Elisha has written 43 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Bush Mama

    Bush Mama

    ★★★

    About to watch again.

  • Drylongso

    Drylongso

    ★★★

    Not a spoiler-heavy review, but you may want to check out the film here first. It’s worth it!

    Ahhh yet another Black independent film debut! This one comes from multimedia artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith (check out some of her incredible studio installations here).

    The first thing that strikes me about this film is its penchant for love. Not solely romantic love—although it is present in all of its tenderness and playfulness—but ultimately, the love and healing power of creativity, friendship,…

  • Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

    Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key

    ★★★

    Burned my brain out and didn’t feel like contending with a known masterpiece, so I turned this on without peeping the rating or even the synopsis. It’s my first "giallo" film (in quotes because I just learned that word), and it’s pretty entertaining stuff. Good suspense with a simple premise in each instance: will she make it through this dark corridor? Lays the music on a bit heavy, but that’s part of the charm. Also has that dynamic handheld camerawork…

  • His House

    His House

    ★★★

    SPOILERS:

    Ahh it’s a beautiful year for Black film debuts! Merawai Gerima’s Residue, Radha Blank’s The 40 Year Old Version, and now, to my attention, Remi Weekes’ His House.

    “The man who has stolen in order never to thieve again remains a thief.”
    -Andrei Tarkovsky

    This is a film about sacrifices. One that haunts with the promise of its supernatural sacrifices, but is ultimately defined by its spiritual and cultural ones, within and beyond it’s scope. A blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby…

  • Stray Dogs

    Stray Dogs

    ★★★

    I think it’s suffice to say I enjoyed this much more than I connected with it.

    The alienating factor not being the pacing or the circumstances of the characters, but really just one particular scene. When Lee Kang-sheng’s 'Father' is finally seen in close-up on the street, in the cold, crying and hustling for change against his own dignity and humanity, I was crying with him. The film had done such a beautiful job of immersing me in the sights,…

  • The Executioner

    The Executioner

    ★★★

    SPOILERS:

    First Berlanga film. I found many parts of this outright hilarious, and overall I think it’s a decent film with sharp writing. I did feel that the films movement from scene to scene (despite the great one takes within each scene) was a bit too lifeless, and even its abruptness in jumping through time lacked the contrast or kinetic energy needed to keep me deeply invested. But, that scene towards the end? As he’s getting dragged to the garrote?…

  • Ariel

    Ariel

    ★★★

    Not quite as developed or well-rounded in its humanity as Shadows in Paradise, but still a good time filled with enough laughs and visual comedy to remain entertaining throughout. Today’s been nothing but dark comedies and Robert Crumb comics, so this fit right in with everything. Oh, and enjoy this hilarious and tender video of Kaurismäki expressing his love to a picture of Ozu as only Kaurismäki can:

    Aki Kaurismäki on Ozu

  • Phantom of the Paradise

    Phantom of the Paradise

    ★★★

    It’s a good time. Laughs and parts of the horror are a bit outdated, but it’s entertaining enough thanks to its visual appeal and story influences to keep things going. Almost feels like a very long short film thanks to all of the insanity, which I liked. Most importantly, I got excited every time Paul Williams spoke because I could tell that he was the voice of The Penguin on Batman: The Animated Series.

  • Naked

    Naked

    ★★★

    Taking into account the time and place this film was made in, I can appreciate what it did and imagine what a surprise it was to the international film circuit at the time. I also appreciate how unironic it is, refusing to make examples or lessons out of its characters by simply forcing the audience to bare witness to their lives. But personally, I didn’t find this raw or realistic or any of the other adjectives it’s often associated with.…

  • Living in Oblivion

    Living in Oblivion

    ★★★

    "Y’know the only reason I took a part in this movie is because someone said that you were tight with Quentin Tarantino."

    I had the slightest bit of anxiety while watching this, but it’s a good time. Part two gave me a lot of the best laughs, and it’s a genuine look at how faith in yourself, your collaborators and the material is the only way forward. I also think it’s telling that the last scene they have to make work is a dream.

    FUN FACT: Brad Pitt was originally slated to play Chad Palomino. Just imagine him saying the line above lmfao.

  • The Social Dilemma

    The Social Dilemma

    ★★★

    The drama part is whatever. But this documentary, and the information it gives, is gooood. Watch it.

  • Drunken Angel

    Drunken Angel

    ★★★

    Finished this film and followed it up with Lars-Martin Sorensen’s dissection of this film’s anti-western sentiment. I think my enjoyment of this film was hampered by my limited knowledge of American-occupied Japan. I clocked a few of the metaphors, but Sorensen’s analysis of the film opened up so much more for me, and I respect it more as a result. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but I did enjoy the last 40 minutes or so as it feels…