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Profile page for Hannah Benson on Telescope Film

Profile picture Hannah Benson
New York NY

Currently a senior at NYU studying Literature and French. An aspiring film critic.

English movie from 2017: I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck
2017 Switzerland, France, Belgium
I am a huge Baldwin fan so loved getting to hear bits of his unfinished project "Remember This House." Raoul Peck does a great job placing Baldwin within the larger context of the Civil Rights Movement. Samuel L. Jackson uses a less recognizable side of his voice, emphasizing Baldwin's style.
English movie from 2019: The Favourite

The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos
2019 Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
Love the trio of Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Coleman. Lanthimos films are always a weird journey. I love the use of fisheye lenses (DP Robbie Ryan), which I read was inspired by the reflections on mirrors in Jan Van Eyck paintings. Mostly, I love the absurdity of court life paired with Lanthimos' wit.
Korean movie from 2018: Burning


Lee Chang-dong
2018 Korea
This film is a captivating adaptation of Murakami's "Barn Burning." Steven Yeun is great and charismatic. Cool to see him do a role in Korean. The visuals are very beautiful, especially when they are sitting outside Jongsu's house with the jazz music in the background. The tone is handled really well because the film feels slightly off throughout but it is hard to understand why until the end.
A great performance from Charlie Plummer who acts alone for large segments of the film. It is an interesting take on the 'journeying across America' trope with Andrew Haigh's distinct visual style. True to this style, the film is sparse on dialogue. However, the dialogue that is there is poignant.
Vaguely familiar with Alexander McQueen before watching this, I left the theater impressed by him and his impact. One of the best parts of the documentary is the amazing show footage. McQueen's fashion shows were essentially performance art. I found it interesting how the film is structured by making each show represent an era of his unfortunately too short life. It was interesting to learn more about what goes into building a fashion brand from his days at school in London to working in Paris.
English movie from 2018: At Eternity's Gate

At Eternity's Gate

Julian Schnabel
2018 Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom
Willem Dafoe's performance is incredible. The scenery of Southern France in this film feels very impressionistic like van Gogh's work. Oscar Isaac is great as Gauguin. The way the film stylistically represents van Gogh's struggle with mental health adds to Dafoe's performance. I enjoyed the mix of English and French since so many English films about French history never address the fact every actor is speaking with a British accent.
I remember rewatching this film after reading the book for a class in high school. Saoirse Ronan's Performance is great as young Briony. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy are both great too. The film represents the book well by keeping the first part from Young Briony's point of view. Keira Knightley's green dress still stands out in my memory of favorite costume choices.
This film has such a calm aesthetic, yet the twists are unpredictable. It is a beautiful examination of contemporary Japan. The performances are great, especially the children. I look forward to watching Kore-eda's recent film 'The Truth.'
I can't wait for the second half of the season to be released in the US. I love watching a new episode each week. Michaela Coel is such an interesting writer and actor. This show is partially autobiographical and addresses specific issues of racism and sexism within the writing world. In addition to Coel, the entire cast is great. Excited to see more!
I am obsessed with this show! Honestly, the first season was not my favorite. But the second season with Andrew Scott as Hot Priest is incredible. I adore every character on this show. Olivia Coleman and Sian Clifford stand out. I also love Phoebe Waller-Bridge's other series, Killling Eve and Crashing.
Georgian movie from 2019: And Then We Danced

And Then We Danced

Levan Akin
2019 Sweden, Georgia
This film is beautiful. It introduced me to traditional Georgian dance and I came to care for all the characters, especially Merab and Irakli. My favorite part of this film is the soundtrack. There is lots of traditional music used in the scenes at the dance academy, but I really love the Robyn and Abba songs used. Not only are they great songs that make the scene even better, the choices also exhibit the tension between the Georgian tradition and the pop music young people dance to in clubs and at parties. Merab's inner joy is so present when he dances and the ending beautifully highlights this aspect of his dancing.