Category Film

Sarah Polley and Hollywood Rape Culture

Fans of the Armenian Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan will recognize Sarah Polley from Exotica, where she played a victim of emotional abuse, and The Sweet Hereafter, where she played a victim of sexual abuse. You might also remember her as Abigail Adams Smith, an intelligent and sensitive young woman unable to come out from under the […]

Harvey Weinstein’s Reign of Misogynistic Terror

That Harvey Weinstein is a sexual harasser as well as a fat, gross pig — think Chris Christie as the head of a Hollywood studio waiving his dick at any available young woman — has always been Hollywood’s worst kept secret. Until Ronan Farrow published a series of interviews with his victims, however, it was […]

The Best Years of Our Lives Punching Nazis

Whenever any debate on social media about the ethics of “punching Nazis” comes up, I often think of a scene from The Best Years of Our Lives, William Wyler’s classic film about three American veterans making a difficult transition to civilian life after the Second World War. Fred Derry, a working class man who received […]

Detroit (2017)

Kathryn Bigelow has directed good movies. The long chase scene in Point Break where Patrick Swayze throws a pit bull at Keanu Reeves is just an entertaining piece of cinema. She’s also directed bad movies. Zero Dark Thirty was not only propaganda for the CIA and the “war on terror.” It was dull, bloated, and […]

Ta-Nehisi Coates (accidentally) makes the case for HBO’s Confederate

Few things unite liberals and leftists on social media these days like April Reign’s call for a boycott of David Benioff’s and D.B. Weiss’s proposed HBO miniseries. Their argument seems to be twofold. First, the plot itself, an alternative history that imagines a Confederate victory in the United States Civil War, is simply too dangerous […]

Dunkirk (2017)

This is what I felt like watching Dunkirk As Matt Zoller Seitz observes, Dunkirk is not so much a war movie as it is a disaster movie disguised as a war movie. As an early member of Generation X — so early that I’m almost a Boomer — I’m old enough to remember the classic […]

Wonder Woman (2017)

I went to see Wonder Woman, which was released last month with a great deal of critical praise, some controversy, and overwhelming success at the box office, mainly for one reason. I wanted to see a superhero movie set during the First World War, which, as the late Paul Fussell has argued, is the real […]

Rogue One (2016)

I saw Star Wars, now called Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, at exactly the right time in my life. I was twelve-years-old. As an adult I would come to see its flaws. It was elitist, racist, and simple-minded. It raised the issues of imperialism and nuclear annihilation only to dismiss them without […]

The Immigrant (2013)

Between 1880 and 1924, approximately twenty-five million immigrants settled in the United States, mostly from Eastern and Southern Europe. If their story has figured prominently in American cinema, as I have argued previously, it is not well-understood. From the original Scarface to 1970s classics like The Godfather to 1990s TV miniseries like The Sopranos, the […]

A Man Called Ove: Celebrating the Use of Space in Swedish Cinema

What are we beyond our memories? It was just after having a petty argument with the florist, an ignorant teen as she was that Ove first exposes the dimensions of his existence. Grieved by the death of the only love of his life, Sonja, we see him dissipating his space by magnifying his trivialities. A […]