Month: February 2017

Moonlight–An Eclipse

  This highly inventive film, “Moonlight”, chronicles the life of a young African American man from childhood to adolescence to adulthood (with three different actors) in the inner city of Miami. In three acts we see this coming-of-age story of a young boy who has to face poverty, and a drug-addicted mother (played by the Academy Award-nominated actress Naomie Harris). In the first act we see  bullying from other boys at school. Then we see him in the second act struggle to find his place in the world discovering his sexual identity as well as understanding his identity as black. In...

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La La Land–Insipid But Entertaining

  This 2016 Academy Award nominated musical (a record-tying 14 nominations), written and directed by Damien Chazelle (the wunderkind creator of the astonishing Whiplash, see my December 8, 2014 review) is this year’s can-do-no-wrong rom-com starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. La La Land is a bold resurrection of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers 1940-50s musical with a blend of nostalgia (using filtered-lens cinematography and costumes) mixed with the novelty of contemporary millennial life in Los Angeles. A flip-book of competing images of vintage and modern LA with twirling skirts...

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“The Break”– Or, The Nervous Breakdown?

  The Break (La Trêve) is the first French-language Belgian TV crime drama now available as a Netflix Original. The Break is now my newest addition to my ever-growing listicle of bleak, grim, moody, obsessive dramas from around the world, many Scandinavian “noir”. This is a must-see. The main character, police detective Yoann Peeters (the extraordinary Yoann Blanc)has moved rather reluctantly from Brussels to his hometown village of Heiderfeld. After the death of his wife and an internal affairs investigation that left his professional reputation compromised, Peeters is searching...

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“Department Q Trilogy”–Danish Noir

Based on Danish author, Jussi Adler-Olsen's bestselling crime thrillers, the riveting Department Q series has become one of Denmark’s most popular cinematic exports. The entire series has been released on video on demand (through Netflix). This series needs more visibility and exposure--it is a viewing must!

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