• Eyes Wide Shut, Explained

    December 24, 2020 by

    The first thing we get in Eyes Wide Shut, out of the blue, is nudity: Hardly an erotic shot. You need to build up to erotic nudity, just as you need to build up to orgasm—dropping it out of nowhere is more surprising than titillating. Kubrick is telling us that for this couple, Bill and… Read more

  • The Myth of Pure Comedy

    January 5, 2020 by

    Whenever a comedian gets in trouble for their material, the reaction is polarized. On the one side are the comedian’s critics, who claim the jokes were promoting a bad ideology or were promulgating negative stereotypes. In stark contrast stand the comedian’s defenders, who themselves are outraged at the outrage. The defenders can be found with… Read more

  • Pain in Japanese Cinema

    November 12, 2019 by

    A strange moment is buried near the end of Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Two sister-in-laws, Kyoko and Noriko, are chatting and airing their grievances when Kyoko interjects, “Isn’t life disappointing?” Noriko smiles back at her. “Yes,” she nods. “Nothing but disappointment.” “Well I should get going,” says Kyoko. “Goodbye, then,” responds Noriko. They smile at… Read more

  • The Psychology of Serial Killer Movies

    September 22, 2019 by

    Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is known for the fact that the main character is killed halfway through the movie. In 1960, when the film was released, this was an unprecedented dissection of a traditional character arc – conflict set-up, drive to accomplishment, resolution. However, it is not just innovative as a story structure; it is innovative… Read more

  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Review

    July 31, 2019 by

    Brad Pitt’s character in the ninth and supposedly penultimate Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has an air of ironic fatigue throughout the film. When his tire is slashed by a slack-jawed hippie, he reluctantly punches the perpetrator in the face until the tire is repaired. When Bruce Lee challenges him to… Read more

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