The Tragedy of Gone Girl

If I knew how Nick and Amy’s relationship came together, I might feel like this movie came together with that grand twist at the end. I mean it- the structure of the story, all those vicious twists and drops off the beaten path were stellar. I just didn’t feel a thing for anybody by the…

“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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

Rubin Museum @Reflection

My first trip to the Rubin Museum was with a group of acerbically-minded third graders. I immediately felt comforted in the quiet, deep-gray and gilded red space. The low chanting in the galleries and the soft faces of many Buddhas struck me as a warm greeting: kind and impersonal. The kids gravitated almost immediately to…

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,…