a surprise that Biutiful is obsessed with the darker side of life—after all, this is from the same director that created Babel and 21 Grams.

Literary Readings: Nicole Krauss and Cynthia Ozick (11/8/2010)

During a recent reading of their works at the 92nd Street Y, Nicole Krauss and Cynthia Ozick proved as charming and witty in person as their words are on the page. Stepping up to the podium to read from their latest works, the authors were self-effacing, deferential, and clever. The event, which featured brief introductions to the authors, readings of excerpts from their latest works, and a short Q&A segment, proved an insightful examination of the writing process.

The Things We Carry

The Things We Carry tells the story of two sisters coping with the death of their drug-addicted mother Sunny (Alexis Rhee). After leaving her mother and sister Eve (Catherine Kresge) to travel the globe, Emmie (Alyssa Lobit) returns home upon news of her mother’s death.

The Cinematic Life of the Gene

The Cinematic Life of the Gene is a challenging and complex collection of essays that uses cinematic representations of genetics and cloning to consider the cultural impact of genetic breakthroughs. Jackie Stacey draws on some of the most well known theoretical works regarding cinema, art, and the body to consider the fascinating link between cinema and genomics.

Leading Ladies

It may seem quite an impossibility, but the film Leading Ladies is, simply put, a quietly revolutionary dance musical. While most dance musicals (think Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance) center on the boy-meets-girl heterosexual love match, Leading Ladies is a beautifully wrought girl-meets-girl story.

The Horse Boy

The Horse Boy is an emotionally stirring, thought-provoking examination of autism and its effects on familial life.

When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors

When You’re Strange is director Tom DiCillo’s loving yet flawed homage to The Doors. The film is comprised almost entirely of original footage of the band, shot between 1966 and 1971. It follows members John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and Jim Morrison from their first performance to heated recording sessions, and ultimately, to Morrison’s tragic death at the age of twenty-seven.


On Charlotte Martin's latest album, Stromata, the songstress presents her most experimental work to date. Stromata presents Martin's typically earnest and honest lyrics against a complex background of synthesizers and electronic beats. Her influences on the album are so varied - from techno to folk to Middle Eastern - that the album lacks a sense of cohesion.

The Films of Su Friedrich, Vol. 3: Sink or Swim

Su Friedrich's Sink or Swim is a beautifully complex film that quietly sneaks up on the viewer, draws her in and, ultimately, leads her to a place of intimate introspection and intense analysis. The film follows Friedrich's development from "The Girl" to "The Woman" through a series of anecdotes involving her father.