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Category Archives: FILM

How Daredevil Succeeds Where Batman vs Superman Failed

BvS has the surreal quality of systemic, top-down incompetence; virtually every scene, every plot beat, every line of dialogue–there’s something logically “off” about all of it. But in addition to what amounts to an ocean of individual isolated idiocies, there is a much bigger problem with the movie. The big problem was in its structural plot dynamics; somehow, the filmmakers*  here […]

Noé Love: Can Cinematic Storytelling and Pornography Coexist?

“The fantasy ideal of a perfect work of pornography would be precisely to preserve this impossible harmony, the balance between narration and explicit depiction of the sexual act.” -Slavoj Žižek, Looking Awry Over the past two years a series of films have attempted to blur the line between cinema and pornography. We’ve seen films like […]

2015 Academy Awards Editors’ Picks

The 87th’s Academy Awards is this Sunday, and we’re happy to bring you our 100% syvologistic Oscars predictions. As we reach the tail-end of awards season, it becomes easy to play the “jaded pop-culture afficianado” card and claim that the Oscars don’t matter. (This is true, but only insofar as Nothing Matters.) But as this […]

The Top 20 Films of 2014

Some preliminary notes: First, this is a semi-loose ranking. I’m not really trying to nitpick about whether one particular movie was actually better than the one ranked just below it. This is more of a mid-macro level thing. Exact positions are as always debatable but broadly this is the deal. Second, of course, I didn’t […]

Watching A Most Violent Year and Selma with Hannah Arendt

In her celebrated long essay “On Violence,” Hannah Arendt reimagined the role of violence in political society. Like Freud did with his negative relationship between neurosis and perversion, Arendt inverted a commonplace similarity to assert that contrary to how things may seem, violence and power are not the same. In fact, “power and violence are […]

On Black Mirror, Stephen Hawking and the Future Freaking Us Out

The sci-fi lite anthology series Black Mirror has come to be characterized primarily by its paranoiac treatment of the ever-impending near future, particularly focusing on the accelerating technologicalization of our everyday existence. Whether it be the insular hamster wheel of the office cubicle and the severely diminishing returns of “reality” based entertainment, or our tenacious […]

Terror and Taboo: Analyzing The Babadook

As the buzz surrounding Jennifer Kent’s debut feature The Babadook continues, horror fans would be forgiven for their skepticism. The praise is reaching critical mass. Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) has “never seen a more terrifying film.” Stephen King has called it “deeply disturbing and highly recommended.” It has a near-perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes, […]

God is In the TV: Achieving Social Reality in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler

At its surface, Dan Gilroy’s debut feature Nightcrawler provides terribly pedestrian commentary on the moral vicissitudes of so-called modern media sensationalism. When freelance video-journalist Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) first meets jaded TV executrix Nina Romnia (Rene Russo), the latter describes her professional-aesthetic ideal to be “a screaming woman running down the street with her throat […]

FILM REVIEW: Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar

Much like Christopher Nolan’s celebrated take on the Caped Crusader, Interstellar is a film steeped in ideology. His experience with the now-definitive filmic representations of Batman honed his ability to tap into a national, if not global, socio-political consciousness, around which he and his go-to screenwriters delight in crafting various above-average plot structures. Tweet

The Feminism of Demonic Possession Horror

At the Devil’s Door is the new movie from IFC Midnight, by writer/director Nicolas McCarthy. On its face, Devil’s Door delivers a skillfully atmospheric story of demonic possession, at once familiar and fresh in its narrative. The film benefits from McCarthy’s labored minimalism, trading graphic visuals for a sense of smooth, unyielding uneasiness. Tweet