Merhdad’s Oskouei’s ‘Starless Dreams’ brings intimacy and morally challenging perspective to an Iranian Juvenile Detention Center for girls.
Author Archive | Lena Houst
In a tumultuous and sobering year, Lena’s Top Ten films give voice to both the ecstatic highs and devastating lows the best cinema brings out in us.
The thing that I await and adore obsessively every year is here once again, a time-honored tradition that I can rely on every year to lift my spirits. Yes, it’s David Ehrlich’s annual Top 25 countdown video, a reliably surprising and disarming time capsule of yet another year in film. You may not have known […]
‘Manchester by the Sea’ & ‘Moonlight’ split the focus of the New York Film Critics Circle’s awards winners, while ‘La La Land’ & Isabelle Huppert stood out.
A heart-stopping group portrait, ’20th Century Women’ is a bittersweet existential triumph, expanding coming-of-age for every generation.
Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ is an urgent, vital testament of black history; ‘Manchester by the Sea’, a devastating dramedy of grief. Our latest dispatch from New York Film Festival.
Our first dispatch from the 2016 New York Film Festival, Lena digs into the fragile and lunatic delights of Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Paterson’ and Joao Pedro Rodrigues’ ‘The Ornithologist’.
As Telluride by the Sea kicks off, Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical ‘La La Land’ casts a kaleidoscopic spell that never lets go.
A bewildering, ecstatic mix of Andrzej Żuławski, Takashi Miike and Spike Jonze’s naturally electric energy make ‘My Mutant Brain’ a stunning shot of cinema.
A dazzling epic of stop-motion wizardry, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is a powerful, cathartic tale of loss and aching remembrance.
‘Steven Universe’ expands in daring and exciting directions in Season Two. What were Lena’s favorite and least favorite episodes of the season?
Continuing Film Misery’s ‘Steven Universe’ marathon, Lena ranks the back half of the show’s first season.
In this week’s Misery Diary, Lena looks at the stirring anxieties of social connection & displacement in ‘Looking: The Movie’ and ‘The Invitation’.
As several new episodes debut, Lena begins ranking the episodes of Cartoon Network’s joyously utopic animated series ‘Steven Universe’, starting with Season One.
‘Always Shine’ is an intoxicating Lynch-by-De-Palma psychological study of female friendship, identity and the sexist exclusivity of celebrity.
As scattershot as could be expected, anthology film ‘Madly’ exudes a distinctly dreamy tone and sumptuous visual texture across six bewildering shorts.
Fluid and fresh in its splintered perspectives of teen sexuality, ‘First Girl I Loved’ is a startling, sumptuous subversion of queer coming-of-age tropes.
Delightful 16mm micro-drama ‘Fort Buchanan’ is wryly sexy in its expression of sexual and domestic frustration, liberation and melancholic decline.
No single film conquered this year’s generous, deeply appreciative Oscar ceremony. Did the Academy find redemption in a troubled season?
With the big event upon us, Lena solidifies her final predictions while ranking this year’s various, rewarding Best Picture nominees.