REVIEW: ‘Softness of Bodies’ Falls Short of Its Potential
Published February 2020
Written and directed by Jordan Blady, Softness of Bodies is an independent film about an American poet living in Berlin as she competes for a prestigious poetry grant. While it is beautifully shot, the film ultimately has more potential than it could ever know what to do with. The film serves as a potential-filled, meandering character study of its protagonist Charlotte Parks.
REVIEW: Netflix Adaptation of ‘The Witcher’ is Full of Heart and Soul
Published January 2020
Based off the series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski, and the subsequent video games, The Witcher made its debut on Netflix this past December. Created for streaming by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the first season contains eight episodes and explores the lives of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) and Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) before their first encounters with one another. While at times the season feels underdeveloped, The Witcher is an endearing and entertaining exploration of the fantasy genre that will remain in the hearts and minds of its audience.
REVIEW: ‘His Dark Materials’ and the Importance of the Youth as Agents of Change
Published January 2020
The BBC One and HBO television series His Dark Materials concluded its first season this past December. Based on the trilogy of fantasy books by the same name written by Philip Pullman, the show depicts the journey of Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) in an alternate world where humans have animal counterparts called daemons, and the religious institution The Magisterium acts as governmental authority. With its strong world building, emotionally poignant acting and exploration of the youth as agents of change, His Dark Materials is a welcome addition to the current landscape of science fiction and fantasy television.
REVIEW:Confronting Change and Character in 'The Expanse' Season 4
Published December 2019
The science fiction series The Expanse found new life on Amazon Prime last year after the Syfy network’s cancellation. Based on the series of novels by James S.A. Corey- the pen name of both Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck- the show released its fourth season this December. Consisting of ten episodes, season four of The Expanse pushes past the boundaries of previous seasons’ inventive storytelling, cinematography, character exploration, and commentary on social-political changes in an evolving universe.
‘Undone’ and Why Complex Depictions of Mental Illnesses Matter
Published October 2019
In a world where characters with mental illnesses are consistently depicted as the monsters, villains, antagonists, and just generally ‘unlikeable’ people across film and television, Undone feels like a breath of fresh air. An Amazon original series, the show is an adult animated, dramedy created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, both known for their work on Bojack Horseman. Undone revolves around the story of Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar) and her changed relationship with time after getting into a car accident. She starts seeing her father, Jacob Winograd (Bob Odenkirk), who had mysteriously died during her childhood, as he attempts to explain the nature of reality and how she, and only she, can manipulate it to help him solve the mystery of his death. Those familiar with Schizophrenia will start to see some overlaps between what Alma is experiencing throughout the show and some of the symptoms of the disorder.