ERiva

“Amour,” and What the Oscars are Really About

I’m just getting around to seeing Michael Haneke’s Amour, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. The French film, nominated for five major awards at last year’s Oscars, barely screened in the U.S. At its widest release, it showed in 333 American theaters. By way of contrast, Argo, the eventual Best Picture winner,…

Silver_Linings_Playbook-x-wide-community

Mental Illness as Plot Device in “Silver Linings”

For many years, director David O. Russell was known for his eccentricity. His films were odd, idiosyncratic comedies such as Flirting with Disaster and I Heart Huckabees, which garnered cult followings but no mainstream success. Then there was the leaked video of Russell throwing a vicious tantrum on the set of Huckabees. Although Lily Tomlin,…

Russell Brand MTV

The Politics of the MTV Movie Awards

Say what you will about MTV, but they have always promoted participatory democracy. In 1992, they launched the “Choose or Lose” campaign, urging their viewers to vote – presumably for the president challenger, Bill Clinton. Clinton courted the youth vote with an appearance on MTV and won.  MTV has continued its campaign, even though they…

Hunger Games movie

“The Hunger Games” and the Obama Generation

“May the odds be ever in your favor.” – official slogan of the Hunger Games Perhaps because this is an election year and “The Hunger Games” is poised to be such a monumental hit, both the left and right have tried to claim the film as their own. The right has latched onto what it…