Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged film

Ready? Ok!

The blurb on the back of the sleeve for Ready? Ok! called it a "family comedy," so naturally I expected to watch something funny. Aside from a scene where Josh’s mother loses control over him and Alex, her brother, during a live television taping, there really wasn’t too much to laugh about. Maybe it was the array of serious issues that the movie covered that cast a blanket of sadness over it. Josh is the perky wannabe cheerleader son of jaded single parent Andrea.

Slumdog Millionaire (or I Want to Sue the Indian Government: Memories of Gods, Lovers, and Slumdogs)

An old Native American curse goes like this, “May all your dreams come true!” For many years, I had a dream; I wanted very badly to visit mysterious India. Last month my wish unexpectedly came true. Forbidden Sun Dance, my most recent documentary, was selected to compete in the Tri-Continental Human Rights Film Festival in India.

Small Gods: Elena's Elegy

Small Gods, a film by Dimitri Karakatsanis, is described as being part of the Belgian new wave film movement. What that means, I'm not sure, but I'm absolutely in love it. While shot on a dismally cheap budget, you would never be able to tell with the gorgeous visuals that play out on screen. The film opens with a teary-eyed David, kidnapping Elena from the hospital after she has lost her son in a car crash. Elena awakes in David's mobile home and little dialogue passes between the two of them.


For those who don’t know Antarctica is the sophmore effort of Israeli director Yair Hochner. Hochner, like Eytan Fox, is re/defining queer film in Israel. Both his movies, Good Boys (which I found disturbing and heartbreaking) and Antarctica have been the talk of the festival circuit since their releases.

Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema

Professor Negar Mottahedeh's critical study of post-revolutionary Iranian film industry, Displaced Allegories, is an intelligent, stimulating, and well-written analysis of "a woman's cinema" after 1979. The cinematic industry has been widely criticized by Iranian feminists for its problematic and stereotypical representation of women.

I Love You, Man / Duplicity

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the theater and saw two movies in one day. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time that I was even able to afford that; I live in Manhattan, land of the thirteen dollar movie ticket. However, there were two recently released flicks that I was absolutely dying to see.

Linkeroever (Left Bank)

A quiet Belgian horror film, Linkeroever, which translates to mean “left bank” in English, is the story of Marie, a professional runner who has just qualified for the European Championships. Played by the remarkable Eline Kuppens, Marie meets Bobby (played by actor Matthias Schoenaerts), the head of the archery guild.


Reading this review will tell you all you need to know about Taken. If you haven't see the film, perhaps now is the time for you to cease reading, as spoilers abound.

He’s Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You wasn’t a terrible movie. Despite its manipulative moments, this film did manage to skip many of the eye roll-inducing rom-com conventions. This movie just wasn’t that romantic or particularly funny.

Revolutionary Road

In 1997 Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio made cinematic history by starring in the highest grossing film of all time, Titanic.

Feminism and Pop Culture

No matter how sophisticated you believe yourself to be, consuming pop culture is often inevitable in modern life. From reacting to coverage of major news events to understanding how advertising permeates our media landscape, chances are most self-identified feminists have considered how so-called low culture affects our perceptions of our selves and our world.

Mohawk Girls

Mohawk Girls is a beautifully written and directed documentary film by Tracey Deer. Released in 2006, Deer parallels the lives of three teenage girls living on a reservation just outside of Montreal, Canada to her own experiences while struggling to grow up in a world that fails to reach out to those not living within the main steam culture.

Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie

In Action Speaks Louder, Eric Lichtenfeld's illuminating history of the action film genre, the author claims that “the action film has deserved the right to be discussed in the same terms as those used to qualify other more established genres.” This idea, while not brought up until the book’s conclusion, forms the basis of Lichtenfeld’s study, which traces action film trends from the early hard-bodied heroes and martial arts stars like Stallone and Seagal all

Sexy Thrills: Undressing the Erotic Thriller

Growing up, I loved Hitchcock films and film noir, an odd choice for a child who came of age with color television, Rambo and Reagan. Fast forward to post-college years later when I took a job at a video rental store to support a poorly stipend internship, where ninety percent of the store’s revenue was from the sale and rental of adult films. Did Barbara Stanwyck and Tipi Hendren lead to this? According to Nina K.

The Mark of Cain

Although prison life is a dreary subject and Russian prison life even more so, The Mark of Cain is a film anyone interested in post-communist Russia must see. The documentary features interviews with Russian prison inmates.

Figures of Resistance: Essays in Feminist Theory

Figures of Resistance is a collection of essays, including previously unpublished lectures and essays, by the absolutely brilliant, feminist thinker Teresa de Lauretis. The texts in this collection span from the concept of feminist aesthetics (or deaesthetics) in film as well as the notion of the narrative, and lesbianism.

The Last King of Scotland (DVD Special Features)

Viewing The Last King of Scotland's Special Features section is a lot like stopping off for dessert at a fast-food restaurant after dining on a sumptuous five-course meal. In striking comparison to the feature film’s nail-biting tension and riveting drama is “Seven Deleted Scenes,” a special feature that is about as exciting as a bowl of boiled rice, and a nonessential theatrical trailer that should be fast forwarded.

These Girls

Documentarian Tahani Rached is allowed intimate access into the lives of a tight-knit group of teenage girls living on the streets of Cairo, Egypt. This motley band of girls includes Tata, the ringleader; Danya, the self-proclaimed “fireball"; Abeer; Ze’reda; Maryam and Big Sister Hind, who offers advice and a shoulder to lean on. Although these teens are “voluntarily” homeless, viewers soon learn that they have chosen what they consider to be the lesser of two evils: the streets versus their abusive homes. The film opens with Tata riding a horse down a street crowded with cars.


Once is a dreamy film set against the green-grey hues of wintry Dublin and accompanied by the plaintive music of that city's residents. The film's deceptively simple story centers around one of Ireland's unnamed poetic denizens, billed just as "guy," and played by wide-eyed Frames frontman Glen Hansard. He is a busker who croons longing songs, accompanied by a broken guitar, standing alone with his muse on a fancy shopping thoroughfare.

Away from Her

In her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came Over the Mountain," Canadian actress, political activist and first-time director Sarah Polley bridges generations and experience in her striking film about aging, adultery and love.

Live from ‘The Pretty Parlor’

When I first got the album, Live from ‘The Pretty Parlor’ in the mail, I was a little disappointed. The jacket had pictures of women dressed like they stepped off of Laugh-In or came from a Jimi Hendrix concert. I was not looking forward to listening to or viewing the DVD.

Entitled to the Pedestal: Place, Race, and Progress in White Southern Women's Writing,1920-1945

I have to be honest. This was not the easiest book to read or absorb. It reminded me of a book that might appear on a required reading for a college literature course.

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol is a grandfather of French cinema; he is one of the major figures of the French New Wave who is still making frequent, full-length films.


Malene Choi Jensen’s InshAllah impresses with its muted visuals and quiet background score. Sabha Khan is a Danish Muslim girl, struggling to create an independent life. She is devoted to her family, has wonderfully supportive friends. She is obviously intelligent, but is unable to find work because of her religious identity and her decision to wear a head scarf. Interspersed with interview footage are sequences depicting Sabha’s home and social lives. She reads to us the countless rejection letters from potential employers—all attempting to conceal their blatant racism and xenophobia.

The Films of Su Friedrich, Vol. 5: The Odds of Recovery

The Odds of Recovery is an autobiographical account of the director’s years of health troubles, including several surgeries and a serious hormone problem that had a huge negative impact on her sex life and relationship with her partner. The film is an extremely personal self-portrait that can be uncomfortable to watch at times, but has enough dry humor and levity to keep it fairly balanced. I came into the film expecting it to boldly take on things like the ineffectiveness and incompetence of the health care industry, but found that was far from the case.


Bamako is a largely unscripted political film which centers on a trial of the Malian people against the World Bank and IMF. Filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako chose to shoot the trial in a courtyard that represents his family home in a poorer neighborhood of Mali’s capital city, where he has memories of passionate discussions about Africa.

The Future of Food

The Future of Food, written, directed, and produced by Deborah Koons Garcia, is a fascinating and chilling look into the state of the food industry in this country. Patented, unlabeled, genetically engineered foods, and the corporations behind them, could be the doom of the United States, if not the human race, if the present situation continues. While biotechnology has always existed, the film points out that genetic engineering enters unknown territory.

Anna’s Summer

Anna’s Summer, is a lovely and introspective film about life, death, remembrance and discovery. Anna, played evocatively by Angela Molina, is reminded of the loss of her loved ones and their qualities that made them not only lovable, but vulnerable and fallible. She has grace, countenance and an expressive nature reminiscent of Penelope Cruz in recent Pedro Almodóvar films. Her visage proves absolutely perfect for a role centering so much around reflection and the memories of her past.

Fay Grim

Fay Grim is the sequel to Hal Hartley’s 1997 film Henry Fool, in which Queens garbage man Simon Fool (James Urbaniak) was befriended by the eponymous hero (Thomas Jay Ryan), who encouraged his literary ambitions. Simon wins the Nobel Prize for his poetry, Henry marries Simon’s sister Fay (Parker Posey) and they have a son, but at the film’s conclusion Henry flees the country to avoid arrest, leaving Simon to take the rap for aiding him. This back story is skillfully established in the first 20 minutes of the film, which is set seven years after Henry’s disappearance.

Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography

I jumped at the opportunity to review Becky Goldberg’s 37-minute documentary, Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography. I thought that perhaps I had found the perfect documentary to show in my intro to Women’s Studies course. Instead, I am disappointed because topics like safety for sex workers, unionization in the sex industry and issues of inclusion for people of varying body types, ethnicities, genders and sexualities is mentioned, but mostly glossed over.