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…

‘The Birds’

I grew up hearing about two Hitchcock films: ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Birds’. Where the former lives up to the thrill of a well-turned plot, the latter is more of a bloody mess. In most scary movies there’s a human-like body out to get people. ‘The Birds’ takes someone’s phobia of birds and preserves it for…

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-…

‘Big Eyes’: Hidden Histories

Women’s stories are just beginning to come to light in film beyond chick flicks and romances. Tim Burton’s latest feature goes a step beyond drama, even, depicting the true story of a talented woman who was taken advantage of by a thieving conman (who she married). ‘Big Eyes’ unmasks an awful trend in history, one…

This One Goes Out to ‘The One I Love’

He said and she said: their love was tanking. The romance was a struggle. Could they ever move forward together with the baggage they carried unpacked? Or was this the time to part ways- while things were still relatively amicable? He said and she said they should go by what their therapist said, and so…

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…

‘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…

Conservation as Documentary: ‘Virunga’

When I told three different friends that I’d seen Orlando van Einsiedel’s documentary, ‘Virunga’, their reactions were similar. They knew the film was about a park where gorillas live, but they didn’t know where in Africa the film was made or what the situation was in that country. I was with them before I saw…

The Cinematic Journey: ‘Birdman’

I often find myself wrapped up in writing about Story in film. I like Story. I get into the grit and value of the feels of movies- the way they play emotions and the way writers employ outside influences. Sometimes, though, there’s a story that screams cinema beyond interests of plot and dialogue- pacing and…

Suffering Your Art: ‘Whiplash’

Stories about artists struggling to reach success are often sympathetic to the artist. They’re usually focused completely on the false pretense that harsh challenges met on the road to being successful are acutely unfair and that they are comparable to simply standing up for oneself by telling the supposed enemy to back down. That’s the…

‘The Judge’: Fathers and Sons

“I saw him in you” “I saw you in him” The house of mirrors that is every story about fathers and sons in America grips American audiences like nothing else (for better or worse). ‘The Judge’ stars Robert Duvall as the well-respected judge in a small midwestern town and Robert Downey Jr. as his big…