Film & TV

The Makings of a TV Show: How ‘Server Life’ Happened

Christopher Karr

Our endless conversations about these characters led us to creating a gallery around Christmas of 2013. We drew stick figures on pages from a sketch pad, wrote basic descriptors, and posted them on the wall above our TV. For months our living room looked like an eight-year-old was trying to solve a crime scene. We’d look at the stick figures and consider how they might interact with each other. We would come home from work every night, regroup, and share stories from the insane shifts we managed to make it through. 

Why Do the Oscars Ignore Actors of Color?

Jacqueline Keeler

Even films like “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” which were viewed as Oscar contenders only garnered nominations for Sylvester Stallone and white writers Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff. And, unsurprisingly, after 88 years there are still no Oscar nominations for Native American actors or filmmakers or writers. Indians have been a part of Hollywood at least as long as the cowboy. But the struggle to disentangle our modern selves from the old storylines set up at the dawn of the medium of cinema continues into the 21st century.

The Female Takeover of Hollywood? Soon, But Not Yet

Angelo Franco

The answer to that may lie with Sorkin’s incendiary comments. As was the case with Bridesmaids, women-centered films make, on average, more money than male-driven movies. In 2014, for example, the film The Other Woman, about three women who find out they are dating the same guy and form a bond amongst each other and a revenge plan against him, opened to an unexpected $24.7 million in weekend sales, taking the number-one spot on the box office to beat out juggernaut Captain America: The Winter Soldier

‘The New Rijksmusuem’ Sheds Light on the Renovation of the Netherlands’ Most Famous Museum

Gabriella Tutino

While the designs and construction of the museum are being worked on, restoration and organization for the museum’s art collection—1 million objects ranging from sculptures to paintings to furniture—is also underway. The documentary sheds a light into some of the processes and behind-the-scenes of the work it takes to maintain art, as well as acquire pieces. For example, the film follows Curator of Asian Art Menno Fitski as he procures two Japanese temple guards for an exhibit, and it follows Curator of Furniture Reinier Baarsen as he oversees the reproduction of a 17th century room.

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’

Melinda Parks

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. 

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