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Sunday , October 25 2020

Category Archives: Film Essays

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Revenge (2018): Coralie Fargeat’s Day of the Woman

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8 We Americans, inextricably wedded to our Puritanical roots, have always had a difficult relationship with sex in the media, and particularly, popular film.  (See, e.g., Annabelle Timsit, “The vast gap between how the US and Europe think about teens and sex,” qz.com (7/26/2018).)   We talk ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2017: A Ghost Story

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5 A trailer (allegedly) portraying an Oscar-winning actor covered in a white bed-sheet with eyeholes cut out; raves from the quirk-worshipping Sundance Film Festival set; a low budget; a glacial pace: this is not a recipe for my favorite film of the year.  Nor would I ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2016: La La Land

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5    In perusing the year-end lists and reviews, I noticed a trend whereby professional and non-professional cinephiles alike seem to register a measured – if not, suspicious – appreciation for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s awards-bound musical, La La Land.  Chazelle certainly offers up plenty of familiar ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2015: Ex Machina

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 9    I resisted designating Ex Machina as my favorite film of the year, seeing as how I had picked its kinder gentler sister (Her) for the top spot only two years ago, but resistance is futile … “When God created the first man alone, God said ‘It is not ... Read More »

Counterpoint: Mommy (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    In Mommy, a widow named “Die” (Anne Dorval) retrieves her 16 year-old son, Steve (Anton-Olivier Pilon), who has just been ejected from a juvenile center, and informally enlists the help of her neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clement), to cope with his volatile behavior.  As the ... Read More »

A Non-Believer’s Musings on Stations of the Cross (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    To be sure, at this moment in history, the obvious choice for examining religious fundamentalism would be Islam (see, e.g., Timbuktu (2015)) – that is, notwithstanding the efforts of regressive liberals in the West to insulate that particular faith from critique, the undeniable fact ... Read More »

A Non-Feminist’s Musings on The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 3 Truth be told, we non-feminists find most self-proclaimed feminist cinephiles to be alienating –  perhaps deliberately so, considering the tendency to use terms like “institutional” in such a manner and to such a degree that one would get the impression that we live in a world where ... Read More »

A Nightmare on 8 Mile Road: It Follows (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8   * * * “[N]ightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King, “Why Hollywood can’t do horror,” ew.com (7/7/2008) * * * Writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature announces its ... Read More »

Revisiting Gimme Shelter (1970) and the End of an Era

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8 “Time: the final month of the decade that spawned that unprecedented and probably insupportable contradiction in terms, mass bohemia, popularly known as the counterculture.  Occasion: On America’s ultimate frontier some three hundred thousand bohemians come together with their chosen images, five formerly lower- to middle-class ... Read More »

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