Essays

New Series: Bette, Marilyn, and #MeToo

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Kerry McElroy announces a timely and compelling series that will run bi-monthly this fall at The Independent. The series titled, “Bette, Marilyn, and #MeToo: What Studio-Era Actresses Can Teach Us About Economics and Resistance Post-Weinstein,” highlights Hollywood legends (including Olivia de Havilland, Louise Brooks, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor) who all carved out spaces of autonomy in a decidedly male-controlled film industry at the height of its exploitative powers. McElroy will reveal, through analysis that spans seven decades, what these actresses have to teach us in this contemporary moment of feminist reckoning.

The Global Screen: Joe Cruz

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In this third installment of The Global Screen, Joe Cruz discusses diasporic and nationalistic contestations emerging in Puerto Rico’s guerrilla cinema. In a way, films belonging to this movement articulate a somewhat transgressive view of Puerto Rico’s national identity. Although the century-old colonial rule continues to draw criticism, no longer is the island territory’s rural past romanticized. Instead, new cinematic discourses concerned with exploring Puerto Ricans’ national identity through the lens of current en masse migration to North American metropolis seem to be taking shape. 

Sons of the Evil Dead

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In May, LA-based filmmakers, Brett and Drew Pierce, completed filming their third indie horror film, Hag, shot on location in rural northwestern Michigan. The Pierce brothers became aficionados of the genre early on under the influence of their father, Bart, a special effects artist on the 1981 cult classic horror film, The Evil Dead. Rebecca Reynolds draws on conversations with the family in this exploration of Brett’s and Drew’s influences, strategies, and creative talents.

Brave New World: Possibilities for Diversity in VR Technology

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As virtual reality develops into a viable technology for immersive storytelling, today’s filmmakers are witnessing the birth of a new, perhaps more inclusive, form of cinema. Reporting on VR from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Rebecca M. Alvin, explores how the doors are open for a much more diverse group of creators and a wider range of stories to tell.

The Global Screen: Thomas Britt

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In this second installment of The Global Screen, Thomas Britt writes about the work of Jonas Cuarón. In some ways,  Cuarón’s Desierto (2015) can be seen as a timely political film, involving border disputes, contested spaces, and dispossession. The film’s heroes and villain feel alienated from their right relationship to the land. In this article, Britt considers the influence of action and horror genres on the film, specifically the ways in which 1970s genre films and Australian “Outback horror” provide a comparable narrative framework that Cuarón deftly updates in his film about violence and lines in the sand.

The Global Screen: Isaac Rooks

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In this first installment of The Global Screen essay series, Isaac Rooks writes about Shin Jeong-won’s gruesome farce, Chaw, which Rooks suggests offers more than the spectacle of a giant boar slaughtering drunken revelers at a karaoke celebration. In this essay, Rooks explores how Shin’s film utilizes practical and conceptual resources from around the world to address global audiences about common concerns.

Make-up As The Passport To Femininity

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Lilla Puskás writes on three movies featured at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama section: Marilyn, Obscuro Barroco, and Tranny Fag (Bixa Travesty). In the essay, Lilla compares transgender representation through the protagonists of these related narratives.  Lilla shares her reflections of how these films tackle the complexity, diversity, and fluidity of transgender identity.

The Global Screen: An Essay Series on Contemporary World Cinema

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The Independent announces The Global Screen, a series of bi-monthly essays written by film scholars and academics interested in engaging with our readership of filmmakers, directors, artists, and activists. The series is edited by Dr. Jayson Baker, Assistant Professor in Communications at Curry College. In this introduction, Dr. Baker provides a summary of the series and a context for its purpose at this time. Essays in The Global Screen will be published over the course of the year, beginning at the end of March.

An Evening with a True Artist

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Werner Herzog’s 2016 documentary Into the Inferno recently screened to a packed crowd at The Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts. Herzog was there to accept the 2018 Coolidge Award and to participate in a Q&A. Mike Sullivan shares this appreciation of the filmmaker and highlights from the event.