Igrew up in a pretty “sane” strata of society. I live in a cocoon of upper-middle class comfort, with upper-middle class concerns: internships, grade fretting and wondering if I, as an isolate and an American (perhaps two very similar notions), will be able to assimilate into my abroad environment without too much embarrassment. Of course, […]
Monte Carlo is a place of glittering wealth and passion, a tiny quarter within the tiny principality of Monaco that attracts bursting bank accounts from all over Europe. It’s a vacation spot for the mega-wealthy, and is home to the Monte Carlo Casino — an establishment littered with various Bond-like critters in tuxes, scoured by […]
The endless deluge of slasher-garbage and prurient genre fodder makes the climate difficult for someone pitching an audacious, concept-based horror film. Audiences have come to expect next to nothing from horror. Minus a small group of genre-junkies, who look for and root out meritorious films, even the nuanced horror film resonates with mass audiences only […]
The emotional residue of a dream can be a devastating start to the day. Often, the vague shards of dreamy memory pierce you with powerful feelings, ones of an unconscious reality shattered by the onerous weight of the real. Usually, it is a sense of loss, a sense of saddening awe at the reality that […]
The historical thread of humans trying to rid themselves of their humanness is long and fairly easy to track. 1950s suburbia (although there are innumerable earlier examples) comes to mind. That specific attempt at benumbment in postwar America epitomizes our endemic condition. The country, traumatized by the horrors in Europe, wished to return to a […]
The Party, a slender, 111-minute indie, written and directed by Sally Potter (Ginger and Rosa, Orlando), teases its audience’s expectations of a feature-film, and distills them into a Samuel Beckett skit. The film is a party, but a precis of such a party’s progressions, whose cast of characters talk (quickly) through life and its paces. […]
Why write? Why spend hours thinking of the perfect sentence, unsuccessfully chasing an absolute that doesn’t exist? I often question why I write, why, even during days when I have read carnivorously or aced tests or scrutinized a film, writing remains my only salve. Maybe it is because writing makes the banality of the world […]
Director Francis Lawrence’s new film Red Sparrow feels especially relevant in the wake of Icarus, a Netflix original film about state-sponsored Russian doping, taking home Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars.
Movie tickets are expensive. Most people go to the movies only when they have copious amounts of time. Boredom becomes intolerable, and to capitulate to the money pit of a theater is but a mild concession to rid themselves of their blank stares and thumb-twiddling.
Cold open. A single shot of a woman, seated, dressed in a white hospital uniform, spans the screen. She is disheveled. Her gaze is worn, battered, scared. Silence; then questions, to which she responds, mostly, “I don’t know.” After this terse tete-a-tete, the man in the hazmat suit says: “well, tell me what you do […]
The sun, like a quivering organ, brings the flimsy desert air to convulsion. To breathe in the dry heat of the desert is to drink up California’s oft referenced part. In Indian Wells, CA, the desiccant climate is whetted every year by the cool, shiny talent of the world’s best tennis players.
Over the break, I spent a few hours in waiting rooms for a toothache that turned into a root canal. During my time in abeyance, I thought about waiting rooms as a phenomenon, as a mental manipulator used to tool with the human mind.
This year’s Oscars were more convention than revolution, as Owen Gleiberman expounds in his column in Variety. Although for Hollywood this was a year of scandalous revelation (and hopefully paradigm-shifting progress), the massive exposure of Harvey Weinstein and others did much to engender a mood of inclusion, but little to revolutionize actual Oscar winners. But […]
“We don’t talk anymore, like we used to,” Charlie Puth laments. His love, his conversationalist, has become an opacity. Her obscurity knocks the singer into the throes of sorrow, and their once-great dance of words has slowly pirouetted. Their backs are now turned.
The daily intensities of life undulate like a buoy in water. Mood vacillates. Our days fill with the rushes of our emotions, and wane only when sleep sublimates them. Schopenhauer says “life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom,” with very little in between.
The 2018 Wake Forest University AAUP Faculty Salary Report, released Feb. 22, shows a distressing trend for Wake Forest College professors of all types. The study is meant to “measure changes in University (Reynolda Campus) and College tenure-track and tenured faculty salaries between 2011-12 and 2016-17.”
There are definitely types of creative method. There is the “Shelley school,” which describes “the mind in creation as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconsistent wind, awakens to transitory brightness,” and there is the school of reiterative creation, wrought and eeked out through sheer volume of work.
There was a time not long ago when you could not stream a pirated movie under the covers and when Google Art couldn’t produce for you a Degas more vivid than the painting itself. What I am referring to is the epoch of investment, a time when presence was integral to art.
here are few directors today who can capture the quotidian as brilliantly as Joe Swanberg in T.V. show Easy. Noah Baumbach comes to mind, with his ability to make the natural both accessible and discursive, much like the philosophical arc of conversation. French cinema also shows us everyday beauty, the sort of pace of the […]
Are you a Star Wars guy?”
Aaron Sorkin has long been a consummate screenwriter. His work on The West Wing made what could have been exercise in crushing boredom a sharp, enjoyable journey through American government. Having also written screenplays for The Social Network, Moneyball and Steve Jobs, Sorkin foments fabulous intelligence on the screen. He is a coveted screenwriter, and […]
People wonder why religion is in a state of quivering crisis, why the institutions who deliver a moral and life-guiding prospectus every week are beginning to exist in a chamber of increasingly resounding echoes. A proper answer to this would require pages and pages of disquisition, and I do not have such a luxury. I […]
As a post-script to this review of The Disaster Artist, I feel morally obliged to mention the recent revelations regarding James Franco’s sexual misconduct. Due to these misdeeds, Franco did not receive an Oscar nomination for what many view as a consummate performance (and rightfully so, on both counts). When writing my review, I chose […]
Bret Easton Ellis in his novel Less Than Zero characterizes the L.A. sun as a sort of incessant breath, whose orange-white effulgence melts identity. He gives us “Images of teenagers, people my own age, looking up from the asphalt and being blinded by the sun.”
The notion that humans are complex is not as bald a fact as many take it. “We’re complex” seems to live in our vocabulary as a trite excuse, not something that calls for incessant investigation. In fact, there has been some shift away from the investigation of such complexity.