How Black Widow Tells a Better Hero Story

In her stand-alone film, Black Widow steps out of the shadows of an overly sexified characterization and becomes elevated.

“That’s Just What the Hebrews Thought”: On Sacred and Secular Relics in Film

Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the best Indiana Jones installments present viewers with truly sacred relics.

The Spy Film That’s Better Than Bond, or, Why I Watched Tenet Four Times

This reciprocal, mutual mentoring is possible only because of time inversion, proving that Tenet’s sci-fi premise is no mere gimmick. The story’s moral core depends on it. 

Summer of Soul and the Reclamation of Modern Black History

Most of us have some knowledge of the Woodstock festival. But why don’t we know about the Harlem Cultural Festival, which was held at the same time?

The Disco Craze Started with a Lie and Ended with an Explosion

So now you had a nationwide craze over a genre of music that barely existed (having just broken off from Motown and R&B), based on a piece of long-form journalism that was entirely fictional and a movie made by people with no real connections to the original disco scene.

Seeing and Believing 293 | Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu helms this film version of the Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway hit about an NYC neighborhood.

Dementia and Redemptive Memory in The Father

The Father reminds us how important it is to make room for good remembering, even in the absence of a good memory.

A Grief Obscured: Horror and Hope in A Dark Song

Writer-Director Liam Gavin’s A Dark Song (2016) promises its audience horror, delivers creeping unease, and ultimately yields itself up to awe—taking us on a journey from the depths of entropic despair to the heights of spiritual renewal.

Redeeming von Trapp: Coming to Terms with Unwanted Legacies

To invest one short moment with such great meaning, Plummer must have done, to coin a phrase, something good.

Cinderella, Strong Women, and the Courage to Be Kind

As the months of the pandemic translated into far more hours spent inside and online than outside and in person, I have seen more ugliness—more meanness—in this world than ever before.

Faith, Hope, Love and Monsters

Love and Monsters pushes beneath the familiar “unstoppable force of love” trope to unveil our varied attempts at quelling the painful longing that often hangs in the shadows of it: loneliness.    

Fugitive Lights: The Renaissance of a Cold War Phenomenon in the 21st Century

Whatever makes me search declassified FBI documents about UFO phenomena is the same thing that keeps me searching the pages of Scripture.

Blood on the Shield: The Importance of Acknowledging the Complicated Narratives of American Heroism

We don’t do “once upon a time,” and we don’t get to ask for a fairy godmother to save us; in America, we save ourselves. 

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the Ship of Theseus, and Creative Vision

If a character or a story is the Ship of Theseus, how much needs to be reshot, re-edited, cut, arranged, and composed before the original story no longer exists? 

The “Wonderful, Wonderful” Healing Power of Minari

Just in the manner that the “wonderful, wonderful minari” plant can work its magic as you ingest it, nourishing, cleansing, and purifying you from the inside out, so too can this movie resonate, whether or not you have a similar story as the child of Korean immigrants.

Black History Month Roundup, 2021

These contributions are birthed from joy and lament, celebration and sadness, commemoration of the past and considerations of what can be in the future.