For decades, the great American institution of summer camp has been fodder for cinema, and for good reason. A group of hormonal teenagers put together in an artificial environment is the perfect recipe for drama, with the gorgeous backdrop of the outdoors. Continue Reading →
We love movies about con artists, because they’re always glamorous, with attractive, elegantly dressed people slickly seducing their marks. It’s far sexier and intriguing than the sad reality of con artistry, which mostly seems to involve catfishing lonely people on dating sites, or swindling them out of cash on behalf of a made-up charity. No one likes to think about how easy it is to be fooled by someone who’s simply a good liar, it makes more sense that these things happen as part of an elaborate scheme created by a network of seasoned professionals alternately working together and stabbing each other in the back. Apple TV+’s Sharper scratches that particular itch, and looks good doing it, but ultimately feels a bit hollow, and has twists that are far more transparent than they should be. Continue Reading →
Samarth Mahajan’s documentary about life on India's borders is engaging, involving, and dense.
Too often, filmmakers think they can make a documentary simply by picking a good subject. But the mark of a good documentary is not the importance or controversy of its subject, but the way that its filmmaker convinces their audience that the subject is worth exploring. Samarth Mahajan’s Borderlands accomplishes just this, and does so by pulling off the difficult task of spinning what could be disjointed or arbitrary subjects into a compelling thread that speaks to the history and dynamics of a region.
Borderlands focuses on the communities of people who live near the different national borders of India. India is currently bordered by seven different countries – Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. The history of these borders is vast and dense, consisting of major wars, invasions, imperialist conquest, and political turmoil. Continue Reading →