Torture Worn: Martyrs

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As Anna (Morjana Alaoi) walks tepidly down the uncomfortably clean, chrome hallway, the overhead lights go on, one by one, revealing something akin to a claustrophobic passageway to Hell. There are pictures, blown up, on the wall. On them are bodies, gaunt, beaten, broken down, aesthetically comparable to Mengelian victims of experimentation. Up on the wall are “real life” martyrs, women and children who have submitted their bodies completely to pain. Their eyes are open, accepting not only every ounce of cruelty made upon them, but, seemingly on humankind in general. Read the rest of this entry »

Same Blood: ‘Let the Right One In’ and Young Queerness

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large let the right one in blu-ray11Oskar, the pre-pubescent protagonist of Let the Right One In, is about as pale as the snow that blankets the frigid landscape around him in Stockholm, Sweden. His hair is technically blonde, but looks so drained of its color it might as well be just as frosted as his skin. He’s emaciated, seemingly all skin and bone with no muscle to be found. His lips look like faint, thin grey lines on his face. He is, most importantly, androgynous looking. All of these elements that make of Oskar’s character, not to mention his slight personality, so timid and naïve, are enough to give the bullies at his school reason enough to violently harass him. Even at the tender age of 12, the roles in this society are set: if one does not demonstrate the perceived standard for masculinity (or, conversely, femininity, such as in Carrie), one is immediately ostracized. It’s nothing new. Oh, and Oskar just might be a young person in search of his queer identity. Read the rest of this entry »

The Eye in Team: The Gaze of ‘Foxcatcher’

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Foxcatcher either doesn’t care or doesn’t want to establish exactly from whose perspective the film is, which is, in a way, a double edged sword. So much of the film takes pleasure in lacing every frame and action with ambiguity that it does, understandably, get frustrating. It at once wants to become intimate with its characters – Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), two Olympic gold medalists in wrestling, and John du Pont (Steve Carell), the “rich old guy” that recruits both of them to help his Team Foxcatcher to become best in the world – and get inside their heads, but these characters seem to push back against that very idea. So far as understanding them, we get nothing, which is a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

NYFF2014: The Long Good High – ‘Inherent Vice’

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A haze of smoke uncoils and dances in the air, slinking out from of the mouth of Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), part-time private investigator and, ostensibly, full-time pothead. So light and loony this character (and film) is, Inherent Vice almost comes as a surprise to those following the career of Paul Thomas Anderson, whose last few films have fit, for the most part, comfortably within a mode of seriousness. Vice, while hard to describe as frivolous, is not as married to that tone, instead taking on something goofier, funnier, and consistent with Anderson’s work; something enjoyably off-kilter.
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New York, New York Film Fest

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In case you didn’t already know, I’ve been in New York covering the 52nd annual New York Film Festival! I’m having an amazing time! Meeting awesome people, seeing awesome films. You can catch up and track my coverage over here, including my review of David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Hope everyone is well!

- Kyle

Trashpect Ratio 2 – Eating Raoul

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Kyle Turner:

And onto the second episode, where I was the only person who didn’t like the film. Woe is me.

Originally posted on Trashpect Ratio:

EATING RAOUL - American PosterIt’s the ides of September, and Trashpect Ratio has returned for a second helping! There’s lots to chew on as the Trashpectors’ digest Paul Bartel’s black comedy “Eating Raoul” in this months movie club, some finding it easier to swallow than others. But that’s not all there is on the menu, on the side we have a bite-sized talk on box-office, blu rays and british broadcast frequencies. It all adds up to a recipe for one delicious dish, a podcast film feast. Tuck in. Food.

To listen to the episode, click HERE! iTunes link is still coming through, but it should be here for next time.

This Month’s Movie
Eating Raoul

Next Month’s Movie
Naked

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Is That a Question?: If I Stay

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It’s rarely a good idea to walk into a film with preconceived notions, but it’s rarely something a person can help unless they’re able to go completely blind. But, unless you’re at a festival, it’s hard to do that these days given the advertising saturation film culture. Even if you’re not intentionally surrounding yourself with it, chances are, it’ll still be in the background. So, that being said, I walked into If I Stay, a YA weepy movie based on a YA weepy novel by Gayle Forman, with average to low expectations. I thought, At worst, it’ll be forgettable. And somehow, I was so, so wrong.

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