‘Miss Juneteenth’ cautions us on the dangers of stalemates

“Miss Juneteenth” (2020). Cast: Nicole Beharie, Alexis Chikaeze, Kendrick Sampson, Lori Hayes, Marcus M. Mauldin, Akron Watson, Liz Mikel, Phyllis Cicero, Lisha Hackney, Mathew Greer, Jaime Matthis, Margaret Sanchez. Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Screenplay: Channing Godfrey Peoples. Web site. Trailer. Being stuck in our circumstances can be a horrible fate. Such stalemates keep us mired in unsatisfying conditions, preventing us from moving forward. But what’s even worse is not realizing that we are stuck, an exercise in ongoing frustration examined in the new generational drama, “Miss Juneteenth.” In 2004, Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) was proudly crowned Miss Juneteenth, the top honor in a beauty pageant staged in honor of the 1865 freeing of the remaining Black slaves in Texas, two [...]

2020-07-04T21:05:56+00:00 June 25th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Balloon’ examines the beauty, and difficulty, of choice

“Balloon” (“Qi Qui”) (2019). Cast: Jinpa, Sonan Wangmo, Yangshik Tso, Druklha Darja, Palden Nyima, Konchok, Kunda. Director: Pema Tseden. Screenplay: Pema Tseden. Web site. Trailer. We all value having choices in our lives, especially when they offer us a variety of pleasant outcomes. But what happens when we’re presented with options that seemingly hold no appeal, regardless of what we choose? We may feel like we have our backs up against the wall, unable to decide what to do. However, through it all, we must never lose sight of the fact that our power of choice is always with us, a paradox examined in the new Chinese cinematic fable, “Balloon” (“Qi Qui”). In 1979, the People’s Republic of China adopted [...]

2020-06-16T10:19:39+00:00 June 16th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

Making a Statement on The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, Tuesday, June 16, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don't hear it live, catch it later on demand, with new listening options available! In addition to Spreaker, the show is now available on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podcast Addict and Podchaser!

‘Spider’ spins a troubling web of truth

“Spider” (“Araña”) (2019). Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Gabriel Urzúa, Felipe Armas, Pedro Fontaine, Marcelo Alonso, María Gracia Omegna, Mario Horton. Director: Andrés Wood. Screenplay: Guillermo Calderón. Web site. Trailer. Truth can be a powerful weapon, one that can both avenge wrongs and operate as a force of devastating destruction, sometimes simultaneously. The power associated with it can have tremendous ramifications and in a variety of contexts. And, when evidence of truth in both its aspects surfaces, the implications can be staggering. So it is for three individuals whose stories are rooted in the past and thought forgotten until they’re unexpectedly revived in the present, an intense saga depicted in the taut Chilean political thriller, “Spider” (“Araña”). In 1970, socialist [...]

2020-07-04T05:26:19+00:00 June 13th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Papicha’ showcases the rewards of risk

“Papicha” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Marwan Zeghbib, Zahra Doumandji, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Nadia Kaci, Lina Boudraa, Khaled Benaissa, Malek Ghellamat. Director: Mounia Meddour. Screenplay: Mounia Meddour and Fadette Drouard. Web site. Trailer. Taking risks can be a scary prospect, and the bigger the risk, the greater the potential peril. However, the same is true when it comes to the prospective rewards involved. Of course, it takes considerable resolve to face such conditions, but that’s entirely possible, as showcased in the inspiring new period piece drama, “Papicha.” For those who lived through the perils of the 1990s Algerian Civil War – a time that came to be called “the [...]

2020-06-30T10:33:59+00:00 June 11th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘A White, White Day’ traverses the obscure fringes of reality

“A White, White Day” (“Hvítur, hvítur dagur”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Ída Mekkin Hylnsdôttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Sara Dögg Ásgeirsdôttir, Björn Ingi Hilmarsson, Elma Stefania Agustsdottir, Haraldur Stefansson, Laufey Elíasdôttir, Sigurður Sigurjônsson, Arnmundur Ernst Björnsson, þor Hrafnsson Tulinius. Director: Hylnur Palmason. Screenplay: Hylnur Palmason. Web site. Trailer. Feeling unsettled is one of the worst frames of mind in which we can find ourselves. We know something is genuinely disturbing us, but we can’t pinpoint exactly what. We might become restless or ornery and not even be able to say why. And, try as we might to determine the cause of this malaise, we’re often still left without an answer – that is, until we look deeper [...]

2020-06-22T08:04:28+00:00 June 7th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Alice’ colorfully examines the process of starting over

“Alice” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Jules Milo Levy Mackerras, Chlöé Boreham, Ariana Rodriguez Giraldo, Juliette Tresanini, Christophe Favre, Philippe de Monts, David Coburn. Robert Burns, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Marie Coulonjou, Marine Blake (voice). Director: Josephine Mackerras. Screenplay: Josephine Mackerras. Web site. Trailer. Life sure seems unfair at times. We may think we’ve got it made when, all of a sudden, everything evaporates before our very eyes. We might be shattered (and rightfully so), unsure of where to turn next. However, such a turning point could be one of the best things to ever befall us, a scenario explored in the new French domestic drama, “Alice.” From all appearances, Alice Ferrand (Emilie Piponnier) leads a stable, contented, reasonably [...]

2020-06-17T13:32:53+00:00 June 6th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|