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Recognizing “Epic” Mumblecore

The 97-minute, 2016 film Free of Thought ends with John hunched over a sink in a dimly-lit kitchen. Through a doorframe, we see our protagonist doing the dishes and hear him whistling to himself: a quiet, unassuming moment almost all can relate to. What makes this particular, ostensibly-mundane scene so striking are the circumstances that led up to it. The film starts in Melbourne, Australia, where John is in a relationship with Mel. But by the film’s closing moments, John has become a habitual stoner, messily broke up with Mel and migrated to Montreal, Canada.

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The Magic of Cirque du Soleil

For the first time, Cirque du Soleil in Cinema brought their live show, KURIOS- Cabinet of Curiosities, to moviegoers. The special, one-night-only cinematic experience plunged viewers into the fantastical world of the show in a far more intimate way than a live performance. However, this same proximity also lessened some the show’s overall impact. Last summer, I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal, their first show to be set on ice. From 14 rows back, some of the details of each character were lost; their broad movements conveyed their emotions instead of their faces, and the costumes appeared distinct, but not as intricate as they must have been.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has not given up in the new Halloween.

‘Halloween’: Laurie Strode Strikes Back

Ruby: Let me just start off by saying that it’s a pretty bad idea to see a horror film with Varun. Varun: Watching a horror movie is, for me, an act of pure masochism. RQ: Yeah, but honestly it’s not even scary. VB: If you’ve seen enough slashers it’s probably not that scary since the film dogmatically clings to the tropes of that genre. But I think there’s enough jump scares in the film to make all but the most hardcore horror fans sweat a little.

Ashley Bell and Lek Chailert among elephants in Love & Bananas.

‘Love & Bananas’ is Emotional, but that’s About It

Love & Bananas, at times, feels like a souped-up vlog. At other moments, it makes you want to run out of the theater and go hug an elephant. Unfortunately, the nearest zoo is 40 miles away from campus, which makes that a tad difficult.
The documentary follows actress Ashley Bell and elephant conservationist Lek Chailert on their mission to rescue a 70-year-old elephant, Noi Na, from a trekking camp. Bell’s narration introduces the audience to the largely unknown plight of Asian elephants. She, with Chailert’s assistance, details the horrors of human abuse toward the massive, yet gentle, creatures.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Director Damien Chazelle Flexes with “First Man”

Damien Chazelle is rapidly cementing himself as one of the most talented young filmmakers working today. Although it would be fair to accuse “First Man” of being a vehicle for director Damien Chazelle to show off with a somewhat thin screenplay underneath, I’m very much down to watch Chazelle flexing for the next 50 years. He brought me back to my childhood and made me feel like I wanted to be an astronaut again.