The Women (1939)

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Revisiting this gorgeous example of an era in Hollywood when women’s films gave women agency, though with limitations, was an indulgent treat. It is one of my favourite films of the time and beautifully captures how women can be contained and yet will always seek to subvert their boundaries. Continue reading

Morocco (1930)

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The chance to see Marlena Dietrich, in a tuxedo, kiss a woman was enough to get me to Morocco. I love punctuating my MIFF experience with the nostalgia of a classic and any of the 30s black-and-white dramas and melodramas are like entering a different universe. Continue reading

I Am Not Your Negro (2017)

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This unusually constructed documentary is an illustrated recitation of the words of James Baldwin, American writer and social critic. It begins with a letter to his agent about an idea to write the stories of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X, all men who are outspoken about civil rights and all assassinated in the 60s. Continue reading

Frantz (2016)

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Some films seep into your bones and only slowly fade away. I wasn’t expecting this Fran├žois Ozon film to have such poignancy. On the surface it seems conventional, not withstanding its artful and at first unnoticed shifts from black-and-white to colour. In a German village in 1919, families are freshly wounded from the recent war and anti-French emotions run high. Bereaved Anna (Paula Beer), whose fiance Frantz died on the front line, regularly visits his grave. One day she finds fresh flowers there and discovers that a French man, Adrien (Pierre Niney), is also marking his grief at the grave. Continue reading