This category contains 8 posts

Listmania: The “I Wonder If You Wonder” Top 10 Movies of 2011

Like a lot of film students and critics, I have mixed feelings about ranking movies. For people who write about films for a living, an interesting film – even one of dubious quality – is infinitely preferable to a great one that isn’t particularly attention-grabbing. Art is inherently subjective, so there seems to be little … Continue reading

Always the Bridesmaid: Gender Bias in Hollywood

Changeling. Volver. The Devil Wears Prada. La Vie en Rose. Notes on a Scandal. Dreamgirls. Bridesmaids. Little Children. Rachel Getting Married. My Week with Marilyn. Julie & Julia. Vicky Christina Barcelona. Doubt. Blue Valentine. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. All of these movies have been released since 2006. Every one of them was critically … Continue reading

When Movies Matter

As far as I know, there are only two films in the history of cinema that have essentially saved a person’s life: The Thin Blue Line and Paradise Lost.

What’s in a Name: The Exceptionalism of Rooney Mara

“Did you know there are more people with genius IQ’s living in China than there are people of any kind living in the United States?” “That can’t possibly be true.” “It is.” “What would account for that?” “Well, first, an awful lot of people live in China. But here’s my question: how do you distinguish … Continue reading

An Idiot’s Guide to Correctly Predicting the Oscars (and Winning Your Oscar Pool)

Our culture loves winners. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Academy Awards, people rarely remember the runners-up. It’s this obsession with rewarding excellence that has propelled the Oscars to a level of prominence in pop culture that has almost no equal. The Academy Awards are almost always the second most-watched TV … Continue reading

When Historians Become Film Critics

I’m about to do something profoundly stupid: I’m going to criticize certain parts of a statement issued by the Association of Black Women Historians. To put this is context: I’m a young, relatively privileged white guy, about to disagree with a group of esteemed scholars who have issued a statement rooted in their considerable knowledge … Continue reading

Life as a Descendant

Watching movies is frequently a social experience. We sit in theaters or at home with our friends and listen as other people react to what they’re seeing at the same time we do. This experience shapes how we perceive a film by placing it within a specific context – a place, a time, and a … Continue reading

Consumption and Cultural Currency, or: Why I Forced Myself to Watch The Blind Side

I have a confession to make: I sometimes watch a movie just so I can say that I’ve seen it. When you watch as many movies as I do, I guess this isn’t too surprising, but I sometimes wonder how many great films I’m missing out on because I’ve been busy watching something else, and … Continue reading

Current wonderings…