JFR’s Managing Editor Weighs in On a Frightful Classic: “The House of the Devil”

Recently, we featured reviews from two students on the 2009 film The House of the Devil. Below is another perspective on the same film, written by Jet Fuel Review Managing Editor Sam Gennett.

http://bit.ly/2oewB8T

For film fans who are nostalgic for the ‘80s but are tired of re-watching Halloween to get their retro-horror fill, Ti West’s The House of the Devil (2009) is a refreshing rejuvenation of late ‘70s and early ‘80s horror. Shot on 16 mm film, this movie seems to have been teleported from the ‘80s into the 21st century. With the grainy film look, dim cinematography, and use of Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart,” West brings viewers back to the good ol’ days of flannel, indoor ashtrays, and Satan worship.

Samantha (Jocelin Donahue), desperate for money, takes a babysitting job, but didn’t we all learn what happens when you babysit after watching Elizabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting (1987)? Clearly, Samantha missed that film because she coerces her friend into driving her to a house in the middle of nowhere. They pass a cemetery on their way there, and the shot is briefly superimposed over the establishing shot of the house, effectively foreshadowing events to come. Continue reading

Woodstock’s Loss: A Review of “Searching for Sugar Man”

http://bit.ly/2gekr8X
http://bit.ly/2gekr8X

Most “rockumentaries” follow a standard formula: baby pictures, interviews with family members, the rise to fame, and the tragic drug overdose concluding with the death of the artist.

However, Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary on long, lost musician Sixto Rodriguez breaks this traditional format in Searching for Sugar Man. It’s a film one-part rockumentary and another part mystery, as a music journalist goes on a quest to find out what really happened to the enigmatic singer — did he really set himself on fire at a show? Or was it a bullet to the head?

The beginning of Bendjelloul’s film depicts animations of Rodriguez, an unknown troubadour in America but South Africa’s equivalent to Bob Dylan, walking down a Detroit street.

Continue reading

Editor’s Perspective: Disco, Drugs, and Kids With Guns: A Review of “City of God”

Last week, we featured reviews from two students on the 2002 film City of God. Below is another perspective on the same film, written by Jet Fuel Review Managing Editor Sam Gennett.

http://bit.ly/2ff77RL
http://bit.ly/2ff77RL

Directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, City of God (2002) is a formalist film that explores the binary between power and peace through outstanding cinematography. The film takes place in Rio de Janeiro during the 1970s where our narrator, Rocket, walks us through the story of a poverty-stricken town that’s ruled by superfluous amounts of gun violence.

Many of the scenes are shot in high contrast lighting with subtle tints of gold, which resembles a photograph from the 70s and effectively catapults the viewer into the era. This tinting also connotes gold as the characters’ thirst for riches and power — the two ultimate driving forces for everyone in the film. In many scenes, the dominant contrast is a handgun in a given character’s hand; the camera is always emphasizing guns as they are the key to money, power, and the root of all evil in the film.

Continue reading

Selections from Samantha Gennett’s chapbook, “Pomegranate”

Cover to Sam Gennett's chapbook, "Pomegranate"
Inside cover to Sam Gennett’s chapbook, “Pomegranate”

The following three poems were hand-picked by Samantha Gennett, showcasing the talent found in her recent chapbook, Pomegranate.


Incident

We sit together, you reclined and I upright, enveloped
by the nicotine you transmit. As you inhale, I stare at the orange
glow at your cigarette end. You look at me with a telescopic
grin, shaking your head, not even noticing the ash singeing

a hole through your Nirvana t-shirt, hair resembling elephant eyelashes,
lips shining pizza grease and I cannot think of a way to rewire
your melancholy or find a way to sew a mustache
onto your numb smile. This smoke, strangling our throats—is there a fire?

We sit together in this chain-smoked cloud, I underhand
toss you an aging baseball but your hand cannot render
the shape of catch, instead your body lays contorted like an ampersand
and all I can do is mumble “it’s okay, you’re okay” tenderly.

I have never seen anything less photogenic:
foam bubbles out of your mouth, white as pith of pomegranate.

Continue reading

Meet the Editors: Sam Gennett

Sam Gennett
Sam Gennett

Hello readers, and happy Friday! We here at the Jet Fuel Review are happy to bring back one of our favorite features, the “Meet the Editors” series! For the next six weeks, we will have new installments in the series, all looking at one of our brand new editors. Today, we have our new assistant managing editor, Sam Gennett.

Sam is currently a sophomore at Lewis University with a major in creative and professional writing. The first book she ever read was Odd Socks, and since that fateful day in the first grade, she has been hooked for life on the world of literature. As much as she loves to read and write, she doesn’t believe she’ll love anything more than her chocolate Labrador (who is cleverly named Mocha). When she’s not working for the Jet Fuel Review, she is a hockey fan who does yoga and watches reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Below is our Q&A with Sam:

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

My name is Sam, and I am a sophomore professional and creative writing major at Lewis University. I am the assistant managing editor and assistant nonfiction editor for the Jet Fuel Review.

Continue reading