2015 at the movies

For the last three years, I have started every one of these year-end posts with, “[Year] was an excellent year at the movies.” Or something to that effect. This idea remains true in 2015, but the casualness makes me pause. Were all these years truly excellent years at the movies? Am I being too easy on them? Am I too taken with their wonder? Yes. Maybe. Always. For the past 52 weeks I have sat and watched in theaters and at home scores of moving images, all of which managed to illuminate something for me. Be it the transcendent beauty of this world, the delicate but … Continue reading 2015 at the movies


Some movies need time and distance to establish themselves and prove their greatness. Timbuktu only needs seventeen minutes to establish itself as a masterwork. The scene in which this happens is a simple one, it is set in a sand dune and contains four characters, spare dialogue and little action. Satima (Toulou Kiki) and her daughter, Toya (Layla Walet) are washing their hair when a jihadist and his translator approach. These dunes are home to Satima, Toya and Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed), their husband and father, who is off with his cattle herd, something the jihadist is well aware of as … Continue reading TIMBUKTU