Author Jose Gallegos

I'm an aspiring filmmaker from Los Angeles. Recently, I graduated from USC with my Bachelors in Cinema/Television Production and French (yes, I'm a "phile" for all things "cine" and "franco"). I will continue my academic career by pursuing a Masters in Film Studies at UCLA (feel free to call me a traitor).

Reviews 55cec0925bbca6f1bc2688777d6027d6

The Wizard of Oz has a sobering moment for its characters: Dorothy and her friends pull back a curtain to reveal that the ominous Oz is nothing more than a man running a machine. It is a moment that shatters their image of this deified being and turns him into a common person. While watching Only Lovers Left Alive (my first Jim …

Reviews TAMMY 1

Melissa McCarthy has created quite the career niche for herself. From her success with Bridesmaids to her role in The Heat, the actress has played characters that are lost in their own delusions, much to the chagrin of their straight-laced counterparts. She is the wisecracker and the lovable goof, but…

Film Festival pride mcu crossed flags

There are times when a person can feel selfish for being concerned with his/her own problems. This selfishness can be instilled when a parent tells a child about “starving children in Africa,” or it can be referenced in the often used “#firstworldproblems.” A globalized perspective is necessary to dispel Americentric/Eurocentric ideals and give a …

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My queer sensibilities have encountered a range of LGBT films, from the standard “coming out” narratives to the normalized queer experiences. It is the latter category that I love, primarily because it turns sexuality into a character trait rather than a narrative catalyst. This isn’t to say that films about coming out/coming to terms with…

Reviews 75a7a0ae-b38c-11e3-a46e-005056b70bb8

Contemporary horror films have become a dime a dozen. You remember them in the moment, thanks to advertising campaigns and creepy trailers, but you will inevitably forget that they even exist (I had completely forgotten about The Apparition until it recently played on cable). There are standouts amongst the schlock, but for every Insidious, there are twenty more horror films like One Missed Call and The Devil Inside. John Pogue’s The Quiet Ones, which was just released in theaters, is another entry in the slew of throwaway horror films. It is moody and atmospheric, but it relies too heavily on the (extremely loud) bumps in the night.

The film follows Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) who tries to manifest a spirit/poltergeist/thing (honestly, I’m not even sure how he labels this force) from a tortured young woman, Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke). Joseph enlists the help of his two assistants, Krissi (Erin Richards) and Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne), and a cameraman, Brian (Sam Clafin), to aid and document his sessions with Jane. The film unfolds like any clichéd horror film: the spirit makes noises, skeptics try to rationalize the phenomena, the members of explore dark hallways, and the audience continues screaming, “Don’t go in there! S/He’s gonna die!”

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I have a confession to make: I have never seen a Jim Jarmusch film. Many have told me that Jarmusch caters to my cinephilic tastes, yet in spite of these recommendations, I have eluded his entire filmography. I took a small step to rectify this injustice by watching his recent film, Only Lovers Left Alive, which was a bittersweet moment (bitter because I couldn’t believe it took me that long to watch a Jarmusch film, and sweet because the film defied any expectations that I previously constructed).

Reviews hr_The_Raid_2_19

Have you ever been hit by a bus? No, I can’t say that I have either, but I feel that my experience with Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2: Berandal is similar in many ways. It is a two hour and twenty minute visual attack, one that many of Evans’ masochistic fans (like myself) will thoroughly enjoy (even if you wince a couple of times).

Following the events of The Raid: Redemption, Rama (Iko Uwais) – one of the few survivors from the first film – is forced to go undercover into the Indonesian criminal world in order to protect his wife and child from harm. Unfortunately for Rama, his undercover stint begins with years of daily prison beatings and ends with complete chaos. Along this hyperviolent journey, he meets some of the most iconic assassins you will see, including a brother-sister team who kill their victims with a baseball bat and claw hammers, respectively.

Reviews The-Missing-Picture-2013-image-2

Documentaries attempt to capture reality…or something close to it. These films want to be mirrors that project the flaws and blemishes of its subjects. Instead of constructing hegemonic narratives through fabricated images, documentaries weave stories out of “real” images and create issues that may never be fully solved. Rithy Panh exacerbates the limitations of documentaries through L’image manquante (The Missing Picture), a film that seeks not to create a mirror to reality, but instead tries to reconstruct the images of Panh’s adolescence that were stolen by the Khmer Rouge. It is a harrowing coming of age story that turns us, the on looking viewer, into collaborators in Panh’s cathartic quest to find the voices of a silent generation of deceased Cambodians.

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