ROUND-UP October 1-5, 2018

October starts off with a bang here at I On the Arts, where you can read two movie reviews, two book reviews, and an interview with an artist!
"I wanted Björn Runge's The Wife to be a good movie. I wanted to bask in Glenn Close embodying that simmering, curdling rage I see reflected and refracted around me at an ever-growing fever pitch; I wanted to find some catharsis in a movie about a woman who has sacrificed everything for her husband because the world would otherwise never see her value.

"Yet despite the confoundingly warm reception and exaggerated Oscar buzz for Close's performance as an archetype that many women can undoubtedly relate to, The Wife fails on nearly every level as a movie. Bogged down by numerous overly broad performances, a plot so formulaic it might as well as been calcified, a maudlin score, and a total lack of visual sensibility or style, The Wife is not the story that the collective (American) female frustration and fury of 2018 deserves in the least."
"Fortunately, The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig admirably and nimbly eschews the simmering misogyny present in a lot of young adult fiction geared towards teenage boys. Although Craig is the protagonist and character whose points of view we experience, he’s definitely not always sympathetic; and while Amy is largely the love interest in this story (and, naturally, subject to Craig’s internal monologues about how attractive she is), she’s given a rich inner life and a real sense of purpose outside of Craig entirely."
"More driven by the propulsive plot than by particularly developed characters, The Oracle Year doesn't just focus on Will and Hamza (and Hamza's wife Miko), but jumps around the United States to delve into how the appearance of the Oracle affects different aspects of American life, allowing Soule to make wryly hilarious assessments of American institutions. For journalist Leigh Shore, the Oracle is her think-piece ticket to the big leagues. For hypocritical preacher Hosiah Branson, the Oracle is the ultimate enemy—not to God, mind you, but to his influence on American government."
"A more conventional biopic would try to tell the whole story of the life of the writer born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, rushing through her exciting and scandalous life until we get Knightley slathered in old-age makeup, Going For That Oscar. (It’s still a movie where French people all have British accents, after all.) But thankfully, director Wash Westmoreland, who co-wrote the script, isn’t trying to be conventional. Instead, he focuses on a narrow window in Colette’s life—her decade-plus marriage to Willy—and shows us how and why she reinvented herself simply as Colette. Colette, the unapologetically queer woman who loved men and women alike; Colette, the woman who eventually walks away from Willy after one last betrayal and becomes a bestselling author and celebrity in her own right."
"Q: Your earlier photographic series, such as Domesticities and A La Recherche d’Elan[sic], are primarily figurative, yet your recent series like Ambiguous Research, and especially Aqueous, use much a more abstract visual language. Why the change?" 

"A: I don’t think an artist has to only work in one style or field. We are complicated as human beings are; we change and evolve all the time, so a certain transition is natural. My earlier work was made reflecting the mindset and worldviews I had at the time. The complexity and multi-layering is an important part of my work right now. "