6 Songs in A STAR IS BORN That Are Better Than “Shallow”

In which I do not exactly go off the deep end So I rewatched the latest iteration of A Star is Born, mostly because I had bought it on iTunes in order to watch it the first time and wanted to get my money’s worth. To my pleasant surprise, I took a greater liking toContinue reading “6 Songs in A STAR IS BORN That Are Better Than “Shallow””

The Wilsonian Institute

In which some old, old feelings meet new context Maybe it was the gummi bears. When I sat down with a bag of Haribo Goldbären to Love & Mercy, the biopic covering (in)famous periods in the life of Brian Wilson and the career of The Beach Boys, I thought about how this piece of workContinue reading “The Wilsonian Institute”

Who Was Leni Riefenstahl Really?

In which I step out onto a limb So I’m trying something a little different this International Women’s Day. I thought I’d explore the life of a woman who came from the country I am living in and learning about. And, since women are such marvelously nuanced creatures, I chose a woman who wielded unusualContinue reading “Who Was Leni Riefenstahl Really?”

In Defense of the Kids Who Had the Nerve to Audition

In which, for once, inclusivity supersedes quality We all—of a certain age, anyhow—remember the scene in High School Musical where a procession of hopefuls audition for the winter musicale. They sing an excerpt from “What I’ve Been Looking For” accompanied by its composer, accident-prone musical genius Kelsi Nielsen, who is to East High what ColeContinue reading “In Defense of the Kids Who Had the Nerve to Audition”

Fine Arts Spotlight: Janelle Monáe

In which I watch the finest tightrope act around We end the month on a high note (pun intended) with a artist with a finger in every pie, who is tirelessly bringing joy and empowerment to our very own time. I’ve been an acolyte of Janelle Monáe’s for over two years now. Her acting rangeContinue reading “Fine Arts Spotlight: Janelle Monáe”

Girl Next Door

In which I set something straight It came to my attention during a family phone conversation that I have misinterpreted the “girl next door” trope for most of my life. This stock character often appears in visual media as the primary love interest or counterpart (apparently) to the boy next door to her. The premiseContinue reading “Girl Next Door”

A Love Letter to José Carioca, Rio de Janeiro

In which the past catches up with me My dear Joe, We met at least twenty years ago, so I’ve always considered you a friend, but it’s different now. Aside from the standard byproduct of aging that causes one to see the hallmarks of childhood in a new light and with a new appreciation, IContinue reading “A Love Letter to José Carioca, Rio de Janeiro”

Every Musical Biopic Ever

In which I map it out (trailer is a miniature of the following) ACT I Establishment of band of hometown/university friends. Shots of small-time gigs at local clubs. Unrecognizable snippets/early drafts of what will evolve into hits. Idiosyncratic performance methods (e.g., dancing) which lead family/naysayers to ridicule the band’s dream of mainstream success. Band membersContinue reading “Every Musical Biopic Ever”

One Great Music Video: “Sledgehammer”

In which I get animated A literary magazine recently sent me one of the best rejection letters I could hope for. Even if the short story in question didn’t make their cut, they did call the opening sentence ‘a sledgehammer of engagement.’ This was pretty good bad news because 1) I had done something right,Continue reading “One Great Music Video: “Sledgehammer””

‘Breakfast’ Epiphanies

In which I poke at a kooky classic With all this extra time on my hands lately, I figure I might as well get as much of a cinema education as Netflix will allow. Leading me, the other night, to watch the 1961 Blake Edwards-directed Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Based on Harper Lee’s best work. JustContinue reading “‘Breakfast’ Epiphanies”