Category Film

The best two minutes about “toxic masculinity” ever filmed

With Gwynneth Paltrow’s mother and Tom Hagen. I was traumatized by this film as a teenager. It was utterly real to me. Oddly enough these days I have more sympathy for the father’s character, especially his reaction to the way his family shuts him out. It’s clear he’s not so much a bad guy as […]

I Discover that My Great Grandmother Drank herself to Death

Looking at old census records is fascinating. I grew up hearing stories about poverty during the Great Depression. But my mother’s family was clearly bourgeois and not working class. https://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/New-Jersey/Edna-Figler_4q6mst They purchased this newly constructed house during the Great Depression. https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/231-Winfield-Ter-Union-NJ-07083/40075738_zpid/ So why would my mother and grandmother mask their bourgeois class origins and exaggerate […]

Cory Booker’s Girlfriend

Rosario Dawson talking dirty. Chloe Sevigny cosplaying as Jean Seberg.

Jean-Luc Godard Offers one possible Solution to the Problem of Higher Education

  “avec une bombe” (A rather overly militant youth debates her more cautious professor — who in real life actually ran a terrorist network — about the possibility of shutting down the elite universities.) To be honest I’ve never been quite sure what Godard is trying to say here. Is he mocking militant youth, or […]

Green Book (2018)

To be honest, I mainly took the time to watch Green Book because of the controversy surrounding its Best Picture award at the 2019 Oscars. Was it a racist “white savior” movie as many people on Twitter, from which I’m now permanently banned for opposing the right wing coup in Venezuela, have accused it? Or […]

Can Film Capture the Idea of “Genius?”

The only time I can think of where cinema  adequately captures the idea of “genius” is this scene in Amadeus. Antonio Salieri, a mediocrity, laboriously composes a very simple piece of music, thanks Jesus for the inspiration, then presents it to his patron, the Emperor of Austria. Mozart, a genius, transforms it into a genuine […]

The Young Karl Marx (2017)

In 1850, a 32-year-old German philosopher named Karl Marx, an exile in London with his wife Jenny and their three daughters, spent a miserable January sick in bed with the flu. When he finally recovered in February, he tried to get back to the British Museum to do research for his freelance journalism, the family’s […]

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians by Chinese American directory Jon M. Chu is the kind of film only an ogre, or a grim, Marxist fanatic could hate. Being an ogre — a 50-year-old white male with more hair on his back than on his head — and a grim Marxist fanatic — I’d honestly like to see […]

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Film often requires a suspension of disbelief. Star Wars features a 7-foot-tall space wizard walking around in a black S&M outfit choking grown men to death with mental telepathy. When we watch The Exorcist, we need to ignore human anatomy, to accept the idea that a 12-year-old girl can spin her head around 360 degrees […]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)

If I asked any ten random people to describe what a revolutionary looks like, some people would probably say Lenin. Others would say Marx, Fidel Castro, Mao, Robespierre or George Washington. One or two might even say Jesus. I’m confident nobody would say “Fred McFeely Rogers,” the long running host of the eponymous PBS children’s […]