122

POSTS

0

NEWS

19

FEATURES

0

GUIDES

Gretchen Felker-Martin


‘Come True’ is a Lucid Nightmare

A craggy, towering island like something off the cover of a black metal album looms out of the fog. As the camera approaches, the monolithic image separates into slopes of trampled bracken, ruins leaning drunkenly around the dark mouth of a cave. Come True, Anthony Scott Burns’ hypnotic horror flick about…

READ MORE >
Come True

REVIEWS

‘The Dark and the Wicked’ Review: Flawed But Fearsome

It’s frustrating to see good craftsmanship held back by shopworn writing, but Bryan Bertino’s rural Texas-set haunting flick The Dark and the Wicked manages to wring something enjoyable out of its thin characters and pat script. Built around the collapse of a Texan farming family gutted by its patriarch’s (Michael…

READ MORE >
The Dark and the Wicked

REVIEWS

‘Saint Maud’ Review: Praise Maud

“You must be the loneliest girl in the world,” says Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), bedbound and dying of spinal lymphoma. At her bedside, draped in a bedsheet, rosary beads dangling from her throat, disturbed young nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark) only looks confused. How do you care for someone whose mental illness…

READ MORE >
Saint Maud

REVIEWS

‘Night of the Kings’ Review: Full of Sound and Fury

With Night of the Kings, Ivorian director Philippe Lacôte employs the classic framing device of the Scheherazade story — a prisoner whose salvation lies in the allure of their storytelling — in a film which mingles Shakespeare, modern dance, and the sketchy, fleeting tone of avant garde theater. The result…

READ MORE >
Night of the Kings

REVIEWS

‘Eight for Silver’ Review: Color by Numbers

For a horror flick about a hardass English landlord losing everything due to werewolf problems to leave me largely cold is kind of a feat in and of itself, but against all odds Sean Ellis’s Eight for Silver manages to seize the ring. Its paper-thin characters, scattershot continuity, and lack…

READ MORE >
Eight for Silver

REVIEWS

‘Another Round’ Review: A Beautifully Mixed Cocktail

“There’s this psychologist, Finn Skårderud,” begins baby-faced and unassuming Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), a teacher of human psychology at a Copenhagen gymnasium. “He has a theory that humans are born with a blood alcohol content that’s .05 percent too low.” That a table full of depressed middle-aged men with stale, directionless…

READ MORE >
Another Round

TV/FILM

‘Shadow in the Cloud’ Review: Tedium at Twenty Thousand Feet

If my father were John Landis I don’t think I’d be quite so eager to make a movie about a plane crash, much less one so clearly channeling The Twilight Zone. Still, there are parts of director Roseanne Liang and co-writer and alleged serial rapist Max Landis’s Shadow in the…

READ MORE >
Shadow in the Cloud

REVIEWS

Gretchen Felker-Martin’s Top 8 Film and TV of 2020

It’s been a long, grim year for film and television — too grim to merit a whole top ten list. In its place I give you — with the proviso that no, I have not seen First Cow — my top eight shows and movies of 2020. 8. The Third…

READ MORE >
Better Call Saul

LISTS

It’s a Great Time to Get Into Independent Short Film

It’s been over a year since behemothic Disney subsidiary Marvel Studios put out a movie, an unprecedented state of affairs after a solid decade-plus of increasingly tightly-spaced and more or less identical blockbusters. Theaters are empty, Disney is charging thirty bucks a pop to watch sloppy live-action remakes of its…

READ MORE >
The Cat With Hands

FEATURES

The Sword is the Soul: ‘The Sword of Doom’ and Cultural Violence

“Violence is the true enemy” is hardly a novel thesis for an action movie, but few delve as deeply into the suffocating emptiness of a life lived through war as The Sword of Doom, Kihachi Okamoto’s bleak, sadistic 1966 deconstruction of the archetype of the wandering swordsman. Watching it today,…

READ MORE >
The Sword of Doom

FEATURES

Skin in the Game: Brandon Cronenberg’s ‘Possessor’

Director Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor shares certain thematic similarities with the films of his famous and influential father David, but its tone and pacing owe more to glacial, drone-y 2010s sci-fi like Panos Cosmatos’s Beyond the Black Rainbow and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. There is, appropriately enough, a meticulous remove…

READ MORE >
Possessor

REVIEWS

Lovecraft Country Episode 2: ‘Whitey’s on the Moon’ Review

There’s not much about Lovecraft Country that registers as particularly Lovecraftian. The cow giving birth to the slimy monster pupa is the closest we get to anything resembling horror in the show’s second outing; the rest is Halloween Store wizard outfits and stop-and-start pacing, every scene in which one group…

READ MORE >
Lovecraft Country

REVIEWS

Lovecraft Country Episode 1: ‘Sundown’ Review

Lovecraft Country, Misha Green’s TV adaptation of Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, is not without its charms. Courtney B. Vance, when he’s not spouting stilted exposition, has a kind of gentle warmth which shades at times into pained, uncomfortable weakness — a humane and complicated hint at…

READ MORE >
Lovecraft Country

REVIEWS

Dance Like Nobody’s Dying: Jonathan Glazer’s Strasbourg 1518

Strasbourg 1518, director Jonathan Glazer’s (Sexy Beast, Under the Skin) latest short film, takes its title from the so-called “dancing plague,” an incident of florid mass psychosis which struck the town of Strasbourg in the 16th century. The story goes that sometime in July a young woman began dancing in…

READ MORE >
Strasbourg 1518

‘Carmilla’ Review: Love and Terror

Emily Harris’s Carmilla proceeds unmistakably from the blueprint of Sheridan le Fanu’s 1871 gothic novel of the same name, but where Le Fanu’s story trades heavily in mystery and action, Harris’s reinterpretation delves deeply into the emotional and sensual context of the Bauer home before and after Carmilla’s arrival. On…

READ MORE >
Carmilla

TV/FILM

Billions Season 5, Episode 2 Review: ‘The Chris Rock Test’

‘The Chris Rock Test’ is classic Billions, self-mythologizing finance and government types jockeying for power in increasingly rarefied circles of influence and free capital. Axe and the gang head to billionaire-with-a-conscience Mike Prince’s weekend retreat where the ultra rich tell each other how moral and giving they are while fighting…

READ MORE >
Billions

REVIEWS

Billions Season 5, Episode 1 Review: ‘The New Decas’

“That’s a lot of war to wage,” says Wags to his friend and employer Bobby Axelrod as the two men, tripping on ayahuasca, lean in close to one another, leering and cackling like a pair of entities from Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge. “That’s a lot of heads to chop. Chop…

READ MORE >
Billions

REVIEWS

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 10: ‘Something Unforgivable’ Review

“What about tomorrow, Jimmy?” Kim asks when her husband, under cover of tempting her with a luxurious afternoon of hookey, tries to keep her indoors and out of any potential harm’s way. “What about the next day, and the day after that? Jimmy, what about next week?” Life in the…

READ MORE >
Better Call Saul

REVIEWS

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 9 ‘Bad Choice Road’ Review

So much of Better Call Saul is about trying to wield power without leaving fingerprints. The narcos and their stateside operations have incredible wealth, but the merest hint of it might get them crushed by the DEA. Mike Ehrmantraut is a deadly shot, but every bullet makes a body someone…

READ MORE >
Better Call Saul

REVIEWS

Better Call Saul Season 5 Episode 8 ‘Bagman’ Review

“Bagman” looks and feels like something out of Blood Simple or No Country for Old Men, a taut but decompressed Southwestern thriller with minimal plot, striking scenery, and few moving pieces. Its colors, however, are in a league of their own. The dry reddish-brown of scrub brush and creosote. The…

READ MORE >
Better Call Saul

REVIEWS