movies

No Princesses: Reflections on the Passing of Sacheen Littlefeather

by | October 24, 2022

Critic Myriam Gurba reflects on the passing of Sacheen Littlefeather and her attempted takedown by a notorious “pretendian” researcher.

sacheen littlefeather against an indigenous Mexican tapestry

Melodrama-Rama: Absorbing Delight

by | September 20, 2022

The Telugu film RRR is an incredible mixture of genres, influences, and ideas: a historical epic with obvious ahistorical qualities, a combat-heavy actioner with exuberant song-and-dance numbers, a homosocial friendship drama with recognizably romantic montages. Strong notes of melodrama accent its potent blend. These notes appear not just literally—in musical form—but also within the film’s […]

RRR Poster

Melodrama-Rama: Where Do I Begin?

by | May 5, 2022

Katharine Coldiron's new column Melodrama-Rama takes readers on a beguiling tour of the world of melodrama.

Mildred Pierce movie poster

Function at the Junction: Notes on Summer of Soul

by | August 19, 2021

I’m getting ready for the function at the junction And baby you’d better come on right now Because everybody’s gonna be there We got people comin’ from everywhere – “Function At The Junction,” Shorty Long, 1966 There’s a long, long legacy of Black folks gathering around food and funk, bbq sauce and song. Before we […]

Summer of Soul

‘Executive Order’ Re-Writes the Post-Apocalyptic Genre

by | June 17, 2021

Executive Order challenges viewers to re-think the post-apocalyptic format and hero-making narratives, flipping the script on a genre that has long reinforced racism, centering Black humanity as a racist government lead by an evil Karen tries to force all Black people to repatriate to Africa as a form of reparations.

Executive Order Film Still

‘Moxie’ Provides White Girls an (Imperfect) Guide to Activism

by | March 11, 2021

Amy Poehler's Moxie is the narrative version of Feminist Organizing 101, made with the white, teenage set in mind. If that sounds tiring, know that Poehler brings her singular ability to make do-gooding fun and while its white feminist reach is limited, Moxie manages to inspire.

Still from Moxie

Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez Explores the Legacy of a Cartoonist Who Reserved the Right to Objectify

by | March 9, 2021

Toward the end of her documentary Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez, director Susan Stern asks in voice-over, “Did I make this film to defend Spain? Or to defend myself?” It’s a telling question, one important enough to justify Stern briefly putting the focus on herself and taking it away from her husband and […]

Spain Rodriguez

Sylvie’s Love is Pretty as a Picture

by | January 5, 2021

Sylvie's Love relegates whiteness to its rightful place: This isn't Harlem gentrified by our concepts of unity twenty years into the 21st century.

Sylvies Love

The Mommy Issues Picture Show

by | December 24, 2020

It will entail secret rooms, padlocked trunks, maternal brutishness, and leather cuffs about the wrists and ankles. It will be psychotic. It is called love. A survey of films where women curiously love other women in lieu of their own mothers.

mommie issues

A Nation of Kevins: Home Alone Again…and Again

by | December 11, 2020

We’re revisiting some of the work we first published. In a “Nation of Kevins,” Myriam Gurba discusses why Home Alone is the perfect emblem for the USian response to the pandemic. It also instructs us as to why we ought to defund the police. Plus, it's about Christmas.

Christmas at the Laundromat