Memory Poem

A dream      wherein I have every sensation that I’m on  a winding forest path,  complete with damp air, bird song, Life going about its business,  but what I see around me is  your four walls the sleep-flattened pillows the coffee machine left warming the pot when you go. —K. Sansoucie, 2019

On Broadway: ‘The Encounter’ Gets in Your Head 

Simon McBurneyThe Arthur Golden theater on Broadway, built in 1929, is housing a one man show run on haunting technological fervor through January 8th of next year. Simon McBurney and a team of sound operators and projection technicians bring to life a sparse but electrifying set made up of a handful of microphones, packs of … Continue reading On Broadway: ‘The Encounter’ Gets in Your Head 

What We Can Learn from the Autumn Garden

The autumn garden in late afternoon sun.Spring gardens get the glut of our attention for their buzzing, dripping, luscious display of new life. The bright green of new leaves bursting from buds and the many-colored petals surround us, echoing bird songs and the scratching of other newborn tree-dwellers scampering up the bark and home. It's … Continue reading What We Can Learn from the Autumn Garden

Entry 82315- Flowers in Their Hair

Girls and women paint themselves, Deserving of praise for what abundance they represent- The earth songs their heels sing, step upon step, And the flowers in their hair The vibrant, dying crowns they place Upon their heads, Minds of mystery inside, deep dwelling. You'll meet many, and more Blossom plaited, With mouths and lashes brimming … Continue reading Entry 82315- Flowers in Their Hair

Entry 71115- The Well-Deep Thought Mine

My twisted belly knows it squeezes, rocks My beating heart knows meaty life-giver My chattering teeth Chipped fingernails know clipped short, still claws My restless feet know "no dancing" say angry heels My red streaked eyes know Burning tears come and go They know what I should've done. They are punishing me for not following … Continue reading Entry 71115- The Well-Deep Thought Mine

Climbing Trees, Smelling Flowers: A Rainy Nature Walk

I kneeled to the glory of mushrooms growing up from cracks in the pavement. How tough must they be to choose this place to live.  I looked deep into layers of rough, rain-stained bark, wondering at the strength of this skin. I climbed a tree! It was soaked and full of baby bugs. I recognized the hunger after … Continue reading Climbing Trees, Smelling Flowers: A Rainy Nature Walk

Entry 52015- A Mythical Creature, Wanted

  To be known  without getting into trouble- A test of concealment, wickedly daunting for the vigorous soul. "You, you are beautiful  and you are dishonest",  An earthy voice swallows defaming words. Tension rises. She, the reason,  who curtains off her passions, cries thick tears. Sheds a cloudy mess of sensation, takes a hot bath … Continue reading Entry 52015- A Mythical Creature, Wanted

Update: Joe O’Donoghue’s ‘Happenstansically Beautiful’

In October, I wrote about a chance meeting I had with Brooklyn- based artist named Joe O'Donoghue and his newly exhibited works of art. O'Donoghue recently opened up his gallery and workspace for a show of the work, aptly titled "Happenstansically Beautiful". O'Donoghue's pieces are all the result of his well-known ice sculpting work. The … Continue reading Update: Joe O’Donoghue’s ‘Happenstansically Beautiful’

Feminism in Rom-Coms Case Study: ‘Someone Like You’

I grew up watching romantic comedies. My childhood was full of screen stories about semi-cynical modern women fussing over strangely materialistic courtships, all of whom ended swept up off their feet by men who accepted their flaws and redeemed them by dissolving said cynicism with, of all things, love. I'm a feminist and this is … Continue reading Feminism in Rom-Coms Case Study: ‘Someone Like You’

The Soul Journey of ‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’

What are we to do when something nags us inside and won't let our attention go? What are we, soft humans, to think when we are caught being so very different from the crowd and feel no remorse- feel nothing but the irrepressible urge to follow the thing that calls our name? Obsessed, possessed, crazy- … Continue reading The Soul Journey of ‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’

The Quiet Lineage of Class War: ‘Little Accidents’

America, "the land of the free", is a vast space with two borders that bleed drinkable prosperity and a center that struggles to keep the so-called American Dream alive. I hesitate not to explore the ways in which America is impoverished educationally, intellectually, morally, and spiritually. As an American woman, I cannot afford to withhold … Continue reading The Quiet Lineage of Class War: ‘Little Accidents’

‘Appropriate Behavior’: The Importance of Unromantic Comedy

In an awards season teeming with adorable, quirky romantic comedies, Desiree Akhavan's decidedly unromantic comedy is a nice departure from average depictions of relationship woes. In 'Appropriate Behavior' protagonist Shirin (played by writer/director Akhavan) struggles with finding her way in the world, stuck between her traditional Iranian family's expectations and her own desires after a … Continue reading ‘Appropriate Behavior’: The Importance of Unromantic Comedy

‘Obvious Child’: A Continuation of Last Year’s Brilliant Feminist Rom-Com Magic

Back in 2014, I wrote that 'In a World' was the first truly feminist romantic comedy I'd ever seen. The fact that there was a female protagonist with sexual and career-oriented agency, who's main focus was not how her hair looked when her crush walked by, but that she liked him...and he liked her. There's … Continue reading ‘Obvious Child’: A Continuation of Last Year’s Brilliant Feminist Rom-Com Magic

‘Marnie’: The Complexities of a ” Sex Mystery”

"One might call 'Marnie' a 'sex mystery', if one used such words." - Alfred Hitchcock 'Marnie' is by far the most extreme vision of frigidity Hitchcock ever explored. Adapted by Jay Presson Allen from Winston Graham's novel of the same name, it serves as an oddly seductive screen commentary about the origins of psychosis in … Continue reading ‘Marnie’: The Complexities of a ” Sex Mystery”

Walking Through Blizzard Juno in Central Park

Yesterday the city of New York was wrapped up in a blanket of giddy cheer because almost every municipal worker, chain shop keeper, and commuter knew they were going to be home, in snow-globe like surroundings until Wednesday. Mayor De Blasio granted the first snow day of the year and since the announcement came at … Continue reading Walking Through Blizzard Juno in Central Park

‘Still Alice’ and the Empathetic Eye

According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in three seniors are diagnosed with Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. There are currently 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, and a new patient is diagnosed every 67 seconds. Given the striking number of families this disease affects, the discussion about a cure and preventative methods is … Continue reading ‘Still Alice’ and the Empathetic Eye

A Debut: Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’

* Spoiler alert Awards season 2015 is brimming with brazenly self-aware stories. Well, no one can say such a thing about mediums on media with 100% certainty because filmmakers so often make the "it's just a movie" claim like they had no intentions or responsibility about influencing public consciousness about social issues whatsoever, but I'd … Continue reading A Debut: Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler’

‘Foxcatcher’: Unforgiving Expectations

Foxcatcher is based on violent and disturbing real life events. The extent to which these events are portrayed truthfully is unknowable, but nonetheless there is an abundance of social truth in the performance of the three leading men in the film. The protagonist, Mark Schultz, is played with full belief in the body and mind … Continue reading ‘Foxcatcher’: Unforgiving Expectations

‘St. Vincent’: Bright Spot of this Awards Season

A critic wrote not too long ago that Bill Murray needs to drop his 800-number and get an agent so he can snag that Oscar-winning role he so deserves. I think that review alone should've prepared the Academy to honor his next performance- it only seems fair. * Serious Man Voice: "Oh, reeeally? You think … Continue reading ‘St. Vincent’: Bright Spot of this Awards Season

Old / Interesting: Deviant Women in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Weight of Water’

Kathryn Bigelow is known for her gut-wrenching studies of contemporary warriors and putting modern war tactics on display to the possible peril of her public reputation. Fortunately for her, this venture has proven to be undeniably captivating, in spite of being the subject of massive amounts of controversy. After all the talk, she is recognized … Continue reading Old / Interesting: Deviant Women in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Weight of Water’

Old / Interesting: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Unbreakable’

I recently read a crude article in which some journalist attacked M. Night Shyamalan's entire career. It was so plain mean, I won't link to it- you're left to web search (if you like soggy yellow rags). Anyway, just after skimming this brutal assessment and finding that it went just a step beyond multiple other … Continue reading Old / Interesting: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Unbreakable’

‘The Lady Vanishes’ – To Judge and to Fear

Conspiracy Thrills One life. Hitchcock tended toward the kind of funny that pokes fun at institutions and systems. In "The Lady Vanishes", the humor and drama are essentially about trusting one's self in unbelievable situations. To start, the jolly older woman -Ms.Froy- who ends up caught in a conspiracy plot on her way home to … Continue reading ‘The Lady Vanishes’ – To Judge and to Fear

Choreographing Feeling: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

I finally got a chance to see Wes Anderson's latest, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. I must say that it made me feel like filmmaking was all arts captured and choreographed into colors and shapes before me. The perfection of the character's movements is ironic, the look and feel of their fortunes and misfortunes is mechanical, … Continue reading Choreographing Feeling: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

You know what? 5 Reasons Why ‘Dear White People’ is a Must-See Dramedy

1. Woman with a Camera: In a film which seeks to expose a great number of social issues, giving multiple characters ways of telling and managing their own stories allowed the story to keep moving and these storytellers to keep developing without pausing too much for explanatory notes. When Sam White (Tessa Thompson) holds up … Continue reading You know what? 5 Reasons Why ‘Dear White People’ is a Must-See Dramedy

Reaction to Four Umbrellas – Tupac Martir @NYFOL

Dumbo is small and steep and low. When it rains, it floods. The streets are unsteady, the buildings are old and crumbling, yet they are being reinforced at great expense by hopeful creatives. This damp, previously isolated industrial area is the scene of the first ever New York Festival of Light. From three blocks away, … Continue reading Reaction to Four Umbrellas – Tupac Martir @NYFOL

A Purist Rom-Com: A Touch of Death in ‘The Trouble with Harry’

From death cometh life and the living can be ridiculous! Fascinating! Oh good, good grief! Alfred Hitchcock always liked his films to have a sense of humor about them, and "The Trouble with Harry" is the height of funny stuff. There's this man who happens to have died at the apex of everybody's favorite hiking … Continue reading A Purist Rom-Com: A Touch of Death in ‘The Trouble with Harry’

The Art of the Art that Melts: Brooklyn Ice Sculptor Joe O’Donoghue’s Latest Exhibit

You know those stories where someone finds a random object that turns out to be a key to a very usual looking door that's actually a portal which opens up into a magical land? Well, one day I was walking down Plymouth Street, past the great Brooklyn Roasting Co. and I stopped to take a … Continue reading The Art of the Art that Melts: Brooklyn Ice Sculptor Joe O’Donoghue’s Latest Exhibit

The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

I love history and I truly appreciate that people who run television networks think historical characters are worth putting on T.V., but why must it all be inaccurate? Can it not be spectacular and real and massively viewed, all at once? Why did a show like "Reign" make it past the first season? Sensationalism. Targeting … Continue reading The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

‘It Makes Me Happy’ – A Short Film About a Little Pianist

Meet Meagan Cook Mora, a ten year old award-winning pianist from Costa Rica. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGVBAA7QZj8 I shot and edited this film when Meagan was on her second trip to NYC, set to perform at Carnegie Hall. The footage in the beginning of the video is from various performances she's done since she began playing professionally at … Continue reading ‘It Makes Me Happy’ – A Short Film About a Little Pianist

Psychopathy in Hitchcock Thrillers ‘Rope’ (1948)

Character Study: Rupert Cadell ('Rope', 1948) I recently read an article in which the author questioned whether a psychopath could be a good person. Scientists have studied psychopathic behaviors enough that they’ve come full-circle, considering that psychotic people should be viewed with empathy and even admiration. After all, they are focused, not driven by emotions, … Continue reading Psychopathy in Hitchcock Thrillers ‘Rope’ (1948)

Private Worlds: Hitchcock’s Penchant for Rule-Breakers (“Rear Window”, 1954)

"Rear Window" is a frustrating story to follow. With unbelievable characters and a seriously Mr. Magoo protagonist, I found it tough to watch. Of course that’s naive, because it isn’t about the character’s development- not how cunning they are or how quick their reflexes…there’s so little traditional ego present in the dialogue. This isn’t a … Continue reading Private Worlds: Hitchcock’s Penchant for Rule-Breakers (“Rear Window”, 1954)

A Look at Police Violence & Race in Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’

Oscar Grant was shot by a policeman at Fruitvale Station in Oakland just after midnight on January 1st, 2009. He was unarmed and had not been charged with any form of misconduct. Grant was shot in the back by an officer who later had his charges reduced because he explained that he mistook his gun … Continue reading A Look at Police Violence & Race in Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’

‘Gideon’s Army’: Documenting the Justice System

Public defenders uphold the constitutional right of an accused citizen to have defense under the presumption of the court that they are innocent until proven guilty. They exist as the line between the for profit prison system and the constitution itself. The state’s defender (otherwise known as a prosecutor) seeks to prove guilt, which is … Continue reading ‘Gideon’s Army’: Documenting the Justice System

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, … Continue reading Documentary: Framing Cultural Violence in ‘The Act of Killing’

Quiet Hipster Films / A Cinematic Whisper in Black/White: ‘Frances Ha’

Frances, O, Frances, where are you? Brooklyn, in the era of Hipsters and post-feminist feminists, in which no twenty-something without a trust-fund can get by on just one job, one gig, or one talent. Not if she pays her own rent and wants to live. That’s where. The words “But I should save money… so … Continue reading Quiet Hipster Films / A Cinematic Whisper in Black/White: ‘Frances Ha’

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 … Continue reading Gun Violence On-Screen in ‘Blue Caprice’

‘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 … Continue reading ‘20 Feet from Stardom’ Review

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 … Continue reading A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in ‘Concussion’

Oscars Watch: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-winning role in 'Blue Jasmine' was the grittiest and most econo-socially relevant of the season. There was the sweetest Dame Judi Dench in 'Philomena', the raspiest, most frightening Meryl Streep in 'August: Osage County',a sultry, mysterious, and brilliant yet cracked Amy Adams in 'American Hustle', and of course Sandra Bullock’s space heroine of … Continue reading Oscars Watch: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Wangechi Mutu’s “The Fantastic Journey”

Having previously written about the very ….how should I put it? well-documented Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, I’ve also been ruminating on the truly fantastical collection of work on display in the same museum, but with no cameras allowed, by Wangechi Mutu. The exhibit is quiet, so that you can feel the … Continue reading Wangechi Mutu’s “The Fantastic Journey”

Jean Paul Gaultier // The Brooklyn Museum

The magnificent Jean Paul Gaultier show at the Brooklyn Museum ended with a swarming salute from the last round of art-lovers and fashion queens, who filled the lavishly adorned + spectacularly curated 5th floor gallery space last Sunday. Upon entering into the gallery, I the first thing I realized was that cameras were allowed in. … Continue reading Jean Paul Gaultier // The Brooklyn Museum

The First Feminist Rom-Com: ‘In a World’

'In a World…' is perhaps the only successful feminist critique of the entertainment industry to ever have been brought forward in the form of a romantic comedy. The story: an eccentric and graceless yet very attractive female protagonist named Carol Solomon lives under her glaringly misogynistic VoiceOver artist father’s (the big-wig Sam Sotto) reluctant wing, … Continue reading The First Feminist Rom-Com: ‘In a World’

Project Continua + The Sackler Center

brooklynmuseum: I was blown away by the success of Saturday’s Wikipedia edit-a-thon. We couldn’t have hoped for a more enthusiastic or diverse community of participants. Project Continua’s Director, Gina Luria Walker, said during her remarks that by editing articles about historical women, we were “making history by providing an alternative narrative of the past.” A … Continue reading Project Continua + The Sackler Center

Reality, History, and Silence: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

'Dallas Buyers Club' could be a film that alters the way audiences view people of varying sexual expression. It could be that kind of resource for filmgoers, but the press surrounding more than one awards acceptance speech by a particular cast member has been drawing attention to the rub of the industry: actors don’t have … Continue reading Reality, History, and Silence: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Americana: A Tribute to Nothingland in A. Payne’s ‘Nebraska’

Nebraska: a story of the heartland. An Americana gem. Black and white and cold throughout, Alexander Payne’s latest feature seems to be a carefully crafted study of small town living. An old man journeys from Montana to Nebraska to cash in what he believes to be his golden ticket. No one in the story actually … Continue reading Americana: A Tribute to Nothingland in A. Payne’s ‘Nebraska’

Fading Glamour and Psychological Grit in ‘American Hustle’

Who’s the criminal in a thieving system? In a band of uglies, who’s the worst? We audience members love watching horrible people make bad choices. The length of the average feature length film gives us just the right amount of time to decide who we feel sympathy for, who did the darkest deeds, who deserved … Continue reading Fading Glamour and Psychological Grit in ‘American Hustle’

10 Films That Passed the Bechdel Test in 2013 | Tribeca

Here are ten films from 2013 that actually pass the Bechdel Test. This test, which assesses only the most basic presence of women on-screen, is strangely difficult to apply to most American films, but this year you could use count ‘em out on *both* hands. With Sofia Coppola beside Noah Baumbach beside Ridley Scott and … Continue reading 10 Films That Passed the Bechdel Test in 2013 | Tribeca

The Primordial Darkness of ‘August: Osage County’

An alternative tagline for the screen version of August: Osage County could be “Streep and Roberts go darker than ever, fist in fist”. The thriller angle of this drama is seeing these two women, who have stunned audiences in award-winning biopics and the like for decades, revel in portraying what turned out to be possibly … Continue reading The Primordial Darkness of ‘August: Osage County’

New Greek Cinema: “What If…?”

Christoforos Papakaliatis wrote, directed and starred in “What If…?”, a hardcore romance, two ways. Will his character, Dimitris, follow his fate this way by walking the dog or that way by letting her out into the yard? Is fate so simple? This film graphically illustrates how our smallest decisions can completely change our lives, for … Continue reading New Greek Cinema: “What If…?”

Analysis of Hitchcock’s ‘Saboteur’

Hitchcock’s thriller 'Saboteur' exemplifies the director’s drive for subverting his audience’s sympathies. There is a daringly clarified critique of systematic injustice in the form of a single misjudged civilian taking on a class of evil that operates somewhere between the powers of government and industry, far above the heads of common workers: the saboteurs, those … Continue reading Analysis of Hitchcock’s ‘Saboteur’

The Beautiful Evil: Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

'Shadow of a Doubt' is a beautiful example of the study of Evil. We are constantly confronted with images and descriptions of violence, and in these accounts of atrocious acts we rarely get a chance to consider the criminal from any angle beyond criminality. Where evil meets innocence, and where it wins over good people, … Continue reading The Beautiful Evil: Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt’

Review of a Tiny Piano Starlet: Meagan Cook Mora

Meagan Cook has played music at Carnegie Hall before. She has even played at Carnegie Hall at Christmas time before. This is not a first, and it will not be the last time Cook plays for a large audience, full of teachers, coaches, professional musicians, her fellow ingenues from around the globe in a puffy, … Continue reading Review of a Tiny Piano Starlet: Meagan Cook Mora

Mind & Body Films of The 2013 Awards Season

The SAG Awards, which took place on Sunday, 1/27, are completely in the hands of union actors, and the people made some very interesting choices as to which performers and ensembles deserved their golden statue… This awards season is a tough one to call. The pros are debating the success of the musical powerhouse “Les … Continue reading Mind & Body Films of The 2013 Awards Season

On Realism and Telling History: ‘Lincoln’

Spielberg’s 'Lincoln' is a story molded out of cold facts and softened by clever anecdotal interludes between Lincoln and his advisors (vice president, wife, and the people who look after his household). Of course Abraham Lincoln is so well-known to most audience members that the historical backdrop is easily set, allowing the storyline to progress from … Continue reading On Realism and Telling History: ‘Lincoln’

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ & The Girl

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is a modern fairytale. Modern because it is about a fiercely strong little girl, which is not at all common, and fairytale-like because it is the story of how she comes into contact with unimaginably fantastical struggles. The protagonist, Hushpuppy, tends to hogs, chickens, gators, cats and dogs, coexisting in … Continue reading ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ & The Girl

Something I Liked About SNL, Ep.7/S.38

Anyone who watches Saturday Night Live knows that the lifeblood of the show is its actor/writer’s brilliant impressions of the most recgonizable people in the United States. The writers find something funny about the most visible celebrities and politicians, and incubate the gems until their many audiences (fellow cast members, crew, live audience, second live audience…) can’t help but … Continue reading Something I Liked About SNL, Ep.7/S.38

The Stand Comedy Club & Restaurant is Now Open in Gramercy

 If you have a sense of humor and an eclectic palette, and want to make sure the person you’re dating does, take them to dinner and a comedy show at The Stand. This bar/restaurant has its own downstairs showroom, where both seasoned and up-and-coming comedians take the stage each night at 8:30pm and 10:30pm. The … Continue reading The Stand Comedy Club & Restaurant is Now Open in Gramercy

Help Get BEDBUGS!!! (The Comedy Sci-Fi Musical) Off-Broadway

BEDBUGS!!! The Comedy Sci-fi Thriller Rock Musical lives up to its name in every sense of the word. It is lovably creepy, coordinatedly crawly, laugh-out-loud funny, and in some moments will make you wish you had a lighter to flip open and sway with. I liken the buggy atmosphere to an otherworldly marriage of qualities from the … Continue reading Help Get BEDBUGS!!! (The Comedy Sci-Fi Musical) Off-Broadway

La Bottega: Awesome Italian in the Heart of Chelsea

La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel is the perfect place to luxuriate in the late-night hours of a crisp, clear-skied autumn night. Overhead paper lanterns dance in the breeze and ambient lighting shines onto the large patio space from indoors. The Maritime hotel attracts a fun, eclectic mix of visitors; the atmosphere is rich and bubbly. … Continue reading La Bottega: Awesome Italian in the Heart of Chelsea