Female Directed Films You Need to See

“And here are the all male nominees…”

  1. Lost in Translation: directed by Sofia Coppola, the film won the Academy Award for Most Original Screenplay. An aging movie star meets a young newlywed in Tokyo, and the two find comfort and understanding with each other in foreign land.
  2. 13th: a Netflix original directed by Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, with a focus on the fact that our prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
  3. Tomboy: Directed by Céline Sciamma, the film encapsulates queer childhood, and the subtle but ever present ways boys and girls sort themselves from an early age.
  4. Stories We Tell: Actress and Filmmaker Sarah Polley gives a deeply personal insight on her life, blurring the lines between filmmaker and film, and explores the profound truth about the nature of story telling.
  5. We Need To Talk About Kevin: Lynne Ramsay tells the story of a mother coping with horrifying decisions made by her son, while piecing together the In one moment, the freedom of handheld camera movements embody the rush of Swinton’s Eva falling in love. In the next, a static close-up evokes the suffocating isolation of her mounting grief.”
  6. The Beguiled:The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal.

Horror Movie Reviews

 Horror movies have always had, and always will have, a special place in my heart. When family movie night would roll around each week when I was a child, we would either watch one of the Harry Potter movies or a complete horror movie. This is one of the few major parts of my childhood I have carried on throughout my years. Here are my reviews on 5 of the best horror movies out there!


It (2017): 

The movie takes place in the summer of 1988 (my all-time favorite decade for fashion, music, and movies) and follows a group of 13-year old kids ‘horror’ stories and bravery. They find out something they call ‘It’ has been feeding off the children’s fear in Derry, Maine. The kids (referred to as The Losers Club), of course, explore and work to defeat It. (I am not good at writing non-spoiler summaries so I will just leave them as a few quick sentences.) This movie has to be one of the GREATEST movies I have ever seen in my life. Not only is it in my favorite genre of movie (horror), but it includes so many other themes and ideas; for example, unbreakable friendship is the most prevalent theme in the movie, as well as never giving up, staying strong, and caring about others more than yourself. Writing this is giving me so many feelings of happiness and I just want to watch the movie again (I have seen in 13 times.) The children actors in this movie have to be some of the BEST actors I have ever seen. They play into their roles so specifically and responsibly and I KNOW that is their job but… they are teenage boys. (Okay I’m actually not exaggerating I’m not sure what it is but this movie brings me more joy than H*rry P*tter which is a HUGE deal if you know me…PLEASE watch this movie it is so great.)


Coraline (2009): 

 This movie is about a little girl who moves with her neglecting mom and dad into a new apartment (Pink Palace Apartments) where two other parties live. Coraline hates living there because it is so boring and spends most of her time exploring to make time go faster before she starts school. One night, she finds something that seems wonderful at first glance, but she soon discovers it is not what it seems…Coraline is a movie that holds a SPECIAL place in my heart. A lot of my memories with my sisters as babies include forcing them to watch this perfectly creepy movie. The aesthetics… the character development… Coraline HERSELF… the sidekick cat… everything is AMAZING and I really recommend you watch if you have not already.


Edward Scissorhands (1990): 

This movie starts off with the ‘Avon Lady’ walking around the neighborhood, trying to sell her products. Since no one was buying them, she decided to try to sell them at the mansion on top of the hill, which was said to be haunted. There, she finds a man with scissors for hands who she takes to her house to take care of him. He faces a lot of struggles in this modern life, but manages to keep busy by beautifying the town in more ways than one. The room he sleeps in belongs to the ‘Avon Lady’s’ daughter, who he falls madly in love with and would do anything for. I strongly believe this movie does not get as much recognition as it should. The AESTHETICS OF THIS MOVIE!!! THE CONTRAST OF EDWARD AND THE TOWNSPEOPLE!!! The colors of the town houses are probably my favorite part. And the whole story in general… it is just genuinely amazing (to watch and to listen to). I’m also a sucker for a good love movie, so love and horror in one movie equals a happy Shelby. This, like Coraline and It, has more of a deep story with a few aspects of horror, but it still gets the job done.


Halloween (1978):

Michael Myers, a six-year old child, brutally kills his older sister one night and gets locked up for fifteen years. When he is released at age twenty-one, he goes back to his hometown in Haddonfield, Illinois and attacks multiple other teenagers, but ONLY on Halloween. I love any movie with teenagers as the main characters. I’m not sure why, but I have always found them interesting. (Only adding to the perfect kind of movie in my eyes… it takes place in the 70s). This movie is not really scary, but more interesting to learn about each character and why Michael does this. My sisters, who are 9 and 10, said this movie was funny to watch because the main teenage character did many dumb things throughout. And, to be honest, this was the 70s… the acting was not all that great. This is just a CLASSIC horror film you need to see once in your life.


Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): 

Don’t fall asleep… If you do, you will die. After two girls have a nightmare about the same man and one of them dies, the other one discovers what is truly happening. A man in a red and green striped sweater kills with his razor hands, but only when people are sleeping. What I have learned from these movies is kids are a lot smarter than adults. Oh, and, the police are always unhelpful. This movie, like Halloween, is not very scary, but it has a very cool idea. What happens in their nightmares happens in real life, unless they do not let it happen. Overall, if you think you’re afraid of scary movies, pay more attention to the story behind the characters than the actual characters themselves. All of these are just like any other good movie… This movie especially is a good beginner horror film because it is kind of scary, but not scary enough to give you nightmares for weeks.


Watch all of these in a dark room by yourself at 3 AM, covered up with a blanket with nothing else to accompany you for a REAL scare and a lot of entertainment. Also, if you want to fangirl about any of these movies, my DMs are open.

By Shelby

Films With Vivid Cinematography

As a photographer and visual artist, cinematography is a very important part of learning capturing movement, good composition, and knowing the right angles for subjects. I am becoming more and more interested in film, and may be making my own short film soon! Here are films rich in meaning and still shots.

The Virgin Suicides (1999) Dir. Sofia Coppola


To understand some of the symbolism and rich meaning in the film, paying attention to cinematography is crucial. Pay attention to the girls’ room, the bathroom filled with beauty products and tampons. How Lux’s hot pink bra is draped over the crucifix. If you are a teenage girl this movie (as well as every other Sofia Coppola film) is a must-see. It is my all time favorite.

Blue Velvet (1986) Dir. David Lynch

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Notice the stark colors, and how her blue eyeshadow and red lipstick match the roses in the opening scene. This film is strange and it took me some time to process, i’m not sure I completely get it, even now. But I did have an appreciation for the cinematography.

Palo Alto (2013) Dir. Gia Coppola


An incredible director and photographer of youth and freedom, Gia Coppola knows best. She captures desires and vulnerability in stoic and tough characters or subjects better than anyone else. This film makes me want to move to California and start over with new friends. This film makes me appreciate being 17.

Jackie (2016) Dir.  Pablo Larraín


Jackie should have been made a long time ago. Natalie Portman’s beautiful performance paired perfectly with cinematography that portrays Jackie Kennedy as strong, extremely poised, and independent. The films scenes are quiet but powerful and elegant just like she was. I cried, and you will too.

American Beauty (1999) Dir. Sam Mendes


Notice the use of color and lighting in these scenes; the intense red heightens the mood and themes of desire and the nature of humanity. Just watch it for yourself. Seriously.