Independent Focus

The Dreamscapes and Nightmares of Jamin Winans’ ‘Ink’

Allel tries to figure out how to save Emma's soul.

Like many fans of this film, I initially watched ‘Ink’ (2009) on Netflix and immediately conducted some research to learn more about the making of this independent picture. It’s also a narrative that lingers with you after you’ve finished watching it, so I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the film’s acting and score, as well as the pivotal moments that merge with a complex plot that unfolds somewhere between reality and fantasy. After maybe a half a dozen viewings, this story never fails to evoke tears for me.

‘The Moon Inside You’: A Bloody Good Documentary

Diana gives us a nice view at the doctor's office.

Menstrual studies is a discipline very close to my heart. While earning my master’s degree, I temporarily became obsessed with texts like ‘Periods in Pop Culture’ (Lauren Rosewarne, 2012) and ‘Flow’ (Elissa Stein and Susan Kim, 2010) as I composed my thesis. I was blessed with a supportive advisor who made me realize that those who shot me disgusted looks in the past were in fact the weird, misinformed ones. I find it perplexing that so many have capitalized on menstruation, yet many are still terrified of discussing it in any form or on any platform. Menstruation is uniquely female and yet suggestive of violence, sacrifice, and trauma: that’s compelling. The menstrual cycle reminds us all of our own mortality, the devastating truth that our bodies will eventually decompose or burn into ashes, and that’s terrifying for many people. Why has the “fairer sex” been assigned this burden?

Millenials These Days

Masthead for Chicana From Chicago, Christine Davila’s blog   This is a guest post by Christine Davila. If you hear someone utter, “Kids These Days,” it’s usually in a disapproving tone toward the younger generations’ fresh attitude or their breaking with tradition (or their tendency to speed while driving). When I think about Kids These […]

Unconventional Women

Screening of Like the Water in Rockland, Maine This is a guest post by Emily Best. I am lying on the floor of a small bedroom in an East Village mansion in New York City. It’s the holding room of a site-specific production of Hedda Gabler in which I am playing Thea, and Caitlin FitzGerald […]

‘Elizabethtown’ After the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

DVD cover for Elizabethtown This is a guest review by Amanda Civitello. When she was ten, my little sister pronounced herself a “Young Feminist in Training” and authored an editorial for a school newspaper entitled, “Sarah Palin: Feminist? No!” I was surprised, then, when she said last week that she wanted to watch Elizabethtown for […]

How to Navigate a Film Festival

Bushwick Film Festival This guest post was written by Kweighbaye Kotee and edited by Casey Johnson-Aksoy.  Film festivals can be overwhelming, scary, frustrating, and a major blow to the ego of any filmmaker–times ten if you’re new to the scene, especially if it’s a big one. You show up, no one really knows who you […]

The Answer Is in the Questions

This is a guest post by Erika McGrath. I do not have all the answers. Or should I say, I do not have all the right answers. Maybe there’s no one with the right answers? Ahh, yes. That’s it. Nobody has all the right answers. I am days away from beginning principal photography on Half […]

‘How to Lose Your Virginity’ or: How We Need to Rethink Sex

How to Lose Your Virginity promo.   Written by Leigh Kolb If you talk to a feminist for a significant amount of time, you’re going to hear about virginity–specifically the value placed on women’s virginity in our culture and the persistent virgin/whore dichotomy that places women in an impossible sexual bind (and not the good kind). The […]

‘Fruitvale Station’ Humanizes the Pigeonholed African American Father/Child Relationship

Fruitvale Station film poster. Written by Janyce Denise Glasper “I got a daughter…” groans Oscar Grant. “He just shot me…” Lying face down, a coward’s bullet inside his back, young Oscar’s black-brown eyes water, blood spews between his purple lips, redness staining bright white teeth that had smiled with an infinite amount of mesmerizing happiness […]

Spike Lee’s "Essential Films": More Annoying Than Your Average List

Filmmaker Spike Lee   Written by Robin Hitchcock Any list of the “greatest” “essential” “best” “definitive” films (or books/tv shows/albums/Got Milk? ads/insert your pop cultural poison) is going to have its detractors. The controversy that inevitably follows these lists is a big part of the reason we make them in the first place. Dissecting a […]

Like the Water

Like the Water, DP: Eve M. Cohen, Dir. Caroline von Kuhn This is a guest post by Caroline von Kuhn. Artists in every discipline play out our personal neuroses in our work, but there are few outlets as indulgent a playground as film. My most pleasurable experience of a contemporary film in a theatre last […]

In The Hardest Of Moments, Susanne Bier Proves That "Love Is All You Need"

Love Is All You Need film poster. Written by Janyce Denise Glasper Amongst the lush beautiful paradise of scenic Italy, a wedding is underway in Oscar-winner Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need or as the original title translates–The Bald Hairdresser. Danish, English, and Italian languages weave a trilingual story about Ida, a mother of […]