Tommy Gillespie was an Arts & Living editor at the Tufts Daily. He is a senior majoring in English and Film & Media Studies. Tommy can be reached at [email protected].

‘And Then We Danced’ hampers its own triumphs

“There is no sex in Georgian dance,” a stern instructor tells protagonist Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) in an early scene of “And Then We Danced” (2019). This directive, barked out when the young dancer imbues his movements with a bit too much personality for the rigid strictures of masculinity required by the nation’s rich folk tradition, […]

Sherry Pie disqualified from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

On Friday morning, season 12 cast member Sherry Pie was disqualified from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (2009–), a shock with only a single parallel in “Drag Race” history. The disqualification followed revelations that Joey Gugliemelli, aka Sherry Pie, had catfished several actors working in New York City, posing as casting agent “Allison Mossey.” A viral Facebook […]

In ‘Incitement,’ co-writer Leshem sees Israel’s political path traced

The first time that television footage of Benjamin Netenyahu appears in the Israeli docudrama “Incitement” (2019), the impact of his presence takes more than a moment to register. The film is not his story; it instead details the evolution of the right-wing extremist Yigal Amir in the year leading up to his Nov. 4, 1995, […]

Akira Oni’s horror drag invades Coolidge Corner Theatre

Last Saturday night, as the moon approached its midnight zenith, an ashen-faced apparition with jagged horns crept onto the stage at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre. As the screen behind this figure sprouted shadowy giants and generated psychedelic images of germinating flora, the audience, barely audible over the percussive boom of the speakers, overcame its bewilderment […]

‘Drag Race’ reveals season 12 cast

Hello hello hello! It’s been months since we’ve talked, kitty girls, and so much has happened in the interim. In the time since The Vivienne was crowned the UK’s first “Drag Race” superstar back in November, “AJ and the Queen” (2020–) has premiered, made us scratch our heads and been renewed for a second season. […]

‘The Assistant’ paints visceral picture of pre-#MeToo film industry

There are “Dirty Jobs” (2003–12), and then there are jobs that would make even Mike Rowe wince and gulp. Aspiring film producer Jane (Julia Garner), the protagonist, audience surrogate and essentially the sole character of “The Assistant” (2019), has one such job. In the early morning darkness, Jane slogs from Astoria to TriBeCa, bringing to […]

‘Cats’ finds its next life in midnight cinema pantheon

At a late-night screening of “Cats” (2019), there are exactly four rules that audiences must hold sacrosanct. First, judgment and jerkiness are the sole unwelcome visitors to this party — all who enter this hallowed space must respect the manner in which their fellow audience members are compelled to act. The Somerville Theatre’s second rule […]

Ladj Ly and ‘Les Misérables’ breathe new joy into French cinema

Director Ladj Ly’s feature debut “Les Misérables” (2019) borrows a title, heady themes of inequality and police corruption and even a setting (the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil) from Victor Hugo’s immortal novel. Yet, Ly’s Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize-winning and now Oscar-nominated film seamlessly infuses Instagram crime-solving and drone-filmed police violence into its high-octane, deeply […]

The Arts Section Presents: 2010s in film

The 2010s saw cultural milestones for film. Disney dominated big-box film — in 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm began the epic third trilogy of the “Star Wars” franchise (1977–), while Marvel dropped a whopping 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including four “Avengers” movies that mark the beginning and end of an era of Marvel […]

‘Knives Out’ hits every murder mystery beat with aplomb

The greatest strength of “Knives Out” (2019) is its lack of originality. Director Rian Johnson, fresh off his “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) glory, seems to have brought from that venerable series a certain “there are only seven stories” wisdom to his star-studded romp of a whodunnit. That awareness is critical to the success […]