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Paul Schneider | The House Next Door | Slant Magazine
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Paul Schneider (#110 of 2)

Review: Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men Is a Deconstruction of Privilege

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Review: Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men Is a Deconstruction of Privilege’

Joan Marcus

Review: Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men Is a Deconstruction of Privilege’

The four main performers in Young Jean Lee’s provocative and hilarious play Straight White Men are precisely attuned, like the members of a string quartet, playing off each other to create something richer than the sum of their parts. They’re a true ensemble, though some are stars in their own rights: Josh Charles plays Jake, a divorced banker; Armie Hammer plays Drew, an acclaimed novelist; and Paul Schneider plays Matt, one-time valedictorian, Harvard man, and hardcore communist, now a temp living back at home, crushed by student-loan debt. All three are brothers, home for Christmas to see their widower father, Ed, played with gruff joviality by Stephen Payne.

SXSW 2012: Indie Game: The Movie and The Babymakers

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SXSW 2012: <em>Indie Game: The Movie</em> and <em>The Babymakers</em>
SXSW 2012: <em>Indie Game: The Movie</em> and <em>The Babymakers</em>

Whether or not you care to classify video games as art, Indie Game: The Movie, an extremely polished and absorbing documentary profiling a handful of ambitious independent game developers, makes a strong case that, at the very least, the types of gaming experiences offered by these one- or two-man shops reflect the personalities of their creators in the same way art does, acting as extensions of their fears and desires. Filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky seem genuinely invested in their subjects’ personal journeys through game creation, and it reflects in the film’s contemplative and relatively muted tone. Though Indie Game utilizes slick and stylish animation to illustrate some of the more abstract thinking that goes into complex game design, it does so tastefully without ever being overbearing, and the directors always keep their focus on the people, not their products. The film’s greatest quality is the way it enables these notoriously reclusive and incessantly busy minds to open up about their passions, revealing a desire simply to connect with others through their creation.