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  • Beach Rats

    Beach Rats

    It’d be one thing if Beach Rats were a movie about outright self-loathing—something of a dead horse, frankly, in gay coming-of-age stories, particularly those about men. Frankie is, to be clear, a little uncertain about who he is. But he’s also curious. And thanks to Hittman, who won a directing award at Sundance in January, we’re curious, too. She told Vulture recently that her inspiration for the movie was an image: a shirtless selfie, eyes covered, that was posted on…

  • Blue Collar

    Blue Collar

    “I didn’t set out to make a left-wing film,” Paul Schrader told Cinéaste in 1978. “I had no visions of making this into a concrete political thing; it had to operate in the area of entertainment. I wanted to write a movie about some guys who rip off their union because it seemed to me such a wonderfully self-hating kind of act, that they would attack the organization that’s supposed to help them.”

    That’s a bit cynical but, then, this…

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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    A colleague from my graduate program published this substantial piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books taking the movie to task smartly, but perhaps in over-familiar ways—it's the best and most worthwhile version of an argument about race, privilege and this film that I disagree with. It raises a lot of questions for me, so I responded on Facebook today (1.16.2017) with the following:

    This is really sharp. The points about melodrama and masculinity are especially dead-on. I think…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    Here is when it all falls apart -- rather, shows itself becoming the film it wants, but doesn't need to be. Marty Baron (Schreiber) has just become the new editor of the Boston Globe. Boston is a Catholic town, rich with institutional history: a robust popular press, a monolithic church. Baron, newly minted as the editor of the biggest newspaper in town and a Jew to boot, must meet with Cardinal Bernard Law, the since-defamed Archbishop of Boston, because these…