Film & TV

Has Prestige TV Set the Bar Too High?

Sam Skopp

Many critics and viewers alike believe that television is currently in a golden age, due to the unprecedentedly high level of quality and popularity of shows such as Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, two particularly high watermarks of prestige television. Looking forward, however, is high-quality TV just a trend, or the new standard? Game of Thrones continues to be a heavy hitter in the world of pop culture. Without giving anything away to those who may be sensitive to spoilers, news about a certain plot point expected to be addressed in the show’s upcoming season has regularly made headlines since June, when the previous season concluded.

Gay Film Puts Indian Supreme Court in Tricky Terrain

Sandip Roy

The sufferings of a homosexual prince from Gujarat is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea and sympathy. When Manvendra Singh Gohil, the prince of Rajpipla decided to come out as gay, he did so in a Gujarati language daily, the Divya Bhaskar. The story caused a sensation and moved Oprah Winfrey enough to fly him to the US to appear on her show. Now a Gujarati film based on his life story has been denied a tax exemption service in his home state because the movie depicts “social evil.” 

Inside the World of FEMEN Protestors

Gabriella Tutino

These topless women are FEMEN, an activist group that uses “sextremism” tactics to shed light on injustices. Founded in 2008 by Anna Hutsol, FEMEN originally started in Kiev before branching out to France for both expansion reasons and political asylum for its members. As of today, there are FEMEN branches in Germany, Canada, Turkey and Israel. The documentary follows the activist group from December 2011 to August 2012, as they plan and stage protests in Kiev, Zurich, Belarus, Paris and Moscow. 

The Role of Feminism in Action Movies

Megan Walsh

It is unequivocally a good thing that feminism is at the forefront of the public mind, and that media is being held accountable for failing female narratives. There has been a definite clamor for more female-led projects, particularly in regard to popular mainstream films, most especially action movies, considering they are currently dominating the market. With such a suffusion of films dealing in similar subject matters, it's hard not to notice that they've been telling the same stories for years, and those stories all revolve around white men.

How ABC Ruined Eddie Huang’s ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Kaitlin Ebersol

But the show departs from expected sitcom tropes in one crucial aspect, groundbreaking because it hasn’t happened for two decades: Fresh Off the Boat is a sitcom about Asian-Americans. In early February, entertainment critics and the Asian-American community alike eagerly anticipated the pilot episode, holding their collective breathe to see how this show would depict a minority that remains largely unrepresented by the media. 

Shining a Light on Harold Hayes and the Glory Days of ‘Esquire’ Magazine

Gabriella Tutino

Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s documents the rise and fall of both Esquire and Hayes’ presence in the social and cultural mainstream. Written, directed and narrated by Tom Hayes, Harold Hayes’ son, the documentary features interviews with past and present Esquire writers, editors, photographers and staff, as well as film clips and sound recordings of Harold Hayes at work and at home. The documentary dives into both Harold Hayes’ past and Esquire’s history; this context is important because it demonstrates just how fateful it was for their two paths to coincide. 

‘The Loft,’ ‘Seventh Son’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Eric Van Looy’s remake of the Danish film “Loft” is an off-kilter morality play marked by unseemly characters, unlikely actions and a multitude of twists. The plot centers on five men – Vincent (Karl Urban), Chris (James Marsden), Luke (Wentworth Miller), Marty (Eric Stonestreet) and Philip (Matthias Schoenaerts) – who agree to rent a secret loft where they can take women without their wives’ knowledge.

‘American Sniper,’ ‘Strange Magic’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Director Clint Eastwood’s meditation on the life of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle was the hit of the movie award’s season. It won only a single Oscar (for sound editing), but it was up for six awards including best picture, and it grossed more than all the other best picture nominees combined. In other words, the film was a critical darling as well as a box-office smash, a combination that is difficult to achieve.    

Remembering Montgomery Clift: The Forgotten Forerunner

Megan Walsh

Montgomery Clift has faded from our cultural landscape so completely that even the most enduring images from some of his most important films aren't of him. Take From Here to Eternity, for example: a film remembered more for dramatic kissing in the surf than the conflicted young man who starred in it.So first the question is: who is Montgomery Clift? Clift was a movie star of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s who blazed brightly in the early part of his career before an inevitable deterioration, considered by those in the know to be one of the greatest actors of all time. 

Sex, Death and Artificial Intelligence Clash in ‘Ex Machina’

Lee Polevoi

In Ex Machina, a new film by Alex Garland, a 26-year-old programming whizkid named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a company lottery. The prize? Spend a week at the remote and sleekly futuristic home of the company’s billionaire founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac), and conduct a test to determine if Nathan’s latest invention actually possesses the long-sought-after holy grail of science – artificial intelligence (AI). 

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