Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: K-M

Genre-bending ‘Knives and Skin’ an inclusive, twisty teen noir

Writer/Director Jennifer Reeder’s teen noir is an ode to all-things-cult-film that came before. Set in a suburban Chicago high school, it’s Riverdale meets Carrie (and no, not the Carrie-themed episode of Riverdale). Part coming-of-age and part thriller, Knives and Skin is uniquely its own genre with a strong female presence in front of and behind […]

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Reviews: K-M

Little Joe: A mind-controlling plant is the star of this arthouse surrealist film

*This review contains spoilers, so proceed with caution! Little Joe is a surrealist horror film directed and written by Jessica Hausner, co-written with Géraldine Bajard. Alice is a plant breeder specializing in genetic engineering, developing a new species to sell for her corporation. She illegally brings home a plant for her son, Joe, oblivious to the […]

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Reviews: K-M

A MILLION LITTLE PIECES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, A Million Little Pieces is a film adaptation of the esteemed, if a little infamous, memoir written by James Frey. The film centers around James, who goes to rehab for his addiction to alcohol and crack (among other things); an addiction that is both figuratively and literally killing him. A Million […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: N-P

Freedom and friendship in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’

In Celine Sciamma’s new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an 18th century French painter finds herself with a difficult task. Secrets and deceit change the relationship dynamic between two girls. (SYJ: rating 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Set in 18th century Brittany, «Marianne» (Noemie Merlant) […]

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zJan's News

19November29: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Four films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: After Parkland Atlantics Queen & Slim Ximei Of these five, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert films] –is a narrative feature. My Top Pick for November 27th (drumroll please!) is [insert […]

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Reviews: A

‘After Parkland’ a numbing, necessary return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Filmmakers Jake Lefferman and Emily Taguchi take on the incredibly painful and horrifying task of detailing the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The only word to describe a film like this – other than numbing – is necessary. (4.5/5) […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: A

‘Atlantics’ a haunting supernatural tale of romance and societal injustice

Mati Diop directs and co-writes Atlantics, a supernatural drama feature, which intertwines its fictional narrative with social commentary. The French-Senegalese director’s work boasts 17 wins and 14 nominations so far, including a win at the Cannes Grand Prix. Atlantics is a rude awakening, a melancholic loss, and a haunting romance with Dakar’s societal issues deeply rooted in its story. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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Reviews: Q-S

QUEEN & SLIM (2019): Review by FF2 Media

An awkward first Tinder date turns into a modern day Bonnie and Clyde in Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim. “Queen” (Jodie Turner-Smith) is, in her own words, an excellent lawyer. “Slim” (Daniel Kaluuya) works at Costco. The unlikely pair are forced to team up when a racist police officer pulls them over and the routine […]

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Reviews: X-Z

Ximei: A peasant’s persisting fight for the AIDS movement in China

Ximei (2019), directed and written by Andy Cohen with Gayle Ross, is a documentary about Ximei Liu, a human rights activist focused on equal rights for AIDS patients. Ximei contracted the disease due to China’s “black blood economy”, and fights against state-inflicted discrimination of a disease the government gave to her in the first place. […]

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19November22: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Six films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Frozen II Hala Mr. Toilet Shooting the Mafia Varda by Agnès Of these six, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. […]

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Reviews: B-D

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019): Review by FF2 Media

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a truly “beautiful” film. Love, pain, a family working through their issues–it’s got it all. The film is centered around the beloved children’s show host Mister Rogers and a reporter assigned to write an article about why he is a hero. Director Marielle Heller managers to make the […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: E-G

Stunning sequel ‘Frozen II’ will close out banner month for Disney

Directors Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Animation’s first and only female director on an animated film) and Chris Buck take Elsa and Anna back to the big screen with Frozen II, a bigger, sometimes better sequel to the 2013 blockbuster – one that became the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: H-J

Family and tradition unravel in ‘Hala’

In writer and director Minhal Baig’s new film Hala, a seventeen-year-old Muslim American teenager “Hala” (Geraldine Viswanathan) struggles to find a balance between her family and cultural values. (SYJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: K-M

‘Mr. Toilet’ is flushed with fun

Directed by Lily Zepeda and written by Zepeda, Tchavdar Georgiev, Hee-Jae Park, and Monique Zavistovski, documentary Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man is about Jack Sim: a man from Singapore who is obsessed with… well, toilets. It sounds crazy, but he has a point: almost half of the world’s population does not have access to […]

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Reviews: Q-S

“Shooting the Mafia”: The female photographer documenting the height of Sicily’s Mafia wars

Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto, centers on photographer Letizia Battaglia and her work documenting the perils caused by the Italian Mafia. (BV 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri Veteran filmmaker Kim Longinotto’s newest documentary is a thoughtful and evocative portrait of an unconventional hero. Letizia Battaglia is a woman of many layers, […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

‘Varda by Agnès’ is a splendid retrospective of Varda’s lifelong work

Varda by Agnès is a retrospective composite of interviews with legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda and clips of her films that span the beginning of her career to her final creative endeavors. Varda by Agnès is an exquisitely beautiful portrait of an artist that has done so much for the film industry and acts as […]

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19November15: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Seven films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: Charlie’s Angels Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops To Kid or Not to Kid Mickey and the Bear The Portal Sequestrada The Warrior Queen of Jhansi Of these seven, so far I’ve seen […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Elizabeth Banks’ new movie makes me want to be one of CHARLIE’S ANGELS

Director and writer Elizabeth Banks’ new film Charlie’s Angels is the next installment of female dominated secret network of spies who save the world. This film empowers all women of any age to be independent and unashamed if their power. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Sophia Y Jin Charlie’s Angels begins with an intimate, […]

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Reviews: E-G

‘Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops’ is heartbreaking yet feels unfinished

Jenifer McShane’s documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops follows San Antonio, Texas police officers Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro, the leaders of a ten-person mental health unit of the San Antonio police force. Ernie & Joe recounts their efforts to place mental health safety at the forefront of officers minds when handling people in crisis, […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: T

‘To Kid or Not To Kid’ opens up conversations on completely serious topic of reproductive choice

Maxine Trump takes on multiple roles as the Director, Writer, and Cinematographer of documentary To Kid or Not To Kid. With many official selections already under its belt, the film is a brave attempt to open up conversations about reproductive choice. In a world where freedom of choice is increasingly important, why should people still feel afraid to talk about not having children? (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: K-M

Father-daughter story ‘Mickey and the Bear’ is enthralling, heart-wrenching

Written and Directed by Annabelle Attanasio, Mickey and the Bear is about a teenage girl who is navigating boys, college, and her future, all while dealing with her difficult father, who relies on her completely. Mickey and the Bear is enthralling, heart-wrenching, and absolutely worth watching (JRL: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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Reviews: N-P

The Portal: How meditation can unify the world

The Portal is an experiential documentary directed and written by Jacqui Fifer, consulting six pioneers on their visions for humanity through mindfulness of meditation. (BV: 3.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri The Portal centers six different subjects, who are philosophers, scientists, and innovators, and even features Sophia the Robot. They speak about their life’s […]

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Reviews: Q-S

SEQUESTRADA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Sequestrada, written and directed by Sabrina McCormick and Soopum Sohn, has an immidiencey to it. Tackling global warming, the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, and the displacement of indigenous people in Brazil, the drama comes close to being a documentary, largely shot in a documentary style. The film centers around a young indigenous woman, “Kamodjara” […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: U-W

‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’ tells a relevant woman’s story for our times

From first-time director Swati Bhise, The Warrior Queen of Jhansi is a historical period drama following the matriarch who fought the British East India Company and British troops in the mid-1800s. Written and directed by women and following a historical female protagonist with whom common audiences might not be familiar, Bhise’s directorial debut tells a […]

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zJan's News

19November08: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Six films either written or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theaters this week: Better Days Honey Boy  The Kingmaker Last Christmas My Home India Watson Of these six, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert films] –is […]

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Bechdel-Wallace List Reviews: B-D

Damaged psyche behind bullying and being bullied resonate in ‘Better Days’

Wing-Sum Lam, Yuan Li, and Yimeng Xue team up to write the screenplay for “Better Days”, a movie with a realistic take on how far bullying can go. Set in Anqiao city in 2011, Derek Tsang directs a piece that marries the stresses of China’s rigorous academic system with the traumatic experiences of bullying at school. What starts off as a bullying story with a teenage friendship, quickly becomes a deep dive that inspects the damaged psyche of these teenagers through heartfelt emotion. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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Reviews: H-J

‘Honey Boy’ is an autobiographical treat

Twelve-year-old Otis (Noah Jupe) is becoming a Hollywood star. His dad is a substance-abusing ex-clown with a mean temper. Twenty-two-year-old Otis (Lucas Hedges) has landed himself in rehab after years of excessive alcoholism and anger management issues. This is the biopic of Shia LaBeouf, the kid star of early 2000’s Even Stevens and Transformers fame. […]

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Reviews: K-M

‘The Kingmaker’: Imelda Marcos, the grandeur-obsessed wife of the Philippines’ infamous dictator

The Kingmaker, written and directed by Lauren Greenfield, is a portrayal of Imelda Marcos — the woman behind infamous dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who declared martial law in the Philippines from 1965-1982. (BV: 4.0/5.0) Review by Junior Associate Beatrice Viri The Kingmaker starts with Imelda Marcos being driven around urban Philippines. On the ride, kids stop […]

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Reviews: K-M

Well-meaning ‘Last Christmas’ weighed down with predictability

Co-written by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings and directed by Paul Feig, Last Christmas is a hodgepodge of a romantic dramedy with its big twist given away in its marketing campaign. Despite its wildly unnecessary subplots and disjointed tone, the talented and overqualified Emilia Clarke shines brightly as the Christmas lights surrounding her. (BKP: 3.5/5) […]

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Reviews: K-M

In a world full of cruelty, ‘My Home India’ is a story of kindness

Written by Malgorzata Czausow and Anjali Bhushan and directed by Bhushan, My Home India is a documentary about a settlement for Polish refugees in India. Filled with joyous archival footage and interviews of Polish people who were saved by this settlement, My Home India is a heartwarming account of the kindness that can be extended […]

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