I Made A Documentary on My Grandmother Titled ‘Leonie Superstar’

This short film was an assignment for my documentary class but I had never treated it as such. I hadn’t cared about my final grade or if it were going to be any good at all — well at least I did at first. I went in worried that I may not get all the footage I needed under the time constraints imposed by the semester. Furthermore, I was anxious from the very beginning that my final project just wouldn’t be good enough. But the second I put the camera in front of  my grandma’s face all of that anxiety had disappeared. I had realized then, and even now, that these seven days I had spent with her would prove to be the most precious week of my entire life.

Making Leonie Superstar was such a humbling experience that brought me much closer to my grandmother. Yet, at the same time filming this documentary was a difficult and often heartbreaking  experience. We view our grandparents as these ubiquitous figures in our lives from a very young age. For some reason we believe that they’ll never leave us; like they are some immortal rock in our family tree. Now, sadly, I realized that they do leave us one day. It’s life and I’ve come to terms with that, as has my grandmother.

So I couldn’t let the stories, experiences and life of a human who has lived well over 80 years slip away. I tried to encapsulate as much as I could in this short doc about my grandmother, Leonie Superstar.

Thanks for Watching!

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Ingrid Goes West [Film of the Week #5]

Ingrid, wonderfully realized by one of my new favorite actresses Aubrey Plaza, is depicted to be nothing short of a psychopathic, obsessive social media user. Moments after we are first introduced to her crying while scrolling through Instagram, she storms into a wedding and pepper sprays the bride, an ex-friend, for not inviting her. The eponymous character soon discovers Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an internet famous photographer,  and moves to LA in a crazy conquest to become the celeb’s best-friend. Hoping that Taylor would see a semblance of herself if the two were ever to meet, Ingrid grows unhealthy infatuated with the celeb’s Instagram and uses the platform to become “Taylor 2.0”. Ingrid is caught a little off guard when she first meets Taylor and fails to befriend her. So she stalks her home, steals her dog and returns him only to get closer to her idol. It works. Despite the lengths Ingrid went to become Taylor’s friend she isn’t crazy — and I don’t think the film intends for her to be identified as such — but more so she’s a product of the movie’s true villain, social media.

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My Blogging New Years Resolution

Any stranger to 4therace should know that I am a lover of films. I hope to complete a minor in film at my school and continue film studies into graduate school. My dream is to become a film critic and possibly a screenwriter one day. 4therace is extremely special to me because I not only get to connect with so many awesome readers but also get to the chance to strengthen my film review and analysis skills outside the classroom. I’m aware that I struggle to keep up blogging throughout the semester but I really want to push myself in 2018. Life is going to get busier for me but it never should be too hard for me to practice what I love doing. So I’ve made a promise with myself to write about every movie I watch this year and post my words here on 4therace. I’m already three movies behind but at least it means I have some content to talk about! I’ve got a review for last year’s Ingrid Goes West and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It on the way so do stick around!

My Favorite Album of 2017: 4 Your Eyez Only – J. Cole

Beautiful, insightful and heart breaking are three words I would use to describe J Cole’s best album 4 Your Eyez Only. Paralleling his life with that of his late friend, Cole tells a story which explores the immense societal burden that is placed on the black man and the realities of being born into a system that will never benefit the Black American.

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It doesn’t surprise me that an album that fully recognizes the Black struggle, touches on mass incarceration and institutionalization has gone unnoticed by The Grammys. The awards show found this conversation in Kendrick Lamar (whom I love) and are prompt to nominate the rapper for each one of his albums. Does this committee fully understand the words of Kendrick and Cole? Probably not. I fully believe the Grammy committee nominates Kendrick for his growing mass appeal which, consequently, brings more ratings and money to their show. Of course an album like 4 Your Eyez Only which is far from a cash grab, wasn’t made for mass appeal but created in honour of another human being’s life would be glanced over by the ‘money driven, viewer hungry Grammy Awards Show.

As long as I live, I will not let a project as touching and as moving as 4 Your Eyez Only fade away from human memory. It’s a story about love, pain, and life. It is undeniably my favorite album of 2017.

Star Wars The Last Jedi: Amongst the Franchise’s Best? [Spoiler Review]

In only two weeks of being in theaters Star Wars The Last Jedi has proven to be the most divisive film of the saga. In my spoiler free review I tried my best to explain, without revealing any significant plot points, why the hate for Last Jedi is completely unnecessary and instead should be lauded for its bold direction. This review is filled with spoilers so I’m warning those now who haven’t seen the film to read at their own risk or read my spoiler free review here. I’ve noticed what aspects of the film people seemed to love and hate the most and analyzed whether they worked well or didn’t work at all. Firstly let’s begin with the most hated storyline of  The Last Jedi, the Canto Bight sequence.

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Star Wars The Last Jedi Review: [Spoiler Free]

If Star Wars The Last Jedi isn’t one of the best additions to the franchise, it is undeniably the best film at expanding the mythos of the galaxy far, far away. Rogue One does  this exceptionally well through the character of Chirrut — here are my thoughts — but the Last Jedi continuously does so through nearly all of its characters. The Jedi, as many fans were hoping for in this film, do not engulf the majority of the film’s runtime. They are indeed a central component but not entirely the dominant one. People are going to hate this film (edit: they do) and I was aware of this the moment I left the theatre. Others, like myself, are absolutely going to love this film and how Rian Johnson gives his viewers a unique Star Wars experience.

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Star Wars in Relation to My Life

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On December 17th, 2015 I received my first admission decision from a university I vividly pictured myself living and learning in. They didn’t want me. Rejection hurts bad as a seventeen year old and still does two years later at the age of nineteen. Admittedly, I sobbed a little that night scared that I wouldn’t be anywhere in the Fall of 2016. A day later I saw the highly anticipated  Force Awakens with around 15 people. For about 2 hours my anxieties and worries of the real world disappeared. I left the theater elated but still scared of the future. Later on I applied to several other schools and hoped for the best. That frightened 12th grader to the left is me.

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The Last Jedi Trailer Trailer Analysis!

I’m not going to do a shot by shot analysis like I did The Last Jedi’s official teaser  because this full length trailer has way too much going on — in a good way. I will, however, share my thoughts on how the story of Episode VIII may unfold based on some observations I’ve made.

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Let’s Talk About: My Inexplicable Excitement for Blade Runner 2049

Thanks to a man who accidently stumbled on the other side of the world 500 plus years ago, I’ve got a 4-day weekend! And in this 4-day weekend I plan to do a couple things: 1) catch up on some blogging and blog myself 2) do some work (not really) and 3) watch freaking Blade Runner 2049! 

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What Have I Been Doing [LIFE, BLOGGING, MOVIES & TV]????

Studying…….

Yes my first semester as a sophomore in university has begun and I have thus become far less involved with the WordPress community than I would like to be. I’ve been a little anxious just knowing that I’ve been missing out on the opportunity to expand 4therace, connect with my current followers,as well as new ones, and read other blogs. Well I’m trying my best to jump back into this community I hold so dearly as best I can. Before I (hopefully) return back to a casual blogging schedule, I wanted to make this post in order to catch everyone up with what I’ve been up to.

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