Tag: film review

Portraying Abortion in Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Film and TV portrayals of abortion in the last decade have become both more prevalent and complex. Take the different abortion storylines over the course of HBO’s series Girls (love it or hate it). In Season 1’s “Vagina Panic,” Jessa is scheduled to have an abortion when she conveniently has her “period” in a bar’s… Read more →

“There’s Only One Way This War Ends”: New Ways of Telling a Familiar Story in Sam Mendes’s 1917

In the spring of 1917, the German Army was recouping from enormous losses suffered at the Somme, Verdun, and in the Brusilov Offensive on the Eastern Front. Hoping to consolidate and reinforce their manpower, their army on the Western Front retreated to a series of well-planned, highly fortified trenches known as the Hindenburg Line. In… Read more →

Understanding Shaming’s Place in History: The Story of Germany’s Victims

It can be difficult for those who have never experienced sexual violence to understand and address the pain of survivors. From the women who’ve chosen to come forward and report instances of abuse in the entertainment industry as part of the #MeToo Movement, to less publicized cases in which women make the brave choice to… Read more →

“Charlie Says” and the Santa Cruz Prison Project

Joan Didion, Again “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969.” This ubiquitous Joan Didion quotation, from her essay “The White Album” (1979), appears in approximately one gazillion accounts of the Manson Family murders, and now it serves as the opening title card to the 2019… Read more →

Colonial Colette: From Orientalism and Egyptian Pantomime to Polaire’s Jamaican “Slave”

I first read excerpts of Colette’s Sido in my IB French class in 2007, so when the recent biopic starring Keira Knightley and produced by Wash Westmoreland came out, I knew that I had to see it. Colette was one of the most prolific French writers of the early twentieth century, well known for her… Read more →

Bohemian Rhapsody

In July 1985, at 6:20pm local time, Queen (comprised of bassist John Deacon, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and lead singer Freddie Mercury) took the stage at Wembley Stadium for their performance as part of Live Aid, a star-studded concert broadcast worldwide to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia. Critics have consistently ranked… Read more →

Rocky Mountain Racism

This past May at the Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee screened his latest movie, BlacKkKlansman. The audience gave the film an extended standing ovation and Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, later wrote, “If D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation was ‘like writing history with lightning,’ as Woodrow Wilson described it way back in… Read more →

It’s (Not) in Your Head: When Bodies Defy Logic

“If you say too little they can’t help you, and if they say too much they think you’re kind of … a mental patient.” Less than five minutes into Jennifer Brea’s stunning new documentary, Unrest, her husband captures this central tension for people with rare or undiagnosed conditions and their loved ones. Brea has myalgic… Read more →