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All you need is a stick figure

(11/21/19 5:01am)

Ever since the dawn of my movie-watching days, I have been singularly obsessed with animation. My fascination transcended fondness for the princesses in Disney films or the squishy CGI characters of early Dreamworks entries: I was fixated on the animation itself, the creation of elaborate set pieces and fluid movement from drawings alone. I grew up watching Pixar movies exclusively with the director’s commentary turned on, marveling at the innovation and invention that went into making something as commonplace as a ponytail or a garbage bag look realistic.


‘The Lighthouse’ is a darkly funny and harrowing examination of masculinity

(11/06/19 6:22pm)

Divorced from visuals and performances, Robert Eggers’s screenplays read like landmark pieces of American theater still studied and performed for their enduring relevance. Though ostensibly marketed as horror films, his movies are historical dramas at heart, so deeply researched and written in such dense, archaic language that they serve as roadmaps into specific eras of American history. 


‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’ is a final trip down memory lane for fans of the original series

(10/26/19 4:01am)

In a perfect world, “Breaking Bad” would be on television forever. The universe that Vince Gilligan painstakingly established and populated over the course of the series’ five seasons is one of the richest ever to exist on the small screen, deftly combining the sandy drudgery of life in suburban New Mexico with the thrilling danger of drug production and trafficking. It is a world so enchanting in both its scope and its finely-crafted minutiae that it could theoretically spawn an infinite number of stories, covering every character and how each decision they make ripples throughout the community and the drug empire situated just beneath it.


What does grief look like?

(09/26/19 4:01am)

The agony of losing a loved one is at once one of the most universal of human experiences and one of the hardest to concretely define. It is a pain that cannot live in words or gestures, a pain totally unique to each individual, a pain so vast yet so entrenched in the minutiae of daily life. A concept as overwhelmingly nebulous and personal as grief might seem impossible to capture in any context, let alone the fleeting frames of a moving image, but cinema has nevertheless striven to reproduce that pain, squeezing and flattening it into a two-dimensional film print. 


‘Euphoria’’s controversial One Direction scene teaches a lesson on ‘real person fan fiction’

(09/15/19 4:01am)

In episode three of the popular and increasingly controversial HBO series “Euphoria,” there is a sex scene. The show  — which depicts the complicated, traumatizing lives and relationships of modern high school students — contains multiple instances of graphic intercourse, but this particular scene garnered intense backlash despite being an animated, ostensibly PG depiction of sex between two adults. What rattled audiences was not the erotic content: it was the fact that the two participants were Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of the once-famous band One Direction.


Can’t decide which DEMAN event to attend in November? Take this quiz and we’ll tell you

(09/05/19 4:02am)

The Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network — more commonly referred to as DEMAN — will host its annual DEMAN Arts & Media weekend Nov. 1 and 2 on Duke's campus. The events, which include panels hosted by alumni and career-oriented activities, are numerous, and we understand how daunting that can be. (Where do I go? Who should I see? What on earth are “Guac and Talks”?)


An alternative guide to the summer blockbuster season

(08/29/19 4:02am)

Once upon a time, summer was ostensibly blockbuster season. Just as Academy Award Best Picture contenders are invariably saved for a winter release, the biggest films — in both budget and scope — were given summer releases to reach a wider audience and garner greater buzz. Ever since the splashy June premiere of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film “Jaws,” the hottest months of the year have also been the most entertaining, as studios pack their summer schedules with epic releases and people liberated from work and school swarm theaters. 


'Bad Roads' explores violence against women against backdrop of Ukrainian conflict

(04/10/19 4:15am)

There is a moment of utter depravity in the fifth of six vignettes that comprise Natal’ya Vorozhbit’s play “Bad Roads,” a scene so chillingly vile that it is legitimately difficult to watch. A soldier beats, sexually violates and finally urinates on a female journalist he has taken hostage, a sequence that feels as though it was lifted directly from a snuff film — or a documentary. 






2019 Oscar nominations: 'Roma' and 'The Favourite' lead pack of predictable contenders

(01/22/19 8:45pm)

This awards season has been an excruciating roller coaster ride, zigging past worthwhile contenders in favor of zagging into Bryan Singer’s trophy shelf. If the Golden Globes marks the start of a slow climb up the hill of anticipation, the announcement of the Academy Awards nominees marks the summit. This peak, reached this morning, punctured all those weeks of cautious excitement and sent the riders down an anticlimactic slope of mediocrity and unsurprising snubs.