Ivory tower

Ivory Tower is a documentary that exposes the perils of investing so much money in higher education. At that same time, it fosters credence in the faulty belief that everyone should attend college. There are moments within that offer alternative arteries to education. One is at an isolated “college” in an agrarian setting in California. The other […]



man on fire denzel washington dakota fanning

In Tony Scott’s second of four films with Denzel Washington, he explores the body through the politics of safety. A note at the beginning of the film informs us that “There is one kidnapping every 60 seconds in Latin America.” 70% of the victims do not survive. This is predominately true in Juarez, Mexico, a city that […]



nymphomaniac volume 2 charlotte gainsbourg

Nymphomaniac Vol. 2 continues with the foreseeable consequences within any film that deals with the trope of addiction. Joe is, inevitably, going to try to find a higher high – or in this case a resurgent orgasm – and ultimately hit rock bottom, both of which she does. However, there are moments within this second installment that […]




Ten Years Later — Kill Bill Vol. 2

kill bill 2 darryl hannah michael madsen lucy liu

In Kill Bill, Vol. 1, Tarantino offered an homage to kung fu films, showing how easily they translate into American cinema, particularly the super hero genre, wherein a hero is created by circumstance. The Bride (Uma Thurman) is shot in the head on her wedding day and her child in utero is taken from her. When we […]



nymphomaniac volume 1 charlotte gainsbourg

Lars Von Trier’s Nyphomaniac Vol. I is, unfortunately, disappointing. Perhaps it’s because it comes on the heels of astonishingly profound films like Antichrist and Melancholia. Certainly, the former has been misunderstood as misogynistic propaganda with a load of shock value and the latter has been largely dismissed because of a comment about the Nazi aesthetic being taken […]



behind the candelabra michael douglas matt damon

As the title suggests, Behind the Candelabra, in part, is about deception. The archetype for twentieth-century flamboyance, Liberace (Golden Globe winner Michael Douglas), refuses to age in front of his audience with the aide of numerous plastic surgeries, wigs, and makeup. His lover cum adopted son – sorta – convinces himself that he is the only one […]



Grand budapest hotel ralph fiennes

Hotels are a fascinating dichotomy. In their erection, they symbolize a cohesive permanence, while each of their subdivided quarters represents separation and temporality – momentary domiciles with perfunctory furnishings and individual use accoutrements like soaps, shampoos, and mouthwashes. Used once these items are thrown away. Used for a day, each room is inhabited and abandoned, like a […]



breaking amish

In 2012, MTV’s Buckwild founded a genre that could one day be referred to as “degenerate porn,” wherein an isolated group of nine teenagers from West Virginia act crazy on a regular basis, refute the role of adulthood and avoid responsibility at all costs. As per usual, this MTV-produced show was 98% scripted, thus – much like […]




Adore — Wrong or Uncomfortable

adore naomi watts robin wright

Adore is, at its core, inconceivably silly. Despite characteristically strong performances by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, the film is on the border of pushing the envelope and devolving to ludicrousness. As life-long friends, Lil (Watts) and Roz (Wright) are inseparable. Their childhoods spent together floating on a raft in the water is only a testament to […]



hunger games catching fire jennifer lawrence josh hutcherson

Despite the change in directors, Hunger Games: Catching Fire maintains a similar coolness and eeriness imparted by the first. While the first installment created a Nazi-driven subtext, the second emphasizes President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) and Plutarch Heavensby’s (Philip Seymour Hoffman) darkness. The suffocating imageries of both jungle and ocean add to the feelings of isolation and apprehension […]