‘Topaz’: Romance in a Violent World

People fall in love everywhere, all the time. They fall for fellow workers and comrades. They flirt in dirty bomb shelters in much the same way they meet in beautiful marketplaces. Naked, both emotionally and physically, we are all quite similar and circumstances just make us more or less creative about finding ways into one…

‘The Birds’

I grew up hearing about two Hitchcock films: ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Birds’. Where the former lives up to the thrill of a well-turned plot, the latter is more of a bloody mess. In most scary movies there’s a human-like body out to get people. ‘The Birds’ takes someone’s phobia of birds and preserves it for…

The Soul Journey of ‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’

What are we to do when something nags us inside and won’t let our attention go? What are we, soft humans, to think when we are caught being so very different from the crowd and feel no remorse- feel nothing but the irrepressible urge to follow the thing that calls our name? Obsessed, possessed, crazy-…

‘Big Eyes’: Hidden Histories

Women’s stories are just beginning to come to light in film beyond chick flicks and romances. Tim Burton’s latest feature goes a step beyond drama, even, depicting the true story of a talented woman who was taken advantage of by a thieving conman (who she married). ‘Big Eyes’ unmasks an awful trend in history, one…

This One Goes Out to ‘The One I Love’

He said and she said: their love was tanking. The romance was a struggle. Could they ever move forward together with the baggage they carried unpacked? Or was this the time to part ways- while things were still relatively amicable? He said and she said they should go by what their therapist said, and so…

The Quiet Lineage of Class War: ‘Little Accidents’

America, “the land of the free”, is a vast space with two borders that bleed drinkable prosperity and a center that struggles to keep the so-called American Dream alive. I hesitate not to explore the ways in which America is impoverished educationally, intellectually, morally, and spiritually. As an American woman, I cannot afford to withhold…

‘Appropriate Behavior’: The Importance of Unromantic Comedy

In an awards season teeming with adorable, quirky romantic comedies, Desiree Akhavan’s decidedly unromantic comedy is a nice departure from average depictions of relationship woes. In ‘Appropriate Behavior’ protagonist Shirin (played by writer/director Akhavan) struggles with finding her way in the world, stuck between her traditional Iranian family’s expectations and her own desires after a…

‘Marnie’: The Complexities of a ” Sex Mystery”

“One might call ‘Marnie’ a ‘sex mystery’, if one used such words.” – Alfred Hitchcock ‘Marnie’ is by far the most extreme vision of frigidity Hitchcock ever explored. Adapted by Jay Presson Allen from Winston Graham’s novel of the same name, it serves as an oddly seductive screen commentary about the origins of psychosis in…

Conservation as Documentary: ‘Virunga’

When I told three different friends that I’d seen Orlando van Einsiedel’s documentary, ‘Virunga’, their reactions were similar. They knew the film was about a park where gorillas live, but they didn’t know where in Africa the film was made or what the situation was in that country. I was with them before I saw…