The opening minutes of Big Little Lies are as familiar as they are misleading. Cop cars and ambulances shine a spotlight on a grisly murder, the show setting itself up as a murder-mystery surrounding the lives of the privileged elite. The proceeding interrogations of those involved reveal a procedural, but what the show is actually investigating isn’t murder, but the seemingly Plain Jane life of domesticity. Big Little Lies examines the pain and vulnerability that women share, and the bruises they’re attempting to mask beneath concealer and Instagram filters. Because marriage takes work. And work is murder. Continue reading
What is it about love stories that endure? Romeo and Juliet. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Beauty and the Beast. Stories we keep coming back to. Tales as old as time. Just as these classical pairings of characters fall for each other, we, in turn, fall for them. They become emblematic of love. A portrait. A song and dance. Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast may not change anything we know and love about the original, but the film reminds us why classical tales of woe are not only timeless, but enrapturing. Continue reading
“There are no more guns in the valley,” Laura says in her eulogy. She and her band of mutants are no longer on the run, but their safety, much like their hopes of a future, come at a cost. The line is a reference to the 1953 Western Shane, a film that operates as key thematic influence in Logan; a film within a film. Logan itself is a film within a larger film universe (and an ever-expanding Marvel brand), which, like it’s overt film referencing, is all but impossible to ignore. Logan stands tall as an outlier, doing away with end-of-the-world plots, superhero team-ups, and allusions to future installments, servicing an even greater payoff that not only honors its comic book origins, but transcends them. Continue reading
I’ve never done one of these before and I’m ashamed to say it’s because I’ve put a lot more emphasis on TV and film, much to the detriment of the storyteller in me. But every once in a while I do have a book in my hands. What I’ve compiled here is a list of books that spoke to me on a personal level while expanding my world view (great books know how to strike a delicate balance between the two). These aren’t all exclusively 2015 releases, just ones that I stumbled upon over the year, though you might recognize one or two. However you want to define it, here are the 5 best books that I read in 2015.
Geek-extraordinaire Felicia Day chronicles her very humble beginnings as a homeschooled child to her joyous discovery of online gaming – a subculture that often doesn’t welcome women with open arms, yet she embraced gaming all the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a novice; Felicia Day strikes a conversational tone that makes you feel as if you’re getting to know her over dinner. She takes us through the inspiration behind The Guild – the web-series that launched her unique brand of all things nerd, the crippling pressure of spear-heading said brand, and processes her feelings on Gamergate. At the end, she leaves us with a thoughtful reminder that in the vile and Nyan Cat-ridden corners of the internet, we are all weirdos. Something about that is oddly comforting. Continue reading
“Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas’ poem still retains all of its literary power. But in the context of a film that dares to venture beyond our worlds and deep into our souls, it has never been more cinematically relevant. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a bold and beautiful film that captures the grandiosity of space, yet touches on something profoundly personal: the relationship between a father and a daughter. The result is a rare movie-going experience that dazzles the senses and enriches our hearts. Continue reading