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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

In my youth, I was a Tolkien acolyte. The Hobbit was always the bedtime story of choice in my house. When I got older, I read and watched all of The Lord of the Rings and became entrenched in Tolkien’s world. I took time to learn about the intricate relationships between the Valar and the … Continue reading

Op-Ed: The Excision of the Protagonist

Television has apexed once again. If the Emmys have proven anything over the past few years, it is that we live in what celebrated filmmaker Steven Soderbergh refers to as “a second golden age of television.” The networks – cable and streaming, more than broadcast – are investing more than ever in smart, original and … Continue reading

News: Trailer Park Boys Comes Back for New Season and Film

Fire up the go-kart, hide your drugs and grab your guns: the boys are back. After four years off the air, Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys is making its impromptu return in a brand new season and film. Fans of the show are understandably excited for the prospect of seeing their favorite miscreants tear … Continue reading

Academia: Eisenstein Goes Plane Crazy

For this essay, my professor asked us to find discuss an animated Disney short film through the lens of Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Quotes in this piece are taken from the translated compilation of Eisenstein’s notes in Jay Leda’s 1988 book, Eisenstein on Disney. Sergei Eisenstein, a Marxist filmmaker and theorist, had a unique relationship with … Continue reading

Op-Ed: The Golden Age of Arthur Comes to an End

A nostalgic, familiar sight as Arthur and his friends are sitting in class with Mr. Ratburn, studiously paying attention as the curmudgeonly teacher drones on about math. But something is off. None of the characters look quite right. Their outlines are bolder and there’s almost no subtlety to their expressions. And now they’re moving, but … Continue reading

Academia: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Pierre Hébert, and the Stereoscope

For this essay, my professor asked us to choose a 19th century optical toy and discuss its relevance to animator Pierre Hébert’s essay Cinema, Animation and the Other Arts. I chose to talk about the Holmes stereoscope. Most of the images herein are stills of Pierre Hébert’s various animated works. In his 1859 article in The Atlantic, … Continue reading

Op-Ed: Dare to Dream of a Better Christopher Nolan

This is a multilayered dreamscape, and you are at its core. You are finished dreaming and would like to regain your consciousness. And in order to ascend, you must get a “kick” to wake up in the next level of the dream world. Under normal circumstances, one can achieve this kick by “dying” – by … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Guest Post)

The first Hunger Games movie pissed me off. Series author Suzanne Collins helped pen the film’s script herself, but the adaptation was troublingly devoid of the substance that made the book so great. Perhaps the best thing about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is how it vastly improves on the first film. A much-needed changing of … Continue reading

Movie Review: 12 Years a Slave

For as long as cinema has existed, there have been movies about human atrocity. It’s one of our favorite things to tell stories about. The optimist would say that these films help us to heal wounds, to work through difficult cultural memories by recreating them in a dramatized context. The pessimist would say that these … Continue reading

Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World

When I saw Kenneth Branagh’s Thor a few years back, I was confused. That isn’t to say I didn’t understand the movie, and I wouldn’t say it wasn’t badly made – I just had no opinion on its content. Perhaps it was the thin character development and gaping plot holes. Maybe it was the hokey … Continue reading

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