Contributor Erika Assabayeva reviews Gregory Rocco's 2018 film, Stretch Marks.
Samridh Chawla gives an in-depth review of The Wolf House, a 2018 film by Cristobal Leon & Joaquin Cocina.
Once again, CJSF made it's way to the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival. Check out some of the film reviews from our contributors:
Human Nature by Sam Miller
Human Nature was a personal top pick out of all the movies featured in VIFF 2019. As a Molecular Biology & Biochemistry major at SFU, I have read published papers in journals like Nature about the potential and endless benefits that the newly discovered CRISPR-Cas9 system has for the future.
What does it mean to be a conspirator in times of ecological terror? For Benedikt Erlingsson’s Woman at War, the answer doesn't arrive easily, but almost certainly involves the participation of a Greek chorus. A Greek-ish chorus, in this case: a live band and a trio of a capella Ukrainian singers follow fifty-something Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) as she roams the Icelandic countryside, fighting—quite literally—for environmental justice.
In short, Roads in February is quite realistic. Seemingly, nothing much happens. However, it captures subtle but crucial moment in life.
Now is the autumn of our discontent. It is 1971, seven years into the reign of Leonid Brezhnev, and the thaw of the 60's has once again crystallized into stagnation. In the days leading up to the annual October Revolution celebrations in the USSR, Sergei Dovlatov (Milan Marić) is lost: between surreal dreams and even more surreal reality. Dovlatov takes place within a single week in November, and chronicles a fine seven days in the life of Sergei —Seryozha to his friends and family— before he became one of the most popular counterculture writers of the 20th century.
At War (En Guerre) is director Stéphane Brizé's second feature on an ever-enduring subject: the struggle between labour, capital, and the powers that compel them both. It is set in an industrial town in southern France that is on the verge of complete economic disenfranchisement: workers at the Perrin factory plant, the major source of employment
Making a movie about conversion therapy is not an easy task. Not to say that conversion therapy is a completely unrepresented theme in cinema: to name a few, there is the cult favorite But I'm A Cheerleader (1999), the Merchant-Ivory classic Maurice (1987), and the teen satirical comedy Saved! (2004).
Studio 54, in all its beautiful, debauched glory, needs very little introduction. The discotheque on 54th street and 8th Ave — in both its short-lived tenure and everlasting memory— is intrinsically interwoven within the cultural fabric of New York City, and is arguably emblematic of a long bygone, restlessly mythologized era. What Matt Tynauer manages to capture is a comprehensive, loving retrospective of its rise and fall, through the eyes of its founders, employees, and devout attendees.
Kirill Serebrennikov's latest feature takes us back to the USSR in an exuberant attempt at capturing a Soviet rock legend, Kino, teetering on the very cusp of stardom. The plot unfolds over a single summer in Leningrad, chronicling the youthful energy of the Soviet rock scene of the 80's through the ascent of a then-unknown Viktor Tsoi (Teo Yoo) in an imaginative, highly stylized black and white cinematography.