Caden Mark Gardner
Francine is holding on for dear life as her nuclear family falls into disarray with a cheating porno theater-owning husband, a fetishistic teenage son who gains local notoriety for stomping on feet, and a rebellious daughter with an unplanned pregnancy. Francine is unloved, ignored, and routinely humiliated.
The film is brave, generous, and vulnerable about how often and how long queer people have to negotiate with concepts of childhood and home, and how they carry the loaded, weighted sense of dread, painful memories, and regret among their families.
People reliving or articulating past traumas on screen is fairly standard in social issue documentaries. What is most striking about Silent Voice is that it presents its main subject, Khavaj, and his personal story without inflicting more pain or describing it in detail, even if the shocks to his mind and body are still painfully tangible.
A 1959 postapocalyptic melodrama with Harry Belafonte and a recent domestic portrait set in 1960 have this week’s pair of writers thinking about displacement in America.
There is a difference between making a film of sociopolitical and cultural value and making a film about important sociopolitical and cultural matters. In some cases the latter may beget the former, but it is not a given.
Dark Waters is at once a legal thriller, an environmental disaster movie, and a dramatized historical document of a region, spanning decades, from the atomic age to present. On its face, such a project, set primarily in corporate offices, might seem an unlikely fit for Todd Haynes.
A Couch in New York was Akerman’s ode to classic Hollywood, specifically screwball comedies from the European masters who came to America as émigrés and exiles from their troubled home countries, such as Billy Wilder, Charlie Chaplin, and Ernst Lubitsch.