Bringing Home the Bacon: A Review of Okja

The world seems to be growing increasingly complicated, as evidenced by the past several decades, years or even months of—well, everything. And with more problems come more proposed solutions; how do we solve the coronavirus pandemic, systemic racism, political division or world hunger? But behind every solution is a who, a what and a why. This is exactly what South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho confronts us with in his Netflix original Okja: as an egotistical CEO hailing from a powerful family proposes to solve world hunger with a new species of super-pigs bred for their meat, complications soon arise that question the validity of such a solution, as well as whose problems it ultimately solves.

A Murder Mystery of Privilege & Politics: A Review of Knives Out

The palace—a potent symbol of wealth with its intricately-embellished architecture, remote and wide-open spaces and Instagram-worthy scenery—is a place that is far removed from the rest of society, often gated off and separated by a long driveway to keep out the woes (and the people) of the real world. Rian Johnson’s (The Last Jedi, Looper) 2019 mystery-comedy Knives Out is a movie of veneers and misdirection situated in such a palatial mansion.

War! Who Is It Good For? A Review of Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods, this June’s Netflix-exclusive Spike Lee joint, opens with archival footage from the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam...

No, Ignorance is Not Bliss: A (2020) Review of WALL-E

The summer of 2008 saw the glorious and yet understated release of Pixar’s robot romance WALL-E. A post-apocalyptic film made for kids,...

On the Value of Simplicity: A Review of Song of the Sea

In times of chaos, uncertainty and conflict, children’s movies maintain an attractive simplicity in their lessons and morals: kindness, responsibility, harmony, getting...

Travel Advisory: A Review of Train to Busan

Yes, it’s another zombie movie. With the inescapable presence of both the coronavirus and information about it, apocalyptic plague narratives featuring this...

Vision in Crisis: A Review of Bird Box

“The store was packed. This thing seems serious.” A relatively stable and somewhat morbid fascination with the apocalypse has...

Living Six Feet Under: A Review of Parasite

With four Academy Award wins (and as the only non-English-language film to ever win Best Picture), Parasite recently put South Korean cinema...

Post-industrial Playgrounds: A Review of Birds of Prey

The grand factories and complexes that once symbolized the greatness of the city are in decline, painting a backdrop at once bleak...

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Charity Appeal: Celebrity Influence in Times of Crisis

It might seem counterintuitive that entertainment and cultural icons thrive during tremendous times of hardship, but history has proven it true. 

Entropic Peace in Isolation: Revisiting Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water in 2020

The Toledo Museum of Art exhibition program brought together a special presentation of Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies on the Water installation, just for a global pandemic to hit soon after. Despite what seemed to be a major set-back, COVID-19 has instead transformed Fireflies on the Water into a deeper reflection into what isolation and the individual mean in the chaos of 2020. What was once an incomprehensible escapist dream is now a sober dissolution into universal existentialism.

The 2020 Election Dilemma: How Ohio has Handled Voting During the Pandemic

The 2020 presidential election stands to be one of the most complex and highly anticipated U.S. elections in recent history, primarily because...

Toledo ABCs

Toledo ABCs is a mini-series that highlights, from A to Z, just a sampling of those aspects that make Toledo unique and, in some cases, world-renowned. Designed to be viewed individually or as a set, the graphics use archival images, photography and white space constrained by typeface outlines to memorialize the beauty and significance in what we often might see as mundane.

Sustained Outrage in the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic: A Review of Death in Mud Lick

Pulitzer-prize winner Eric Eyre’s new book exposes how hard drug distributors work to keep eyes off of their numbers and how important it is for journalists to keep looking. In the small towns of America, it can literally mean life or death. The opinions expressed in this series are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official organizational stance. Cover graphic by Ruth Chang for Midstory.