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Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘Prey’ is a trophy case of good filmmaking

Reading Time: 2 minutes Concluding 2022’s surprise “women marching into the dark, unknowable wilderness” trilogy that began with Firestarter and Hellbender is Dan Trachtenberg’s remarkable Prey. Quietly the fifth installment of the Predator franchise, a series of action/science fiction films involving extraterrestrial game hunters, Prey is the rare prequel unencumbered by lore or smug callbacks that refines the core […]

Posted inArts

Did John Hughes teach us nothing?

Reading Time: 4 minutes One constant in many John Hughes movies is the out-of-touch parent or adult. Authority figures are often presented as being clueless to the world around them, either blissfully unaware of what it’s like to be a teenager or outright hostile towards the situation. Think of Ferris Bueller’s cheerful yet dim parents, or the scolding and […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Exploring the lost art of dying

Reading Time: 5 minutes Given its centrality to the human experience—it happens to everyone, no exceptions—you’d think our culture would engage the subject more. But it’s remained largely taboo. Try to start a conversation about it, your friend or family member might accuse of you being “morbid.” Reveal that you’ve been thinking about it lately, your spouse might push […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Mother-daughter stories are easy. You just have to break the universe

Reading Time: 5 minutes More than ever before, adult children are breaking ties with their parents. Shifting cultural norms and expectations, coupled with increased individualism and awareness of mental health concepts, are prompting children in their 30s to go “limited contact/no contact” with parents, and learn techniques like “gray-rocking” to communicate with parents who trigger emotional breakdowns and irrational […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Review: ‘Elvis’ + ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’m hard pressed to name anything registering as a complete scene in Elvis, Baz Luhrmann’s fever dream of an Elvis Presley biopic that doesn’t so much cover the landmark events of the superstar musician’s life and career as it condenses those moments into an extended trailer advertising the American mid-twentieth century. That isn’t a criticism; […]

Posted inFilm/TV

‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ sends a terrible message about motherhood

Reading Time: 3 minutes Like any good nerd, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was at the top of my watchlist. And while it was an okay enough superhero film, the gender politics of it—especially given the current climate—were incredibly off-putting. You’ve been warned: Spoiler alerts ahead. Within minutes of the movie’s start, I whispered to my viewing […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Before MeToo, Egypt’s ‘Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story’ put a spotlight on gender inequality

Reading Time: 2 minutes African and Middle Eastern cinema tends to receive precious little attention in the United States, with Iran among the better represented in terms of State-side theatrical distribution (such as Panah Panahi’s Hit the Road, shamefully the only 2022 Middle Eastern release I’ve seen so far). Streaming and the DVD market have done a great deal […]