One day this summer, sitting in a blank white apartment that was not mine, I felt a strange weariness. This apartment was full of more books than I will probably ever read and I had fellowships to apply to and emails to write and the whole Internet in front of me and all of New York City clamoring outside.
There is always an interesting tone to the buzz around the release of a new Wes Anderson film. People wonder if the new film will stick closely to Anderson’s unique style in order to satisfy his cult following or if it will lean more toward the mainstream in an effort to garner more fans and more box office success. These are valid questions and concerns.
Every year I try to watch the films nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars. Last week, I saw one of these, Philomena, starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan and directed by Stephen Frears. The film is about Philomena Lee (Dench), an old Irish woman who is searching for the son that the Catholic Church forced her to give into adoption fifty years prior.
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is tense and unflinching. Its relentless intensity and graphic brutality has been the defining feature in the media, but it is also an essential part of the film and the primary reason it could become the most important portrait of American slavery yet on camera.
When I was young my mother would take me to the local theater for the free weekly movie. I watched everything they showed, sobbing through Peter Pan, laughing through Shrek 2, openly weeping at the death of Mufasa. It was my mom’s love of cinematic tales that really sparked my interest in film.
Blue Valentine writer and director Derek Cianfrance’s latest film The Place Beyond the Pines is, if anything, a study in what Robert Penn Warren, legendary 1940s author of All the King’s Men, calls “the awful responsibility of Time.” We begin with Ryan Gosling’s character Luke Glanton, a reckless circus-performing motorcyclist. Seemingly out of nowhere, Luke has great responsibility thrust upon him when an old flame from an upstate New York carnival stop steps back into his life with his infant son.
I had already seen the movie in theaters three times. Enjoyment is one word, obsession is another. The first three times, this film had sent me into hysterics, including, but not limited to impassioned weeping, strings of incoherent syllables, and frenzied gesticulation at the screen. In each of my three previous viewings, the usual suspects (“I Dreamed a Dream,” Fantine’s passing, “When Tomorrow Comes”) were to blame, but during this latest screening at the Garden Theater, the floodgates held fast against their onslaught