The Coens and Cinematic Convention

To a person raised by Amish wolves deep in the oceans of Europa, much of the appeal of the films of the brothers Coen would make little sense. In making their films, the Coens work off of established genre conventions, twisting and inverting them into strange new forms. In doing so, the Coens operate under […]


Dimensionality Evokes the Perception of Life in Persepolis

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 11.42.48 PM

For this essay, my professor asked us to analyze how a given animated film uses dimensionality to formally and technologically give the movie a sense of life. I chose write about Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi’s film Persepolis through Thomas Lamarre’s theories of animation as outlined in his book, The Anime Machine. Key themes of animation […]


Eisenstein Goes Plane Crazy

For this essay, my professor asked us to find discuss an animated Disney short film through the lens of Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. Quotes in this piece are taken from the translated compilation of Eisenstein’s notes in Jay Leda’s 1988 book, Eisenstein on Disney. Sergei Eisenstein, a Marxist filmmaker and theorist, had a unique relationship with […]


Holmes, Hébert and the Stereoscope

For this essay, my professor asked us to choose a 19th century optical toy and discuss its relevance to animator Pierre Hébert’s essay Cinema, Animation and the Other Arts. I chose to talk about the Holmes stereoscope. Most of the images herein are stills of Pierre Hébert’s various animated works. In his 1859 article in The Atlantic, […]


For the Love of the Romantic Tragedy

For this essay, I picked a movie that was still in theaters and analyzed it in terms of genre. Specifically, I determined how I would classify the film, and why exactly I came to that conclusion. I chose to write about Michael Haneke’s Amour. A week before going into Amour, I had the opportunity to speak […]


Altman Makes The Long Goodbye, But Not to Film Noir


Last week, we posted an article about the 1946 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s harbdoiled novel The Big Sleep starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, and whether it should be classified as a film noir. This week, we look at another adaptation of a Chandler novel from 1973: Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, starring Elliot Gould and Nina […]


The Big Sleep And Genre: Neither Here Noir There

Howard Hawks’ seminal classic The Big Sleep is difficult to categorize. The first instinct for many film writers and scholars has been to categorize it immediately as so-called “film noir,” lumping the movie together with other classic films like John Houston’s The Maltese Falcon and Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. However, it is difficult to be […]


Get the Right Message

Love or hate? Violence or peace?

An academic paper I wrote on how Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Tony Kaye’s American History X deliver very ambiguous messages about race. Like Tony Kaye’s American History X which hit the big screen some nine years later, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is a sprawling commentary on race and race relations that follows a community living in constant […]