Since its debut in 2015, THE INVITATION has given me the space to explore my lifelong relationship with grief.

Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) examines a party invite during the opening scene of THE INVITATION.


My father died in a car accident, on the street I grew up on, when I was 9 years old.

Since then, I’ve attempted to come to terms with that incredible loss through everything from cult-y self-help seminars to expensive psychotherapy. As a matter of objective fact, my father’s tragic death has shaped every part of me. I don’t like that the defining event of my life is an absence. I don’t like that it reveals what I don’t have…

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) in 2015’s JUPITER ASCENDING.

Introduction. (Qualities and Defects)

JUPITER ASCENDING is a movie I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for the last five years. Not because of how sadly predictable its poor turnout was, and not even because of its thrilling, singular action that is so risky and specific it seems to be rendered in real time.

No, it is because of the startling, unexpected symmetry that writer-directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski embed into the narrative fabric. Almost improbably, they weave a fragile, uncomplicated resolution into a sensory-annihilating cosmic opera. In their mastery of outrageous spectacle, they manage to protect and maintain…

Jim Penola

Film Writer | Podcast Producer | Storyboard Artist | Graduate Student (SCAD) | Mental Health Advocate (The You Rock Foundation)

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