Ana Lily Amirpour’s Film Debut: “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” (2014) — The World’s First Iranian Vampire Spaghetti Western Film Review

A female vampire wearing a chador stands looking at an unseen character.
Photo Credit: Lyle Vincent

I’ve been wanting to watch this for some time but haven’t had the opportunity until deciding to split a year subscription of Shudder with my roommate and delightfully finding this dark gem tucked in the back of the “Bloodsucker” category. I’m naturally drawn to Arab horror because I mean… Arab horror. Throw in black & white cinematography and opening the film with a hot Persian man rescuing a cat? Sold. …

7 x 7 // 7 Artists, 7 Years Film Series

Drippy greens and maroons intertwine together, a spider lingers in the background.
Photo Credit: Alia Ali

Alia Ali is an artist, not a filmmaker. Fueled by the growing rage from her homeland of Yemen’s ongoing crisis, she produced her first film “Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace”. The film was made for audiences outside of Yemen who are ignorant to the events happening. The film is a not-so-shocking but angering nonetheless account of the ongoing catalysts from around the world who continue to profit from the war in Yemen. The list unsurprisingly includes several Democratic and Republican Senators and state leaders in America. The second film Alia created to follow up “Conflict” is a letter to…

Tara Miele’s Euphoric Ugly-Cry Inducing Cerebral Picture, “Wander Darkly” Film Review

Happy couple, Diego Luna & Sienna Miller enjoy a boat ride in Mexico.
Photo credit: Carolina Costa

A cerebral masterpiece, described by one critic as “like a poem”, “Wander Darkly” emotes all the feelings. Starring a magnetic Sienna Miller and my longtime favorite, Diego Luna, the film truly was one of the best and most thoughtful I’d seen in awhile. I was invited to watch the film + Q&A by female and non-binary fellow film enthusiasts, CherryPicks. I really appreciate being a part of such a sharing community. Films are always best when shared. Whether that be as simple as sharing a link, the title, or the actual feature with another person, there’s something really special about…

5 Good Reasons Why Cary Grant Continues To Induce Heart Flutters

Classic film actor, Cary Grant poses with a cigarette in one hand. Smoke billows beside his face.
The definition of “debonair”.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this coming. I’ve spent the last few weeks slowly drifting into a one-sided love affair with the debonair, yet boyishly charming, every man’s man, Cary Grant. I have a tendency to zero in on the unattainable, mostly famous musicians and actors — dead or alive — and fill the space around me with them until it fades. …

“Representing Diaspora” A Short Film Program Review

A boy sits with a plate of food in front of him.
Photo credit: Foued Mansour

About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to snag an all-access pass to the virtual Arab Film Fest Collab 2020, hosted by the Arab Film & Media Institute, the Arab American National Museum, ArteEast, and Mizna. All four are phenomenal organizations that preserve and spotlight Middle Eastern art, culture, and voices. The film fest was amazing. Being an Arab-American who was born and mostly raised in the U.S. by my white mother, I have to work a little harder to preserve my brown culture. So when I came across the film fest — I, being a huge film nerd…

Kelly Reichardt’s Somber Screenplay, “Wendy and Lucy” (2008) Film Review

A woman in a blue jacket stands amidst trees.
Photo credit: Sam Levy

A modern day road film, “Wendy And Lucy” starring Michelle Williams as the titular Wendy, relays the sad and difficult message that life is rough and unfair at times but the goal is to survive and keep it pushin’. Reichardt delivers another stunning picture and Williams another honest and poignant performance. I’m always pretty weary of films featuring animals — they’re either the cheesy “Airbud”-esque movies that I just can’t get into (I’m sorry) or they’re incredibly sad. Full disclosure this is a sad film but not in the way you might be expecting. It’s honest and raw and it…

Joel Potrykus’ Slacker Masterpiece “Buzzard” (2014) Film Review

A man wearing a Freddy Krueger glove sits in a movie theater.
Photo credit: Joel Potrykus a la “Taxi Driver”

Mid-quarantine while I was furloughed, I spent a lot of time getting high and watching films like everyone else in the country because 2020 has been a dumpster fire so who isn’t stoned these days? One evening, I had just eaten an edible that I’d soon learn was way too potent and was scrolling through one of too many streaming services I pay for, searching for a film to watch when I came to a strange looking movie poster. The poster had a deep purple hue, almost electric, and featured a man with dough eyes and wide lips wearing a…

Emirati Artist, Farah Al Qasimi’s “Um Al Naar (Mother Of Fire)” Film Review

“UM AL NAAR” is spelled in 3D lavender lettering behind the titular character of Um Al Naar.
Photo credit: Farah Al Qasimi

I figured since it’s Halloween month, it’d be fitting for me to review a horror film. I’m a big fan of horror — but more under the guise of Andy Warhol’s satiric classics “Flesh For Frankenstein” (1973) & “Blood For Dracula”(1974), the ridiculously good & wonderfully bad low-budget Canadian horror movie series “Ginger Snaps”, along with pretty much any slasher film released in the 1980s. I happened across Farah Al Qasimi’s 2019 feature film, “Um Al Naar” or “Mother of Fire” presented online via the Hammer Museum in LA with a really great live Q&A session featuring Al Qasimi &…

Kathryn Bigelow + Monty Montgomery’s “The Loveless” (1981) Film Review

Willem Dafoe sits on an vintage motorcycle.
Photo credit: Doyle Smith

Let me start by telling you how exciting this was to come across on, yep you guessed it, Criterion Channel. Kathryn Bigelow’s first feature film (alongside Lynchian producer Monty Montgomery)+ a baby Willem Dafoe in his first credited debut role? Pair that with the fact that it’s an outlaw biker film set in the 1950s South (I love me a good dirty south film), well sign me up. This is no masterpiece. …

Wim Wenders’ The Road Movie Trilogy Film Review

Two men with matching sunglasses stand in the doorway of a bodega.
Photo credit: Martin Schäfer

I happened across Wenders’ film collection on The Criterion Channel, as one does. Having only seen one of his films, the stunning and close to my heart, “Wings Of Desire”, I audibly gasped (I gasp a lot internally so I feel the need to clarify how exciting this was) upon finding not only an entire collection, including my beloved Bruno Ganz favorite, but a trilogy I had never heard of and strangely ended up relating to.

There’s something incredibly lonely about Wenders’ filmmaking style. I’m basing this off of only having seen 4 out of his 49 films, but I’ll…

Aliya Nicole Al-Balooshi

A half Bahraini/Baloch independent film enthusiast with a casual writing style and a few things to say.

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