BLFJ

By BLFJ | Pop reviews and in-depth analyses of current and classic films from around the world.

Running, Reeling, Floating Free – On Hidden Figures, Humanity and Paper Balloons, City Streets

<i>Hidden Figures</i><p>Isn’t something less reassuring and a lot more interesting going on – something more inclusive, diverse, and genuinely universal?<p>There …

Star Trek

Watch it Again! Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982)

The beautiful grime in Blade Runner challenges you to find humanity in the mechanism of our future, humanity which Scott omits. So we search the …

Blade Runner

Memories and Confessions: On the Filmography of Terence Davies

Davies – who can be described as a cultural conservative but never a simple nostalgist – wears his affection for his forgotten eras on his sleeve, …

Book Review: Make Ours Marvel: Media Convergence and a Comics Universe, ed. by Matt Yockey

Make Ours Marvel: Media Convergence and a Comics Universe, edited by Matt Yockey. $29.95, 364pp. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017. In August …

Comics

Book Review: Fucking Innocent: The Early Films of Wes Anderson, by John Andrew Fredrick

Fucking Innocent: The Early Films of Wes Anderson, by John Andrew Fredrick. $15.95, 288 pp. Rare Bird Books, 2017. The first thing to note about John …

Wes Anderson

Watch It Again! Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

The scriptwriters and fortune tellers have so cluttered the rest of the film with wild and haphazard injections of in jokes and outlandish gags … …

Secret Service

Can I Hit It? Highlights of the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival

“Once you have a hammer, doesn’t everything look like a nail? In Hong Sang-soo’s films, everyone’s a nail.” * * * The most anticipated films on the …

Cosmic Melodrama: Darren Aronofsky’s mother!

Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence. Photo (c) Paramount Pictures<p>Whatever else it is, <i>mother!</i> is ultimately a woman’s anxious nightmare about what it …

Darren Aronofsky

White Privilege? It’s in the Fine Print (Django Unchained, American Hustle, 99 Homes)

Django and Dr. Schultz<p>The stories of Dr. King Schultz, Irving Rosenfeld, and Nick Carver contain a critique of American society deeper than just …

Django Unchained

Lonely, but Not Alone: Death as a Collective Experience in David Lowery’s A Ghost Story

Regardless of whether it is worth doing or not, people will continue to rely on memory as a way to create legacy and heritage. People will always …

Florence Lawrence and the Truth Behind “We Nail a Lie” (Famous Ads, 1910)

Studio portrait of Florence Lawrence by Frank C. Bangs, 1908. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons<p>Ever since the ad appeared, there has been an unanswered …

Before Wilde: Cinematic Portrayals – and the Lack Thereof – of Medieval and Early Modern Queer Historical Figures

Philip in <i>The Lion in Winter</i> (2003)<p>There are two major threads here. In one, the queer figure from history becomes a way to explore the consequences …

Happy 100th, Bobby Bumps, Surf Rider!

While it’s always difficult to make such a claim with assurance – for decades Disney’s 1937 Goofy feature <i>Hawaiian Holiday</i> was confidently thought to …

Jerry Lewis: b. Joseph Levitch, Newark, New Jersey, 1926-2017, res. Hollywood

<i>Note: Love him or hate him, Jerry Lewis was a unique talent. In honor of his passing today (August 20, 2017), we reprint Michael Stern’s (of ROADFOOD</i> …

Surf's Up! Beyond the Beach: AIP's Beach Party Movies

With summer starting to fade, what better way to while away the hours than by revisiting the beach, as imagined by exploitation studio American …

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk: Too Cute!

A particular issue is the degree to which the film departs from “fact.” Significant departures from the historical record, if they become frequent …

Machines and Forms of War in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk

Though some have criticized Nolan’s rigidity and near mathematical precision in tackling a historical event (no doubt provoked by the director’s …

Silence is golden, so it would seem: On War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves)

Is it rude to point out that male chimps don’t hug their sons? That’s because they don’t know they have sons! They aren’t “faithful” to their …

War for the Planet of the Apes

Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words Gets Up Close and Personal

Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words makes clear that her life was messy and episodic, but she earned great love from her directors, co-stars, and family. …

Love

Watch It Again! Batman: The Movie (1966)

The recent passing of Adam West – who made Batman his own despite the many higher-profile claimants to the cape – reminds us of the feature film …

Adam West

On the Trail and Off the Grid: The Gender of Wild in Wild and Into the Wild

Both protagonists undertake a kind of “work of the self,” whereby they simultaneously come to terms with trauma – in one case, paternal betrayal, in …

Off-grid

Fight Makes Right: Unearned Feminism in Wonder Woman

Unshackled by the Snyder malaise – and ignoring the slow motion he made a fad with 300, which Jenkins curiously revisits with consistency verging on …

Wonder Woman

The Legend of Tarzan: A Rich White Man’s Burden, or, Donald in the Jungle

Several questions suggest themselves. What ideological framework is revealed by the forwarding of a contemporary story in which the white man has …

Have I Seen the Real World Yet? Thomas Tryon’s The Other (1972)

One of the few indelible images in director Robert Mulligan’s 1972 film of The Other is that of Niles in the freaks’ tent at the 4th of July fair, …

July 4th

The Native Eye: Re-Embracing the Serpent with “Chullachaqui”

Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent (2016) can be read as a brilliant subversion of the colonising role that the camera plays in appropriating …

Subversion

Casualties of the Spirit: Liberating John Huston’s Let There Be Light (1946)

Naturally, Huston was furious about the film’s suppression and remained so all through the intervening years. In his words, “I think it boils down to …

Alien: Covenant: Ridley Scott’s Myth of Creation Science

The people we care most about in Alien: Covenant are those we most delight in seeing eviscerated. David gives us his own flair for the ghoulish, …

Ridley Scott

Hooked on a Feeling: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Adventure Time, and the Bonds of Imagination

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has infinitely more in common with the psychic quest for one’s identity, the yearning for belonging and friendship, …

Guardians of the Galaxy

Without Permission: Three Contemporary Feminist Films and One Classic (Suffragette, Mustang, Under the Shadow, Woman on the Run)

The women in these feminist films have power, but they’re more complex than fatale. * * * In the ultra-buoyant realms of badass, the femme fatale is …

Movies