ROUND-UP October 24-November 2, 2017

Howdy readers! Sorry for the lull there--I had a conference paper to prepare, so I wasn't doing as much freelancing as usual. But now I'm back on my way to my usual pace, with two essays and some movie write-ups for Bitch Flicks, Crooked Marquee (new byline ahoy!) and The Jewish Daily Forward.
"Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film Metropolis and Alex Garland’s 2015 film Ex Machina share many commonalities. While these two sci-fi films come from different countries (Germany and the UK, respectively) and from wildly differing eras, social contexts, and technological standpoints, both films have much in common in terms of their portrayals of gender, as well as the key association of technology with social class divides. They also represent an ascribing of an inhuman machine-influenced identity to those who work with said technology, creating a blurring of the lines between man and machine."
"I will say this, however: Adèle Haenel’s performance as Zazie [in The Bloom of Yesterday] is a tour de force, and the most memorable of all of the films I previewed from the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. Through the comical scenes to the bleakly tragic, Haenel demonstrates a clear understanding of the messy emotional life of her character, and translates Zazie’s too-much-ness into apt body language."
"The best of Reiner’s films share a common quality rather than a common story structure: they’re light, clever, a little talky, and sweetly sarcastic. What unites these films, specifically, is Reiner’s deft touch, which balances the more serious aspects of the subject matter. Yet the subject matter, with the exception of A Few Good Men, never gets truly dramatic or serious, and it’s always grounded in small, everyday truth."

Bonus news post:

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