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February 21, 2017 – 11:54 am

Spoiler Alert: The answer is “yes.”

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Articles in Essays

Captain Fantastic — A Homeschooler’s Perspective

January 22, 2017 – 10:28 pm
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(l to r) Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben and Annalise Basso as Vespyr in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, a Bleecker Street release.
Credit: Wilson Webb / Bleecker Street

As someone who grew up homeschooled, I have become accustomed to negative portrayals of homeschooling throughout media. Homeschoolers are awkward, they don’t know how to socialize, or as one comedian put it, “They’re like if an alien took over a regular kid’s body.”

“Don’t Worry, It’s Just a Movie…”

December 3, 2016 – 6:37 pm
last-tango-in-paris-poster

Allegations that Maria Schneider was sexually assaulted–perhaps even raped–while filming Last Tango in Paris aren’t new. But now Bernardo Bertolucci has admitted he did not get the actress’ consent to film an infamous scene in the movie.

3 Screenshots: The Martian

November 5, 2016 – 6:14 pm
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I enjoy films that reward close scrutiny, and I felt I could pause the movie at any point and mediate on the elements of composition.

Fred Zinnemann: Oklahoma!

August 20, 2016 – 6:44 pm
Oklahoma 1

No song is shot completely in one take, but whenever the camera can move instead of cut, it does

Before You Offer LGBTQ People “Thoughts and Prayers” …

August 7, 2016 – 12:46 pm
stonewall uprising

News of the mass murder of forty-nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando spread through social and mainstream media last month, prompting a now familiar pattern of shock, anger, denial, and accusations.

300 (Snyder, 2006) — 10 Years Later

July 24, 2016 – 4:48 pm
300 movie 1

There are great films that depict the horrors of war and honor those who sacrifice themselves as part of it. Saving Private Ryan and Fury come to mind. There are many as well about civilians who sacrifice money, career, and even lives to promote the progress of a cause or idea greater than themselves. Sacrifice is a noble thing. Of the one who sacrifices his life, the Bible says there is no greater love.

Fred Zinnemann: High Noon

July 3, 2016 – 7:58 pm
High Noon Credits

High Noon does not explain itself nor its hero. One suspects that what Tony Soprano really identified with in Will Kane was his reticence. In today’s political landscape, Kane’s insistence on taking up his gun even after he had officially resigned his position might well be questioned. Neither his wife’s arguments for pacifism nor the town’s pleas for pragmatism are clearly and effectively rebutted. Kane represents an emotional rather than intellectual (or political) argument. The way things are is stipulated, not explained. A man has to do what a man has to do. What that thing is that he must do can only be understood, not explained.

Fred Zinnemann: From Here to Eternity

June 2, 2016 – 4:25 pm
From Here to Eternity 1

From Here to Eternity is a bit of a soap-opera, but at its center is a character who has to stand firm in the face of immense social pressure–pressure that escalates to physical torture and threatens not only his peace of mind, but his life.

School of Rock on Broadway

May 21, 2016 – 4:18 pm
School of Rock Broadway

There’s a pervasive sameness to movies these days. Sure there are pockets of exception: festivals and awards season. Summer is starting earlier and earlier. May is not even over and we’ve already had three comic book movies, with a fourth opening next week. In such a climate, live theater offers an increasingly attractive alternative. And given that more and more movie theaters are raising prices and studios are needlessly rendering two-star action movies into 3D in order to charge a premium, the cost differential isn’t always that great.

Roberto Rossellini and the ‘Moral Point of View’

May 21, 2016 – 11:36 am
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“For me,” he said, “it is above all a moral standpoint from which to view the world. Afterwards it becomes an aesthetic standpoint, but the point of departure is definitely moral.”