Art in the Age of Masculinist Hollywood: Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”

Morgan Lee Davies
Los Angeles Review of Books
La La Land is not, in the end, so very different from Whiplash (an earlier Chazelle film) for all their tonal differences. Above all, the vision they paint of the artistic life is masculine. In Damien Chazelle’s movies, men have power, and they get (almost) everything they want... And women? All they get to do is listen.

A look Back At Weiner

David Sims
The Atlantic
It feels perfectly appropriate that in 2016, a mortifying examination of one man’s ego played a role in the election of America’s next president. Weiner is a depressing pile-up of the year’s governing impulses: the media’s veneration of scandal, the increasing shamelessness of the country’s politicians, and Weiner’s quiet, ashamed delight in his own continued relevance.

The Limits of Forgiveness: Manchester by the Sea

Francine Prose
New York Review of Books
The friend who urged me to see Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea told me it was the only film she’d been able to watch since the election, the only work of art that had, even briefly, distracted her from her worry about the future of our democracy. It might seem odd to describe a film about unendurable grief and sadness as a distraction—a word we more often associate with entertainment and escape. But after watching Lonergan’s astonishing film, I understood.

Star Wars Isn’t Political, Says Disney Chief Responding To Boycott By Trump Supporters. He’s Wrong.

Ben Guarino
The Washington Post
Perhaps the Dump Star Wars story could be described as “silly.” But to deny the politics of Star Wars is to throw the franchise’s rich history under a bus the size of an Imperial cruiser. Star Wars may not overflow with civics metaphors in the fashion of “Star Trek,” but the sci-fi films did not exist in a political void.

Estela Bravo’s Fidel (2001), A Documentary

Joanne Bealy
Bright Lights Film Journal
Bravo's film was commissioned by Channel 4 in Britain, and won the Distinguished Achievement for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking from the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York, and played the Toronto International Film Festival to sold-out crowds despite the fact that it opened three days after the September 11th attacks. It has played in arthouses throughout the U.S.