“The Dynamiter” & Childhood

The concept of children as smaller versions of adults persisted in history up until the early 20th Century. The purpose of children was to grow up and carry on whatever their parents or guardians needed them for, whether it was a family business or help in the field or the family home and bloodline. “Kids”…

Maryam Keshavarz’s “Circumstance”

CIRCUMSTANCE is the story of two young women who try to live the lives they desire under an increasingly brutal dictatorial government. Materially privileged Atafeh Hakimi (Nikohl Boosheri) introduces her socially stigmatized friend, Shireen Arshadi (Sarah Kazemy), to the Tehran underground. There after school and before curfew, behind blinds blocking sunlight from makeshift clubs, the…

“Another Earth” & Earthly Redemption

The elements of science fiction in ANOTHER EARTH accentuate the most important human elements of the story: forgiveness, alienation, victimization, and how to carry a burden. Protagonist Rhoda Williams is just about to start her life as a student at MIT, when she crashes into a car, killing a man’s wife, son, and unborn child….

RAMPART: Notes on “Date Rape Dave”

When an admittedly racist, controlling, sexist LAPD officer named Dave Brown is caught on camera nearly beating a man to death, his personal and professional life slip out of his control faster than he seems ever to have imagined possible. He has two wives -sisters- and two young daughters, who feel as though he’s neglected…

Mother America: “Think of Me”

By the time Angela Jerome, played sans sentimentality by Lauren Ambrose, says the title line, most viewers will probably have lost all compassion for her as a human being. As the protagonist, her role is that of decision-maker: she does things and what she does is often a helpless mess. All of the general sympathy…

Thoughts on “Margin Call”

MARGIN CALL deals with a group of corporate risk analysts struggling to survive a particularly nasty awakening in the face of an economic quake. There is a Firm carving out a large percentage of its staff. The hierarchy is presented to us amidst a bubbling chaos. If not for the structure we’re given in the…

TAKE SHELTER: A Storm Is Coming

The film begins with a man watching this extraordinary storm approach along a vast stretch of farmland. A thick, slimy orange rain begins to fall. The man touches it, looking out into the distance with a sense of foreboding. He is, obviously, not in control of what is happening. Or is he? The power of…

Bright Night: Cafe du Soleil

Crème brûlée with a hint of lavender, cornmeal-crusted calamari, moules frites with garlic aplenty- what says sun like the fruits of the sea and cream spiced with flowers? Cafe du Soleil is very much about maintaining an air of fresh air and sunlight. I know this because I tested it out on an overcast, bone-cold Manhattan night, and…

IL Tesoro: Gustatory Treasures

I haven’t had a real reason to go to the East Side from the West Side more than occasionally for years. One surefire way to lure me somewhere I normally would not go (without a definite and good reason) is with the promise of amazing food- I am simple like that. The Upper West Side…

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Project Continua will be accessible and contributable by everyone. The core of Project Continua is the “female biography” archive, searchable content containing individual entries for each woman, including up-to-date scholarship on their life trajectories, their work, and the new knowledge they produced. Project Continua will also act as a virtual workspace in which students can…