Wars Fought, Scores Settled in Oliver Stone’s ‘Chasing the Light’

Lee Polevoi

The child of a doomed marriage, Stone vividly describes the domestic turmoil of his early years in New York and Connecticut. The restless son of a stockbroker and a vivacious French woman, Stone attended Yale, but dropped out and enlisted in the Marines at the height of the conflict in Vietnam. His experiences there, together with a sobering return to the States, were channeled into the making of Platoon, which remains among his signal achievements.

A Day in the Life of a Film Critic

Tara Taghizadeh

There have been other changes as well, and I ultimately see most as neutral. It’s easy to say, “Films used to be better,” or, “They don’t make ’em like Gone With the Wind anymore.” But it’s important to remember that we tend to view film history with rose-colored glasses. We remember the gems and forget all the trash. Today, we have more content than ever before and — accordingly — more garbage. But we also see a number of really fantastic movies released every year. 

‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ Features Audrey Tatou in an Intriguing Romantic Thriller

Sandra Bertrand

When it comes to games of the heart, the French are very deft players.  And that’s never been more the case than when Audrey Tautou, that wickedly charming screen gamin, walks into a flower shop and orders a rose for her beloved.  In Laetitia Colombani’s black comedy, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, “a rose is not just a rose is not just a rose” in Gertrude Stein’s apt phrase, but a symbol of some very dark and dirty business of the heart ahead.

A Kafkaesque Adventure for Alice in Wonderland

Karolina R. Swasey

Jan Svankmajer’s Alice, the esteemed Czech animator’s feature-film debut from 1988, is far more than just a strange, wonderful, and surreal trip set within the charming ambience of an Eastern bloc TV fairytale. It is a strikingly original attempt to wound the skin of the story and to reveal its body by almost entirely stripping it of Carroll’s language and converting it into a an eerie and unsettling dreamscape. 

Is Cinema Making a Comeback? The Plight of ‘American Hustle’

Mary Kinney

With so many critically acclaimed films out this winter—and a stacked awards season—it’s easy to make the argument for a new Golden Age of cinema: this season, American HustleWolf of Wall StreetTwelve Years a Slave and more films were garnering buzz for their nominations and reviews. Is this the sign of a new boom for cinema? Or does saying the art of film is back a self-fulfilling prophecy? American Hustle was a front-runner this award season and was initially met with fairly consistent acclaim, but with its 10 Oscar nominations, American Hustle left viewers empty-handed. 

Bourgeois Power Struggles Dominate Lea Frazer’s ‘Notre Univers Impitoyable’

John McGovern

A recurring theme in Shakespeare is the elusive nature of symbolic identities, particularly their relationship to gender. Many of his plays feature gender-bending moments, with characters that dress differently in order to expose the superficial differences between them. This theme runs throughout Notre Univers Impitoyable, and its disjointed narrative plays out two different scenarios involving the power couple of Victor and Margot. 

Love, Sex, and Pushing the Envelope in Bollywood

Sandip Roy

From New America Media and FirstPost: “Sex is now our guilty pleasure [in India],” says Imran Khan. "Watching it on screen gives us the comforting illusion that our taboos are shrinking as if liberation was all about libido. “But people’s personal freedoms are being eroded around them,” Khan adds. “And they just don’t notice.” Meanwhile around us, the nanny state keeps expanding. No drinking until you are 25. No dancing in the pubs. No commentary on gods and goddesses in your art. No talking about anything that can upset anybody....

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