All posts tagged: Critic

Exploring “Twin Peaks”

In honor of Twin Peaks Day, I’m reposting this video essay I made on the series last spring. Enjoy, and please feel free to share any feedback! For my final project for CTCS 587: Television Theory, a graduate Cinema & Media Studies course at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, I elected to do a video essay on Twin Peaks. In “Exploring ‘Twin Peaks’” I take a brief look at the production history of the series, as well as the show’s hybridization of genres. Because this was my first attempt at creating a video essay it certainly has its issues – but despite some technical and conceptual roadblocks, I truly enjoyed working on this project. In retrospect, I realize that I underestimated the amount of effort video essays require. From conducting research, to writing a script, recording voiceover, gathering clips, and assembling them into a cohesive format – it’s quite a time-consuming undertaking! All in all, I’d describe making a video essay as a labor-intensive, but immensely fun endeavor. I’m interested in exploring the video essay genre further, so any constructive criticism or feedback is welcomed. Incase you’re interested, here …

This Week’s Essential Reads on Hollywood’s Diversity Issue

I’ve come across quite a few articles this week that I think are essential reads on the current state of diversity in Hollywood, and I decided that they’re important enough to share with y’all. What’s made in Hollywood is disseminated across the globe, and whether we like it or not, these images permeate our conscious and have a lasting effect on our lives. Because of the impact that these images have on our identities and how we identify others, I think it’s imperative that we examine what’s happening in Hollywood. So pour yourself a drink, get comfortable, and start reading! What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*if you’re not a straight white man) What Does the Academy Value in a Black Performance? Hollywood is Suffering from an “Inclusion Crisis,” Diversity Study Says  

Roger Ebert Reviews – A Few of My Favorites

I may not agree with Roger Ebert’s ratings of all of the following movies, but I thoroughly enjoy reading his analyses none-the-less. Be sure to click the titles of each film to read the full reviews! Citizen Kane “Rosebud is the emblem of the security, hope and innocence of childhood, which a man can spend his life seeking to regain. It is the green light at the end of Gatsby’s pier; the leopard atop Kilimanjaro, seeking nobody knows what; the bone tossed into the air in “2001.” It is that yearning after transience that adults learn to suppress. “Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost,” says Thompson, the reporter assigned to the puzzle of Kane’s dying word. “Anyway, it wouldn’t have explained anything.” True, it explains nothing, but it is remarkably satisfactory as a demonstration that nothing can be explained. “Citizen Kane” likes playful paradoxes like that. Its surface is as much fun as any movie ever made. Its depths surpass understanding. I have analyzed it a shot at a time with more than 30 …

Roger Ebert: Movies, Life, and Empathy

Today I decided to read/re-read a few of Roger Ebert’s reviews and I was reminded just how brilliant a writer and thinker he was. As a critic he always stuck to his guns, a trait which I respect immensely. Ebert never seemed to be swayed by popular opinion, yet always welcomed a discussion. Above all his love for film is evident in every review he wrote, no matter how brash or complimentary. Here are a few quotes from Roger Ebert that I especially adore. Enjoy! “In my reviews, I feel it’s good to make it clear that I’m not proposing objective truth, but subjective reactions; a review should reflect the immediate experience.” “Movies that encourage empathy are more effective than those that objectify problems.” “By going to the movies, and because of other things too, going to college, making a wide variety of friends, moving around and traveling, I became a lot more open-minded than the heritage I was born into might have suggested.” “Every great film should seem new every time you see it.” “It …

‘Jobs’ Disappoints, but Kutcher Doesn’t

This week I wrote a review of Jobs for Critics Associated. Read it here, or check out the original. Though unintentional, Jobs provided a number of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s ironic that a film about a well-known perfectionist can be so unbelievably far from perfect. Though against all odds, it seems Ashton Kutcher is not at fault for this week’s box office bomb. His performance as Steve Jobs is good, particularly in his physical recreation of the Apple tycoon, but it’s certainly not great. Problems with Jobs are abundant and obvious, specifically in regards to the writing. Basic conversations are cluttered with “Steve’s,” – each character throwing around the name as though it’s a form of product placement. The film’s dialogue would seem significantly less contrived if the actors only said the name in moments it was naturally necessary. Hearing “Hey Steve,” “Bye Steve,” and “Thanks Steve,” every few minutes or so forces the already poorly written dialogue to appear blatantly artificial. Jobs may leave you wondering: Is this a joke? Ultimately, the issues with Jobs lie in the writing …