Jilel: The Calling of the Shell is another original Marshallese by Microwave Films (you might remember Zori or The Sound of Crickets at Night from them, as they’ve been reviewed on Rogue Cinema in the past). Jilel has much in common with these former films – from similar camera shots to just a bit of over-preachiness – yet much like the previous two, it is also charming and heartwarming. Jilel is a sweet story that showcases the beauty and talents of the Marshall Islands and it’s people.
Jilel: The Calling of the Shell is the story of Molina, a young Marshallese girl who is confronted for the first time with the idea that her island—her beloved homeland—is vanishing because of the rising seas caused by world-wide global warming and how she turns the tide of doom. When Molina’s grandmother dies, Molina is left to take care of a jilel – a shell that is a family heirloom and said to hold great power. Not realizing it’s importance, her older brother takes the shell to sell it at a local store for cigarette money. However, once out of Molina’s hands, the jilel starts wreaking havoc not only on her brother’s life but also on anyone who comes in contact with. Will the jilel find it’s way home? Jilel: The Calling of the Shell is a global warming fairy tale about the importance of knowledge, respect and preservation.
The landscape of the film is stunning – from the ocean waves to the painted sky to the colorful shacks along the island. Jilel stars local people, who are (for the most part) surprisingly good. Samson in particular stood out as the comic relief. Yes, parts of the film temporarily take on the quality of a homemade video, but Jilel always picks itself back up from there. The story is it’s strongest aspect, however. Deceptively simple, it makes for a powerful allegory about respecting Mother Earth and the damage that’s been done to Her. Equally powerful is the spoken word at the end of the film by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner called “Tell Them” – as much as I enjoyed Jilel, “Tell Them” was my favorite part.
Jilel is highly recommended viewing – not just a fairy tale or cautionary tale, it showcases the beauty of a partially forgotten people and land. Ancient customs are woven throughout the film, creating their own kind of magic. And that’s what this film is – magic.
Awhile back I did an interview with my friend P.j. about his upcoming horror anthology, Volumes of Blood, and lo and behold the premiere is finally upon us! I, for one, am super excited about this (even if I can’t go to the premiere because distance). I think the anthology is going to be pretty cool though and I’m excited to see it when it gets a wider release. P.j. sent me this teaser short to give you guys a taste of what’s to come, so enjoy!
“Kevin Smith has always been a huge inspiration for me, so I made the decision to create my own universe around Volumes of Blood. This is just the first online short in that mission. The Preylude shows you how one of the characters from the film gets into the situation we find her in, in the film. There’s no real pay off, because the conclusion follows through in the motion picture that releases on Friday the 13th this month at the Owensboro Convention Center. Tickets are only $5 and all proceeds go to a local charity. Doors open at 7 pm. It’s gonna be a great time for a good cause.” ~P.j. Starks
If you want to learn more, check out the Volumes of Blood Facebook page!
It’s that time of month! (Ew no, not THAT time of month…) I only had 3 films this month for Rogue but they were quite possibly the widest range of films I’ve ever had to review at one time – witch hunts to aliens to Lifetime on crack…it was an interesting (and sometimes confusing) time. Stop by and check it all out!
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fun (and safe) night last night. :) I hung out with my cat and read and watched movies (because I’m old and boring like that). Still, I’m super happy to see 2014 go. It was a really rough year, kind of a non-stop downhill momentum. Lots of doctors, some hospitalizations and due to those things, I lost passion for some things, forgot what it is I love to do. That’s one thing I’m hoping for in 2015, is the ability to find those things again, whether they be old passions or new ones.
I don’t do resolutions – I’m terrible at things like that, lol. What I do is mottos. And I think my motto for 2015 is “It’s YOUR Life”. Kind of sounds silly but when you’ve been through a year of health issues with different doctors telling you what to take, what to do, how to do things, etc., it can feel like you don’t exactly have control over your life. So this motto means I’m taking back control, even as I continue on the path to healthy, and doing the things I want and creating a life worth living.
Whatever your motto or resolutions, I wish you the best of luck. Here’s to a kick ass year! :)
Hey, guys and gals! How goes it in the movie watching world? I don’t do this too often, but I got the heads up about this new movie site called Movli and decided to check it out and well, it’s pretty cool so I thought I’d share. Basically, it’s kind of like IMDB meets Facebook meets Netflix meets Entertainment Weekly meets OK Cupid meets Flipboard meets FUN (the noun, not the band). Neat, huh?
So, you start by making a free account (of course) but the catch is that you have to make an account by signing in either via Facebook, Twitter or Google. I’m not a huge fan of sharing my movie watching habits with everyone I know on social media (Bible Belters not so big on things like “Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter” for some reason ;) ) but there IS a reason it’s set up that way. (Technically, you can not sign up at all but then all the actions you perform are only saved locally and you run the risk of losing them.) The reason for the social media sign up is, obvis, so you can see what your friends are watching and vice versa. In Movli’s case, however, this is geared towards making your next group movie night easier and more fun by showing you the most compatible films for your group (not for making fun of that poor girl over at Cinema Schminema who had to sit through “The Sinful Dwarf” on a dare…ahem…Isaacs…).
Next up, you get to the down and dirty business of rating every movie you’ve ever seen (and for people like us, that’s A LOT!). Much like Netflix, this is to gather movie recommendations for you. This happens by setting up your personal genome (I had to look that one up – it has to do with genetics – actually the genetic material of an organism. And the word actually works here. I’m a fan. Also hush, I’m a writer and an actress, not a scientist. ;-p ). Anyway, rating movies here doesn’t just bring you movie recommendations but celebrity recommendations as well (actors, directors, writers). And THAT in turn brings you personalized entertainment news. For example, I rated that I was down with “Star Wars” (THE ORIGINALS!!!) and in my entertainment newsfeed were stories about the upcoming Star Wars movies (and how are we all feeling about those anyway? Thoughts? Bueller?). So to sum up – why is rating so much fun here?:
1) If you haven’t seen a movie but you want to, there’s a progress bar you can slide to show how interested in the flick you are, thereby adding it to your Watchlist.
2) Likewise, if you have NO interest in seeing a movie you can blacklist (and oh, have I been having fun doing that – here’s looking at you “Dumb & Dumber 2″…).
3) You also get to rate celebrities – recommended or just from a general line-up. Well, by “rate” I mean you can “Favorite” the ones you like. And when you do THAT, a little bubble appears in the corner of their photo telling you how many upcoming new films they’ll be in. Clicking on THAT bubble brings up a box with the names of the movies and, if applicable, will tell you how much you’re likely to like the film. Totes cool. TOTES.
1) You can find other users to follow and make new friends!
2) You have a wall, similar to a Facebook wall, where all your activity shows up (you can totes delete activity from your wall though, so don’t worry Isaacs – when you rate that you loved that Justin Bieber movie, no one will have to know). You can also leave comments there, as can your followers/friends.
3) There’s a database of like 25,000 free streaming movies. Yes, that means a lot of them are classic films, ones in the public domain. But they also have a fair amount of more recent films as well (from the 80s through now).
4) You not only have a Watchlist of movies TO watch but you also have a Watched list of movies you’ve already seen. Now, that is one majorly handy tool, especially for someone as forgetful as myself!
I dunno, guys, I think it’s pretty kickawesome. I mean, I only JUST started exploring a couple of days ago and already I’ve spent enough time on Movli that the dishes have piled up, I haven’t left the house recently and work was missed… *giggles* My only two issues with the site so far have been the aforementioned having to sign in with a social account and I had issues changing my profile picture (it automatically pulls yours from whichever site you use to sign in with). But in the grand scheme of things, not a bad trade-off.
Now, if they’d just add boards like Pinterest so we can organize our movies in whatever crazy ways we’d like to share them with the world (or keep them to ourselves, as the case may be) and maybe add a blogging feature so that we could post our reviews on there, it might very well just be perfect. Or possibly overwhelming…see, this is why people don’t let me be in charge of things. ;) Regardless, give it a looksie. You might find you like what you see. :) And of course, you can check them out on social media at either Facebook or Twitter!
Today’s the day of turkey and gratefulness and to combine these two things, I’m sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving movies – Thankskilling!! There’s nothing better than a homicidal turkey and topless Pilgrims on Thanksgiving, so I suggest you give Thankskilling a view after you’ve killed your turkey dinner. Heh. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!
Hey guys! The latest issue of Rogue Cinema has just hit the web and there’s tons of good stuff in it – here’s a few of them. Enjoy!
Party Slashers, written and directed by Carl Bachmann, is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to get this movie funded so I thought I’d share with all of you awesome people so we can continue to support indie film. The film is about a group of high schoolers who team up to survive a Halloween party crashed by undead mass murderers whom were accidentally summoned during a Dungeons & Dragons game. D&D, huh? I never realized what a dangerous game that was. ;)
They have a test scene up on Kickstarter and are rewarding backers custom Grindhouse posters featuring them in it, opportunities to get decapitated in the film, and other cool stuff. (Grindhouse posters? Kickawesome!!) Check out the trailer below and donate a bit if you’re able!
If you’ve been a reader of this site for awhile, then there are at least three things you know about me: 1) I love horror 2) I’m a pretty big and pretty dedicated fan of Jeremiah Kipp’s work and 3) I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. At least, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my love of Poe before (my memory is just the worst…). I started reading dear old Poe when I was 8 (not sure why my parents allowed that but hey, it gave me my first foray into horror lit and into the horror genre itself!) and “The Cask of Amontillado” was always my favorite. Something about being walled up for eternity just totally creeped me out (that 8 year old imagination probably came into wicked play there…). My friend, Jeremiah, has taken one of Poe’s short stories “Berenice” and turned into an deliciously creepy short film. It’s his little piece of the upcoming horror anthology Creepers, debuting on Blu-ray and VOD on October 7.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, as I was (and thank goodness I didn’t read this one as a child, is all I gotta say), there once was a boy named Edward who had a lovely cousin named Berenice (names updated for our modern audience) who came to live with him and his parents. Edward (Thomas Mendolia) is a bit awkward and obsessive compulsive. He has to turn lamps on a certain number of times and tinkers with small mechanical parts at his desk, alone in his room. Social he is not. Then along comes Berenice (Cheryl Koski) who is everything Edward is not – sociable, graceful, roaming carelessly through life. Except there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? Berenice is ill, dreadfully ill, with a mysterious malaise that we, at best, know causes seizures. And then there’s Edward’s mother (Susan Adriensen), who while being a bit of a stiff actress, manages to be absolutely terrifying. I’ve no idea if she’s in love with her son or just extremely overprotective and overpowering but I would not cross that woman. Edward’s father (Bob Socci) is rather unassuming, although he too comes off as a bit stiff. Edward is eventually told that he must be the one to take care of Berenice as she worsens, which he seems to be fine with as he’s seemingly…charmed by her, shall we say? And from there, I’ll let you either watch the film or go hunt down the story because what happens next is at times gruesome and then creepy.
Is the film good? You betcha. Thomas and Cheryl both embody their characters in such a way that it’s almost painful to watch – which in this particular story is a good thing. I’m far from being squeamish but there were a couple of scenes here that made me squirm just a bit (although it has been a rather long time since I’ve watched anything other than a tv show binge on Netflix…maybe that’s why…). And the ending? It’s not even the ending actually; it’s just the last final shot that got me. *shudders* Pure cinematic horror goodness right there.
If you love Poe, if you’ve liked my reviews of Jeremiah’s other works, if you just like short horror films done well and if you like horror anthologies (cause I hear the other parts are pretty kickawesome as well!), then check out “Berenice” and Creepers on October 7th!