House Logo
Explore categories +

Brazil (#110 of 10)

Toronto International Film Festival 2013 The Double and Enemy

Comments Comments (...)

Toronto International Film Festival 2013: The Double and Enemy
Toronto International Film Festival 2013: The Double and Enemy

There were plenty of Jesse Eisenbergs and Jake Gyllenhaals and doppelganger-centered film adaptations to go around at Toronto. Richard Ayoade’s The Double, loosely based on the Fyodor Dostoevsky novella, pits Eisenberg against Eisenberg, his Mark Zuckerberg smartass squaring off against his Michael Cera nebbish. Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, adapted from José Saramago’s The Double, features a double dose of Gyllenhaal as a disheveled history professor and a cocky actor, exact replicas of each other, right down to birthmarks and scars. Both films are unsurprisingly about male anxiety, a subject that can now be firmly deemed a preoccupation for Ayoade, whose Submarine explored similar territory.

15 Famous Masked Men

Comments Comments (...)

15 Famous Masked Men
15 Famous Masked Men

In The Dark Knight Rises, a film that got a tragic boost of unexpected publicity yesterday, Batman returns in all his superheroic glory, a growly pariah back to restore the city for which he marred his image. The black-clad character emerges from the shadows, yet still keeps himself concealed, thanks to that trusty cowl that’s become one of pop culture’s most iconic disguises. Men in masks have been darting across the movie screen since the days of silents and serials, and their popularity shows no signs of diminishing. In honor of this crime-fighting, blockbuster weekend, we’ve rallied together 15 other films that also place masked men front and center.

Sucker Punch and the Fetishized Image

Comments Comments (...)

<em>Sucker Punch</em> and the Fetishized Image
<em>Sucker Punch</em> and the Fetishized Image

Sucker Punch has received widespread dismissal from film critics, many of whom have used their reviews as opportunities to crack jokes about teenage boys, masturbation, or masturbating teenage boys—or to make puns about the film’s title. A.O. Scott at The New York Times slammed the film’s “pretense that this fantasia of misogyny is really a feminist fable of empowerment,” while Sady Doyle at The Atlantic declared that director “Zack Snyder’s gooey mix of fetish gear, rape fantasies, and girls-with-guns action sequences represents the nadir of a long, slow, steady decline in action films starring women.”

This critical paroxysm against Sucker Punch is quite possibly the most colossal collective misreading of satire since Paul Verhoeven was accused of being a fascist for Starship Troopers. With this film, critics are making the same mistake of confusing depiction for endorsement, but more importantly, they seem continually befuddled by Snyder’s manipulation of one of the most powerful cornerstones of mainstream cinema—the fetishized image.

5 for the Day: Motherhood

Comments Comments (...)

5 for the Day: Motherhood
5 for the Day: Motherhood

Mom: Well, you thought like Old Lady Anna. She thought a dick was a banana!

A saint? Methinks not. “How the hell could I be a saint?” she would ask. “We’re Baptists!”

My Mom is a larger than life character crafted with one part June Cleaver, two parts Mahalia Jackson, three parts Oprah, and four parts Dorothy Parker. As the primary disciplinarian of five children, she is also eight parts Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. My Mom could threaten with words of such forceful violence that the MPAA would rate her NC-17. “Boy,” she would begin, “I will kick your ass so hard your great-grandchildren will be born with footprints!” It wasn’t hyperbole either. That aforementioned party? I went to it anyway. When I got home at 3 AM, my mother was standing in the doorway, illuminated by light like John Wayne at the end of The Searchers—an appropriate image as she loved Westerns. Except instead of holding her arm like Wayne, she was holding a belt. “I hope it was good,” is the last thing I remember her saying.

The occasional (and always deserved) ass-whipping was not all she dispensed. No one I knew could deliver common sense with a blunt honesty that ensured the lesson would be learned and never forgotten. In our house, The Awful Truth was more than a Leo McCarey movie. Sometimes I would say “well, you didn’t have to say it like that!” To which she would reply, “well, that’s too bad. I did.”

Through Mom, I was introduced to two things I love dearly: life and movies. I was born after a movie, in fact, which only serves to highlight her uncanny knack for consolidation. Through countless hours of movie watching on TV she introduced me to her favorites: Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Sidney Poitier, Abbott and Costello and Cicely Tyson. She had an opinion about every movie, and held unreasonable grudges against actors for roles they played. Her tastes ran from 40’s women’s pictures to horror movies too gory even for my cast iron stomach. And even though she liked the worst movie I have ever seen, I can still list her as the primary source of my love for movie knowledge. I love noir and screwball comedies because the dames were smart, tough and clever with words. Just like my Mom.

So, to honor her, and mothers everywhere, today’s Five for the Day salutes movie motherhood of all stripes, shapes and species. The sayings that precede each entry are Momisms courtesy of the person who brought you the Odienator.