Look at me/ Comme une image (2004)

Despite the French title being a book around which one of the main stories is centered, all the meta occurs outside the film; American critics have absolutely no idea what it’s about, which is precisely the plot! The snarkiness that runs throughout is the symptom of a larger problem. It’s easy to give advice about a particular situation but why not follow it yourself? Likely because you hear—yes, someone is talking, blah, blah, blah—but you don’t take the time to listen to what is—or isn’t—being said. I find it ironic that some people describe the script as “too wordy.” Everyone’s talking but never really saying what they mean or how they feel. Moreover, no one is paying any attention to what’s not being said: the eye roll, the shoulder slump, the sigh, the deliberate nudge given to a supposed stranger. Yet they all desperately want to be heard. Don’t we all? In an era of information overload, the best way to know someone is to see them—not merely look at them through a media lens; to watch them in their element. Try it. You’ll be surprised. The characters certainly were.

Gemini (2017)

The color, the composition… Where to begin describing such a masterfully-crafted piece of cinematography? And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The mystery… no explanatory monologues or contrived conversations… The movie let’s the story unfold naturally to develop its tone; the pacing is spot on. A traditional Noir set in a modern era, the lack of clever dialogue isn’t due to poor screenwriting. Rather, it’s to the story’s advantage—the Devil is in the details, e.g. what isn’t said. Somehow the striking visuals don’t distract from the intriguing dynamics between characters. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to say which is more impressive: that out of the plethora of stars, none of them chews the gorgeous scenery or any of the aforementioned qualities that make this movie to mesmerizing.

Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Ingrid’s passion for social media both reflects and fuels deep-seated insecurities. Following an epic meltdown that ruins a friendship, Ingrid indulges her obsession with a popular blogger, who seems to be and to have everything she wants by moving across the country to stalk her. The skill with which the writers handle so many complex issues is impressive. Given the extreme responses of the general public, who expects to be told how to think, it comes as little surprise many people hoped the movie would take an extreme stance about social media. The beauty of the script is how multifaceted the characters are and how the story is crafted so as to give them breathing room. It shows us a hilarious yet painfully accurate portrayal of ourselves. Like any other machine or tool, social media can equally heal and hurt depending on how it’s used.