Documentary: Framing Cultural Violence in “The Act of Killing”

“The Act of Killing” The way viewers react to Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Act of Killing” comes down to the way each viewer is able to expand their notion of the act of killing. In the liberal, privileged and mono-cultured West, we vaguely, yet virulently, understand murder (especially mass murder) as an unforgivable crime. Abstractly,…

Gun Violence On-Screen in “Blue Caprice”

The truest expression of horror is exacting terrifying measures on innocent creatures in an emotionless state. “Blue Caprice”, based on true events, is a horror film. Without much blood, and with very little intimate expression on the part of the murderer, the viewer is left with a knot of unknowing in their vulnerable belly: this…

“Short Term 12” Hits Home

If you have ever worked with kids, and you appreciate their age, you know that they teach you more than you can possibly teach them. The big up (though it rarely feels like it, for reasons I’ll get into in a bit) is that, as an adult, you get to…have to…are charged with working in…

“20 Feet from Stardom” Review

From the first moment, “20 Feet from Stardom” inhale-exhales devotion. Devotion to a group of mega-talented performers who held up (and still do) the music industry during the come one come all simultaneous golden eras of soul, rock n’ roll, blues, jazz, funk, r&b- decades of human soul blessed vocal support by extraordinary professionals trained…

In the Life of Llewyn Davis / NYC in the 60’s

The makings of a film people will watch: NEW YORK CITY + Music + The Coen Brothers made it. Not necessarily in that order, and there are indeed many other factors that can score a profit, but to be realistic (which is what I’m going for, here), not many. Location (location, location), something joyous with…

A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in “Concussion”

‘Concussion’: She said “I have to do something.” Abby Ableman reads and vacuums at the same time, fixes up hole-in-the-wall apartments in Manhattan, and spends inordinate amounts of time in cycling classes, amidst the aimless, though healthy-minded chatter of other soccer moms. Most importantly, Abby violently, helplessly curses at her son when he hits her…