Hollywood

‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘The Book Thief’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen are treasures of modern cinema who somehow craft one great movie after another, regardless of the genre they explore. In 2010, they reinvigorated the Western with a beautiful adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel “True Grit.” Their latest film, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” treads different territory but is just as compelling. Set in 1961, the film introduces viewers to Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a fictional folk singer struggling to make it in New York’s Greenwich Village. 

Manufacturing Identity: The Art Behind the Cult of Celebrity

Benjamin Wright

With the revolution in new technologies that was part of the larger revolution in industry more than just strong character and virtue was needed to be famous. In the age of television commercials, public relations and televised debates (as the Kennedy-Nixon debate amply demonstrated) it is questionable whether a man like George Washington could be elected president if he were to run for office today, when image has in so many ways supplanted substance. 

Predictable Themes of Ennui, Infidelity Plague Tedious 'In Secret'

Kaitlyn Fajilan

Though "putrid" isn't quite the word to describe this Charlie Stratton adaptation of Zola's classic (though it does boast one or two bloated corpses), there is sense of overripeness to the film, a tinge of déjà vu in that we've seen this story played out countless times before and already know how it is going to end. Elizabeth Olsen (of Martha Marcy May Marlene fame) plays the parentless Thérèse, whose overbearing aunt, Madame Raquin (Jessica Lange), forces her into an engagement with her only child, the sickly and decidedly humdrum Camille (portrayed by Tom Felton). 

Movies to Watch in 2014

Kate Voss

Now that the awards season is almost over, with only the Academy Awards remaining, our attention turns toward the most eagerly awaited films of 2014. This past year focused on real-life stories, with stellar accomplishments like 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, The Butler, and Mandela. However, 2014 is looking to both expand on and provide some counterpoint to this trend, with a new crop of fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural films, as well as historical fiction.

The Ongoing Revolution of Television

Veronica Mendez

Media platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and even Amazon have all released successful series this past season. They have lured big-time writers and directors like Weed's Jenji Kohan and “Fight Club’s” David Fincher. TV is now drawing big-time players like Matthew McCaughey (True Detective), Martin Scorsese (Boardwalk Empire), and John Goodman (Alpha House) to the small screen,  which was unthinkable 10 years ago.Yet this “Golden Age” in TV also means fierce competition. With the rise in popularity of digital platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, the television landscape has been severely altered. 

The Bamboo Ceiling: Why Hollywood Ignores Asians

Andrew Lam

Cats and Asian Americans reign supreme on Youtube, but in Hollywood it’s another story: discrimination, stereotypes and exclusion are the norm for Asians, both on television and the silver screen. The most recent evidence of this came during the Golden Globe awards ceremony, where viewers were hard-pressed to find an Asian face in the audience, let alone an Asian name among the nominees. The TV camera showed flashes of the marvelous Lucy Liu and comedian Ansari Aziz, as if trying to make sure that these two “cats” would somehow make up for the lack of Asian diversity. 

Wherefore Art Thou, Golden Age of Hollywood?

John McGovern

 The Graduate established that the old generation of Hollywood been had usurped by a new generation, Apocalypse Now served as a harsh reminder that the freedoms and economic prosperity of the ‘60s had started to fade away. Soon, Reagan would dismiss public pessimism brought about by the war in Vietnam as the “Vietnam Syndrome.” Coppola’s film was one of the last great reminders (in mainstream movies) that all good things must come to an end. During the past three-plus decades since the release of the latter film, U.S. cinema has not seen such a prolific time period, as the existence of original directors post-1980 has been more of an exception than a rule. 

Subversive Subservience: Exploring the History of Black Servitude in Hollywood

Sophia Dorval

It would appear that as usual, what's old is new again.   Yet even by modern Hollywood standards, the mere act of humanizing Black domestic characters who were denied lines and had long stood silently in the shadows of white stars in countless iconic films including Father of The Bride, is revolutionary.   While they may appear to simply be masculine and feminine versions of each other:  Both focus on changing attitudes regarding race in American society, and both focus on generational and cultural divides between parents and their offspring.   

Hollywood Finally Catches Up With History

Salamishah Tillet

Steve McQueen's masterful 12 Years a Slave has already changed history in two major ways: It is the first Hollywood-backed movie on slavery directed by a black filmmaker, and based on Solomon Northup's 1853 oral account, it is the first film ever based on an actual slave narrative. While the former results from the dearth of black directors who are able to get historical dramas funded and distributed by major studios, the latter reveals a more troubling truth. 

Fernando Trueba's New Film Searches for the Artistic Ideal

William Eley

"So, the best we can do is to remain in a small corner eating some potatoes… while there is some left," thus states the artist in Fernando Trueba's latest feature The Artist and the Model.  This aforementioned declaration, or, perhaps, exhalation, summarizes well the central thesis of this mesmeric, black and white masterpiece:  war is an interruption, an impediment in the way of beauty and its purveyors.  

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