‘Beauty and the Beast’: If It’s Not Baroque, Don’t Fix It

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

‘La La Land’: A Bit of Madness is Key

What is it about dreams that make them so unbearably cinematic? Perhaps it’s the chase, the song and dance of it. The grandiosity, vividness. Or its proximity. How close it seems once we’ve projected the idealized versions of ourselves in the cinema of our subconscious. I suppose the real question is what makes us want to chase our dreams when the world tells us otherwise. When we’ve faced rejection, tasted failure. How long do we go on chasing something until we realize we’re just making a fool of ourselves?  Continue reading

‘Arrival’: The Universal Language of Film

“Language is the cornerstone of civilization,” Dr. Louise Banks writes in her preface. Ian Donnelly, a theoretical physicist, counters that science is the true foundation, completely neglecting the communicative platform that enables him to express this belief. I suppose we all take language for granted. We know how to construct words that form sentences that in turn express thought, but we fail to recognize the system that allows us to frame thought into words. Syntax. Order and meaning; it’s symbiotic but in many ways alien to us, because even the slightest misunderstanding can have dire consequences: “[Language] is the glue that holds people together. It is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.”  Continue reading

The Lost Art of Secrecy

christopher-nolan-interstellar-filming

When was the last time you walked into a movie theater completely unaware of the film you were about to see? For me, it was the summer of 2010. The movie: Inception. The earliest trailers for the film displayed a number of staggering visuals. A rotating hallway, a city folding on itself, and a train charging through the rain. This merely whet the appetites of countless filmgoers like myself. Soon, we were standing in line for the film’s release, not knowing a single detail of the plot. Even on the day of, all we had to go on were the film’s cryptic tagline (“Your mind is the scene of the crime”) and a tiny bit of description from director Christopher Nolan himself (“a heist movie set within the architecture of the mind”). Some could argue we already had more than enough to go on. But compared to today’s films, where entire movies are given away in a two-minute trailer, Nolan’s film barely left a trail of breadcrumbs. It was a refreshing change of pace that allowed audiences to experience the film in its rightful place – the movie theater, of course.  Continue reading