TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

Leo Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with a doozy: “All happy familiars are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” An aphorism that holds true on any day, but for Ryder and his family, that day is today. Ryder (Logan Miller) and his parents, Cindy (Robin Weigert) and Don (Richard Schiff), drove across the country, from California to Nebraska, for Grandma’s birthday and even though they haven’t even arrived, tension is already building. “Don’t tell them you’re gay,” Cindy advises her seventeen-year-old son. Her advice is stifling — how can he not be? — but Cindy is from … Continue reading TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

It’s been said many times before — probably every four years — but rarely has it been said with such vitriol, or rung as true: “Americans are going to get the president they deserve.” Gone are the days of 2008’s campaign of hope and change we can believe in. Nope, nowadays candidates sour the conversation, poison the rhetoric and behave like petulant children. A nation shrugs. We brought this upon ourselves. The same can be said of Zack Snyder’s perverse and uneven superhero slobber knocker, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Picking up during the climatic battle between General Zod … Continue reading BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

CREATIVE CONTROL

The revolution may not be televised, but it will be personalized. In the future you will be able to get what you need and give it the face you want, the personality you like and the bustline you desire. Make way for tomorrow. Set in the near-future, Creative Control centers on David (Benjamin Dickinson), an ad executive hotshot — a little bit Christian Bale, a little bit Adam Scott and a whole lot of Don Draper — at a firm that is trying to land a new, game-changing client, Augmenta, a virtual reality device housed in a pair of reading … Continue reading CREATIVE CONTROL

KNIGHT OF CUPS

“How do I begin?” Knight of Cups, the latest movie from writer/director Terrence Malick, follows Hollywood screenwriter Rick (Christian Bale) as he tries to understand what his life is now that his brother has died and his career is on the precipice of a momentous piece of work. True to Malickian form, none of this is spelled out, and the above quote does not come from a piece of dialogue snatched from a conversation, but from Rick’s inner thoughts. Or from a prayer. Or maybe just a simple voiceover. There is no real way of telling, but that doesn’t matter. … Continue reading KNIGHT OF CUPS

Once upon a dream — An interview with Disney animator Kira Lehtomaki

“I was three years old when I saw Sleeping Beauty,” Disney animator Kira Lehtomaki says, “When Briar Rose was dancing and singing in the forest with the animals, I said, I want to do that!” Lehtomaki certainly isn’t the first child to watch a Disney movie and find enchantment, but she is one of the few who stuck with it and found a way to turn that dream into a reality. “By the time I got to kindergarten, I remember — I still have the paper actually, because I’m a hoarder and I keep everything — they had a little worksheet [that … Continue reading Once upon a dream — An interview with Disney animator Kira Lehtomaki

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT

“History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme.” —Mark Twain Embrace of the Serpent tells the story of the pilgrim’s journey down the Amazon River and into the Columbian jungle. The story is told twice, first in 1909 and then in 1940, and in both instances the pilgrim is looking for a rare and exotic plant that only one guide is capable of finding. The first exhibition — based loosely on the diaries of the scientist who undertook this endeavor — finds Theo (Jan Bijvoet), a young, Dutch scientist and Karamakate (Nilbio Torres) as his Virgil. Theo is looking … Continue reading EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT

ZOOTOPIA

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” —Cinderella, 1950 The Walt Disney Corporation is a company built upon a foundation of wishes and dreams. Be it a wish to find Prince Charming, for adventure, for a genie’s freedom, a chance to be a real boy or to never grow up, Disney has personalized the American Dream since Snow White sang into that well back in 1937. As animator Marc Davis once pointed out, making those dreams come true, turning those wishes into reality, has been consistent ever since: be a good person and be kind to animals. Those two … Continue reading ZOOTOPIA