Southern Gothic is a sub-genre of fiction that takes place in the American South and that focuses on “grotesque themes”, “damaged, and delusional characters,” with hints of darkness and the supernatural. It also acts as the over-arching theme of Eve’s Bayou (1997), which looks into the façade of an African-American family, living deep in the swamps of 1960’s Louisiana. Writer and director Kasi Lemmons (Harriet (2019)), depicts a black experience that doesn’t root itself in political trauma nor its relationship to the white race. She shows the pulls and tides of familial relationships in an Aster-esque, thoughtful way that displays humanity through the emotions of the women and their psychic abilities.
Eve’s Bayou follows the Batiste family, who act as a picture-perfect vision of the American family; they live in a home with four bathrooms and are able to throw lavish house parties filled with laughter and classical, Southern ambiance. It is the youngest daughter, Eve (Jurnee Smollett), that acts as the narrator of the film, telling her story through a collection of memories of the summer of 1962. Like most ten-year olds, Eve spends most of her time tormenting her younger brother, Poe (Jake Smollett), and riding a push and pull relationship with her older sister, Cisely (Meagan Good), as they both battle for the attention of their mostly absent father, Louis (Samuel L. Jackson.) However, behind the mask of this perfect family lies a Pandora’s box of family secrets and traumas. As Lemmons’ states, memories can be ‘elusive’ and childhood trauma can piece itself together differently in order for the world to make sense. Eve is a wildly misinformed child, no matter how ironclad her memories may feel, you can feel parts of the story missing, keeping the film elusive and open to discussion.
This is it. This is the feeling I wish I could leave with every time I watch a new movie in theaters. I guess that wouldn't make the feeling so special then, huh? So, I'll just hold on to this for as long as I can. Watching Little Women (2019) yesterday in a packed theater while I get over this annoying cold was a moving experience with an epiphanic ending.
Zombie comedies are an entertaining group of films that contain some of the oldest, most comedy-worthy monsters in horror history. They shake you to the core with laughter, and they almost always have a heart-warming story line that drives their popularity through the decades. From Shaun of the Dead's story of friendship, Warm Bodies' romance story, and Life After Beth's coming to terms with loss and mourning, zombie comedies are some of the best stories about the undead reminding us how to be human.
When I first saw the trailer for Midsommar, I was enthusiastic, and honestly, for good reason. I had already seen Hereditary, and I was convinced that Ari Aster was a genius writer and director. The emotion he provokes out of his audience, the visuals he presents, and the bone-chilling stories he imagines are a force to be reckoned with.
To start off, Midsommar was the most brightly lit horror film I have ever seen. I had never experienced a film like this, because all of the horrors that happen in the dark of the usual scary movie were brought to light in this film, with nowhere to hide and nowhere for the audience to look away to.
Films like Bridesmaids (2011), Life Partners (2014), and many more depict the very real struggle many best-friendships experience when one-half of the party gets into a serious relationship. It is no longer your best friend spending the night every night, calling you, and gossiping about the guy she's kinda, sorta seeing. This guy is now the person your best friend is calling. They sleepover, and they have created the dynamic you and your best friend once had. It can genuinely be hard, and it can feel like a breakup for so many people. But what makes it so hard? Many films love to portray a sense of jealousy in the "dumpee" of the friendship, which can be the case. It's not jealousy in the sense that they are in love with their best friend, but it's jealousy in the feeling of the loss of a life partner.
Let's just get this right out there- Hustlers (2019) is the film of the summer, and yes summer, because it is not technically fall yet. It is also my new favorite performances from Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. It was a great blockbuster debut for Lili Reinhart. Keke Palmer truly shined, and Cardi B and Lizzo were absolutely fun to watch on screen. Hustlers (2019) is a female-dominated film, and it unapologetically steps on the necks of cis-males everywhere. Written and directed by Lorena Scafaria, this film handles the complexities of friendships, economic struggles, and sex all so gracefully.