The Musical Prison: How Song Drives Night of The Kings
Michael Kolawole writes about the spectacular use of music in Philippe Lâcote’s prison drama Night of the Kings.
No Princesses: Reflections on the Passing of Sacheen Littlefeather
Critic Myriam Gurba reflects on the passing of Sacheen Littlefeather and her attempted takedown by a notorious “pretendian” researcher.
Melodrama-Rama: Absorbing Delight
The Telugu film RRR is an incredible mixture of genres, influences, and ideas: a historical epic with obvious ahistorical qualities, a combat-heavy actioner with exuberant song-and-dance numbers, a homosocial friendship drama with recognizably romantic montages. Strong notes of melodrama accent its potent blend. These notes appear not just literally—in musical form—but also within the film’s […]
Melodrama-Rama: Where Do I Begin?
Katharine Coldiron's new column Melodrama-Rama takes readers on a beguiling tour of the world of melodrama.
Function at the Junction: Notes on Summer of Soul
I’m getting ready for the function at the junction And baby you’d better come on right now Because everybody’s gonna be there We got people comin’ from everywhere – “Function At The Junction,” Shorty Long, 1966 There’s a long, long legacy of Black folks gathering around food and funk, bbq sauce and song. Before we […]
‘Executive Order’ Re-Writes the Post-Apocalyptic Genre
Executive Order challenges viewers to re-think the post-apocalyptic format and hero-making narratives, flipping the script on a genre that has long reinforced racism, centering Black humanity as a racist government lead by an evil Karen tries to force all Black people to repatriate to Africa as a form of reparations.
‘Moxie’ Provides White Girls an (Imperfect) Guide to Activism
Amy Poehler's Moxie is the narrative version of Feminist Organizing 101, made with the white, teenage set in mind. If that sounds tiring, know that Poehler brings her singular ability to make do-gooding fun and while its white feminist reach is limited, Moxie manages to inspire.
Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez Explores the Legacy of a Cartoonist Who Reserved the Right to Objectify
Toward the end of her documentary Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez, director Susan Stern asks in voice-over, “Did I make this film to defend Spain? Or to defend myself?” It’s a telling question, one important enough to justify Stern briefly putting the focus on herself and taking it away from her husband and […]
Sylvie’s Love is Pretty as a Picture
Sylvie's Love relegates whiteness to its rightful place: This isn't Harlem gentrified by our concepts of unity twenty years into the 21st century.
The Mommy Issues Picture Show
It will entail secret rooms, padlocked trunks, maternal brutishness, and leather cuffs about the wrists and ankles. It will be psychotic. It is called love. A survey of films where women curiously love other women in lieu of their own mothers.
A Nation of Kevins: Home Alone Again…and Again
We’re revisiting some of the work we first published. In a “Nation of Kevins,” Myriam Gurba discusses why Home Alone is the perfect emblem for the USian response to the pandemic. It also instructs us as to why we ought to defund the police. Plus, it's about Christmas.