All posts filed under: Movies

Watch “Hate Rising” with Jorge Ramos

I first heard about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’ documentary, Hate Rising, from an interview on NPR that aired in the fall (listen to Jorge Ramos in Hate, Politics, and the Trump Effect, and To Make ‘Hate Rising,’ Jorge Ramos Spent Time with Hate Groups), but didn’t watch the film until after the election. Surely, seeing this documentary following November 8th had a different impact than it would have had if I had watched it earlier, and post-inauguration viewing will again produce a new meaning. In the film, Ramos explores the concerning rise in hate in the U.S., speaking with members of the KKK and the “Alt-Right” (a young, tech savvy version of the KKK), as well as those effected by their deplorable ideologies and actions. While Hate Rising is a particularly difficult documentary to watch, I believe it’s necessary in this current political climate to know exactly what we’re up against. And due to the administration’s recent executive orders on the border wall and immigration ban targeting Muslims, this film is more relevant now than ever. Please watch Hate Rising and share it …

Trailers for Some of My Favorite Cult Classics

From magnificent treasures, to movies so bad that they’re good, here are the trailers to some of my all-time favorite cult classics! What are yours? Be sure to share your recommendations in the comment section below. 🙂 Labyrinth (dir. Jim Henson, 1986) Wet Hot American Summer (dir. David Wain, 2001) Office Space (dir. Mike Judge, 1999) The Big Lebowski (dir. Joel & Ethan Coen, 1998) Troll 2 (dir. Claudio Fragasso, 1990) The Breakfast Club (dir. John Hughes, 1985) Easy Rider (dir. Dennis Hopper, 1969) Harold and Maude (dir. Hal Ashby, 1971) Hausa (dir. Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1977) The Room (dir. Tommy Wiseau, 2003) What are some of your favorite cult classics?

Essential Resources for Media Scholars & Fans

Whether you study media, teach media, or are just into media – the internet is full of resources. Below is a list of the sites that I use when I’m researching a film or television series, or even putting together a lesson plan for my undergraduate discussion section. Check ’em out, and be sure to share your favorite media studies resources in the comment section below! I’m always looking for new sites to explore.   Film Studies For Free → Film Studies For Free is a web-archive of open access (and ultra valuable) film and media studies resources. The site not only links to written work of note, but also features a number of spectacular video essays, my personal favorite medium for examining film and television.   Shot Logger → Shot Logger describes itself as a site that “facilitates the analysis of visual style in film and television.” Run by the Telecommunication and Film Department at The University of Alabama, Shot Logger boasts 941 films and TV shows logged, and 295,302 frames captured as of December 2015. For an example of the depth of …

‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Turns 10

Little Miss Sunshine was released 10 years ago today, on July 26, 2006. Though a decade old, the film still resonates as a dark comedy about the complications of life at any age. Little Miss Sunshine seems to pinpoint, especially, the fact that going on a trip with your dysfunctional family can actually be therapeutic. As a film it’s funny, sad, and delightfully honest – much like life itself. I recently posted about six of my favorite road trip films, and of course Little Miss Sunshine made the list! So be sure to check out that post if you want to read a little more about why I love this film. Otherwise, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, here are a few stills from Little Miss Sunshine:

La Filmothèque: An Online Film Library

I recently discovered La Filmothèque, a web-based public domain film library, and I thought it would be a great resource to share here on Catch-all. As an online film library, La Filmothèque provides easy access to classic films that are available in the public domain. Their library includes M, Man with a Movie Camera, and Un Chien Andalou, just to name a few film history essentials. La Filmothèque curates both well-known and more obscure films in order to create a space where film scholars, students, and fans alike can dive deep into the fun and exciting world of cinema’s past. La Filmothèque aims to expose audience members to films, genres, and directors that they might not have been aware of otherwise. The site categorizes films by genre, decade, country of origin, and director, allowing users to peruse the library however they see fit. The site also features a Film Store, where users can buy classic films recommended by La Filmothèque’s team. I myself am truly excited to be able to use La Filmothèque for my own academic and entertainment purposes, and am looking forward to sharing the site with the students …

6 Great Road Trip Films

When I think of summer, one of the first things that comes to mind is road trips. Exploration, freedom, discovery…rediscovery. Because it’s summer and I’ve been on a few trips recently myself, I decided it would be fun to do a post sharing six road trip films that I consider to be personal favorites. Thematically, it seems that the road trip genre is so wonderful because it expands the ways in which characters can be explored. On the road, we’re vulnerable. Though the journey of a road trip film may not start with the intent of personal exploration, what follows is nearly always life changing. The characters grow; they learn more about themselves and their compatriots, and often even more about the society they live in. The six films I’ve selected to post a short blurb about all share a few similarities. Most evident is the fact that all of the characters featured in these films make discoveries and decisions that are irreversible; their lives change on the road, for better or for worse. Discovery and change are the two clearest motifs that characterize these road trip films, …

‘Thelma & Louise’ Turns 25

Thelma & Louise (dir. Ridley Scott) premiered on May 24th, 1991, making today the 25th anniversary of the film. At the time of its release it was noted as being a fantastically feminist movie, and it remains completely relevant to this day. Thelma & Louise is a celebration of friendship and sisterhood, which encompasses some of the complexities and complications of being a woman. In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, below are just a few stills, complete with a shirtless Brad Pitt. 🙂 Enjoy! And if you have a story about your first time seeing Thelma & Louise, please share it in the comment section below!

Some Movies That I Simply Can’t Stand

I don’t typically like writing negatively about films (because it takes so much hard work and creativity to make a movie) but I decided to get a little snarky this week anyways. Here are a few films that I strongly dislike. If you totally disagree with one or more of my picks, I’d love to hear from you! I also want to know what movies you just can’t stand either! It’s good to be brutally honest once and awhile. El Topo (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970) I wish I was cool enough to like El Topo. I consider myself to be into the “weird” and “surreal,” but Jodorowsky takes it too far for me. Before watching the El Topo I had read that it was John Lennon’s favorite film, so naturally, I wanted to love it. Unfortunately, it’s just too damn weird for me. Like way too weird, and super creepy! Jobs (dir. Joshua Michael Stern, 2013) This is an example of what a movie should not be: overly dramatic, poorly written, and with little character development. You can read my review for Critics Associated for a deeper understanding …

The Decay of Cinema or a New Cine-love?

I recently read Susan Sontag’s “The Decay of Cinema,” published in the New York Times in 1996, for the undergraduate class at USC that I’m a teaching assistant for. In the essay she laments the commercialization of the Hollywood studio system, and how spectatorship evolved from an intimate and exciting experience in a darkened theater, to the less immersive comfort of a living room. At the crux of her essay is a memoriam to cinephilia, which she argues was once celebrated, but eroded by the turn of cinema’s 100th anniversary. Sontag’s argument essentially equates cinephilia with a certain type of movie-lover; for a true cinephile, cinema is their everything, and they elect to watch films in the most enveloping of spaces – the movie theater. “Cinephilia itself has come under attack, as something quaint, outmoded, snobbish. For cinephilia implies that films are unique, unrepeatable, magic experiences. Cinephilia tells us that the Hollywood remake of Godard’s “Breathless” cannot be as good as the original. Cinephilia has no role in the era of hyperindustrial films. For cinephilia cannot help, by the very range and eclecticism of …

‘Under The Gun’: Examining the Gun Debate

Last week I had the chance to attend the Los Angeles premiere of Under the Gun, directed by Stephanie Soechtig and executive produced by Katie Couric. The film examines America’s complex gun problem, from Sandy Hook to the streets of Chicago, and takes aim at the gun show loophole and the country’s most powerful lobby, the National Rifle Association. Although the documentary certainly leans left, the film also gives a voice to gun advocates who hold their right to bear arms dearly. Under the Gun concludes with a positive outlook and a common thread: though we may disagree about guns, we’re (mostly) in agreement that they should stay out of the wrong hands. On January 8th, 2011 my Congressional Representative, Gabby Giffords, and 18 others were shot at a grocery store in Tucson, AZ. Six people died. Every Tucsonan was devastated, and the memory of that day will always remain with me. Under the Gun begins in Tucson with Gabby, who is alive, but dealing with the effects of her brain injury every day. She is a fighter and an …