(Editor’s note: as announced earlier this week, this is Talicia’s last trailer with us – we hope for a while, but we’re prepared if the vacation is permanent. We’ve absolutely loved having her with us, and she’s headed toward some truly wonderful things on the personal and professional fronts. We could not be happier for her. That said, she’ll be missed. Today sort of feels like the end scene of The Golden Girls, when Dorothy hugs everyone goodbye after she marries her dreamboat. You are the Dorothy to my Blanche, Talicia. You’re always welcome back for cheesecake on the lanai.)
In my previous trailer summary, I described the problem some filmmakers have with telling a true story in a way that erases part of their subject’s identity. So it’s with mixed feelings I write this next trailer summary for Welcome to Marwen.
The original Mark Hogancamp was beaten to death (literally) by thugs because he was a cross-dresser. After he was resuscitated and began the long process of healing, he created dioramas as a way to creatively express himself and cope with his disability. The trailer doesn’t make it clear that cross-dressing is the reason he’s attacked, and the thugs in question have been written as actual Nazis. Undoubtedly, that’s representative of the movie Hogancamp’s dioramas, in which he creates replicas of his friends and his enemies, who happen to be the Nazi villains to his WWII soldier hero. I expect that this representation of badass women friends and Nazi villains is also meant to be timely in light of current events. But I hope that don’t erase the nature of what makes Hogancamp “different.”
Citizen Kane (1941) is one of those films that continually receives acclaim with good reason: it’s gripping, it’s well-acted, and it’s expertly directed by writer/director/producer/star Orson Welles. Welles drew inspiration for the film’s main character, Charles Foster Kane, from several …Continue reading →
I want a vacation. I figured I may as well go big since this is the time of year when the final throes of summer come into play. Let’s go for something big… something flashy… something splashy. Something that tells …Continue reading →
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty on the fence with Aubrey Plaza. On one hand, she’s effective in her roles as a smartass that doesn’t care what you think. On the other hand, she’s a little too good …Continue reading →
Like a lot of people, I missed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World when it came out in 2012. The film didn’t perform that well at the box office, which is a damn shame because it’s surprising …Continue reading →
Sofia Coppola did not exactly have a great 2017. The Beguiled had some issues, to say the least. One of my favorite pieces of 2017 press, coincidentally, came from that promotional lag: longtime collaborator Kirsten Dunst basically told her boss …Continue reading →
Martin McDonagh’s 2012 gem Seven Psychopaths is a fun one to catch. The story of screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell), who gets mixed up in a dog heist that now involves mobsters and killers, it’s a fun little jaunt into both …Continue reading →
I was talking with my friend Cate the other night about The Machinist over dinner. The 2004 film concerns Trevor (Christian Bale), a machinist who begins to doubt his sanity whilst playing a game of cat and mouse with a …Continue reading →
The Shape of Water has something odd going for it: it’s been playing in various places while remaining absent in others for some time. For example, it came out in limited release in the U.S. in early December, then got …Continue reading →
When I was a little girl, my family belonged to a particular sect of the Evangelical Church known as Fundamentalists: meaning they adhered to a literal interpretation of the Christian Bible as a means of practicing the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The churches we attended tended to be tightly-knit sects that fiercely squashed any questioning of its tenants and often fell under the sway of charismatic and obdurate leaders. These leaders were to be obeyed as if they were God, for they were seen as God’s chosen spokesman. I am not speaking for all members of these types of churches, but as I grew older the line between these I attended and those that wound up on the nightly news blurred more and more. At the time, we were like most people in that we felt we were too smart for a cult. We would never drink poison or live monastically away from family and friends to “help God along” in our destination to the afterlife. And yet…that’s basically that’s what we were asked to do. The only things keeping us from joining the fates of so many were education and our parents’ inability to perpetually swallow inordinate amounts of bullshit.
The story of such a group is being retold in a 6-part miniseries beginning on January 24. Waco stars Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo, and Taylor Kitsch (as David Koresh), and will attempt to convey the story of the Branch Davidians as their leader hurtled them towards a showdown with the United States government that lasted 51 days. There is still some bitter blood between small government types and federal law enforcement, and the Branch Davidian compound is still held up as an example of “big government” enforcing itself onto a group’s right to practice their faith as they saw fit…even if that group suffered severe mental and sexual abuse at the hands of their leader (it was even a key source of inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing that occurred two years later). One argument is that it didn’t have to end the way it did if the feds hadn’t gotten involved. Another is that Koresh’s crimes forced the hands of local and federal law officials to take drastic measures. In any regard, it proved a recipe for tragedy. And lest we fall to the temptation of elevating ourselves as being free of any such influence, remember that no one is above falling under the spell of a flashy showman with a gift for gab that claims to know exactly what it takes to solve all our problems and is willing to fight the government on our behalf. Sound familiar?