Punk Rock and Peter Parker: The Disctinctly Comic Book Politics of Spider-Man: Homecoming

At its core, Spider-Man: Homecoming grasps two fundamental truths that have largely escaped the Marvel Cinematic Universe up until now. First, that comic books and the masked avengers that inhabit their pages are intensely political—that superheroes not only embody the politics of their time, but that the best comics, the ones that remain relevant decades after […]

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Your Name: A Film on Reality, Seen through Fantasy

Your Name (Japanese title: Kimi no Na wa) is one of those rare pieces of art that defies genre classification—that breaks every assumption and expectation of science-fiction, fantasy, and coming-of-age narratives, and that takes our reductionist approach to film and fiction and shows that nice, convenient labels are never necessary in creating powerful works. It simultaneously melds body-swapping and time […]

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You Might Have Missed: The Handmaiden

There is no such thing as a perfect film. But, at least in my view, there are films that are in and of themselves and as pieces of their respective genres the best they could possibly be. And as you can probably imagine, I could count all of them on one hand. That’s not necessarily […]

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Rogue One: A (Star) War(s) Story

Rogue One is many things. It is an action movie, an abbreviated hero narrative, a heist film (for about twenty minutes), and, yes, undeniably, a Star Wars story. However, more than anything else, Rogue One is a war movie, and it inhabits that intersection between escapist action and a horrors-of-war narrative better than any other […]

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Mustang: Beautiful Filmmaking in Its Rawest Form

It’s not often that a film will leave me at a loss for words. Mustang, a foreign film co-produced by France, Germany, and Turkey (in which it’s set), defied every expectation I’d had for how I’d feel when it ended. I knew it had been well-received, that it had won awards, that it had been nominated for a […]

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Sense8, The Oscars, and the Second Diversity Argument

I have a conflicted relationship with Sense8, Netflix and the Wachowskis’ sci-fi/fantasy experiment from last June. On one hand, its writing is absolutely atrocious. It ignores the entire concept of showing over telling, it has no sense of pace or plot, its worldbuilding is all over the place, and its dialogue is filled with some of […]

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