Elisha has written 5 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2021.

  • Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad

    ★★½

    Sort of operates as the inverse of Hiroshima Mon Amour, with the characters and their inner lives operating in service of the form rather than vice versa. As a work of surrealism I think it misses the mark in this regard. Renais’ dream world is an invention so isolated and so impersonal that it neither disrupts nor illuminates anything in the realm of identifiable reality. This is probably my main gripe, as I feel a meditation on subjects as desire-driven…

  • The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    The Spook Who Sat by the Door

    ★★½

    I’m remembering Angela Davis asking herself whether or not the Black Power movement had more to do with the total liberation of Black people or the sole liberation of the Black man. The Spook Who Sat by the Door most definitely falls into the latter camp, and as a film that stands solely on its political legs, falls rather flat for it.

    Dixon attempts to liberate his characters from the weighted stereotypes of Blaxploitation while also operating within its framework…

  • Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

    Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

    ★★½

    This film is a lie, but it does have some merit.

    Perhaps no myth has been more dangerous to young directors—or for that matter, film sets around the world—than the idea that Stanley Kubrick exerted a god-like control over every aspect of the creative process. Thankfully this film dispels that myth (itself a fundamental misunderstanding of creativity) and provides us with a look into the amount of intuition and trust that actually made Kubrick’s films come alive. It also features…

  • Central Station

    Central Station

    ★★½

    I found this painfully by-the-numbers in both content and form, with a lot of cheap emotional beats and conveniences that seemed to service the plot a lot more than the characters. The characters themselves never sink beneath their archetypes, remaining oddly soulless to me in spite of all their carefully placed tears. The ending has some potency to it, but spoils things by over indulging itself for the sake of the big moment (by doing so, missing it’s big moment). Ultimately let down by this one, but I didn’t hate it completely.

  • Mangrove

    Mangrove

    ★★½

    First thing: check out danne’s review, liked bellow (this site really needs an @ button), as it highlights a few reviews on this film from Black critics!! 

    SPOILERS:

    As for me, I felt the direction here was a bit more pedestrian than the two features I’ve seen from McQueen. I know this isn’t Hunger, but I was expecting a story built upon the spirit of revolution to reflect that internal, transformative power in its form (you know, like Hunger). I…