Top of the Lake: Feminist Masterpiece or Revenge-Fantasy Reimagined?


When a certain detective drama became a water cooler hit earlier this year, it didn't take long before people noticed its glaring lack of three-dimensional women. The girl-in-a-bodybag trope has been around for as long as detective genre itself, but it's only recently that viewers have begun to object to the cliché. » 4/23/14 12:00pm Wednesday 12:00pm

20 Feet from Stardom Brings Backup Singers into the Spotlight

In this year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary, we watch Darlene Love recount the first time she heard, "He's Sure the Boy I Love," a song that she recorded after signing with Phil Spector as a solo artist, on the radio. "I'm tootling down the street and I hear the DJ on the radio and he said, 'the new song by The… » 4/17/14 12:00pm 4/17/14 12:00pm

Girls to the Front! The Punk Singer and How Riot Grrrl Changes Lives

The first time I heard musician and Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna sing, "We want revolution…girl-style noooowwww," I was 16 years old, living deep in the suburbs listening to the Bikini Kill cassette a friend's younger sister had dubbed for me. The year was 1993, and the sound of that band cracked my world wide… » 4/16/14 12:00pm 4/16/14 12:00pm

The Great Don Debate: Discuss the Greatness of Mad Men's Anti-Hero


He wears a suit like Cary Grant, can make a room of grown men tear up over a slide projector, and he does not want your "Zou Bisou Bisou." He's Don Draper, the adman everyone loves to hate and hates to love. (Caution: there are a couple of spoilers in this post.) » 4/14/14 12:00pm 4/14/14 12:00pm

Did Blackfish Make You Rethink That Childhood Trip to SeaWorld?

You've heard about Blackfish — the critically acclaimed documentary about SeaWorld's captive orca program and its horrific effects on both the humans and animals involved. The film has been stirring up a lot of controversy since its release, with SeaWorld criticizing it as "propaganda," and musicians like Heart refusing… » 4/09/14 12:00pm 4/09/14 12:00pm

Here's Your Chance to Dissect the Myriad Theories About The Shining

Like the cinematic adaptation of a late-night Reddit thread, Rodney Ascher's 2012 documentary Room 237 is a remarkably inclusive compilation of conspiracy theories. Picking apart Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, this doc offers no shortage of interpretations both fascinating and insane. » 3/07/14 12:00pm 3/07/14 12:00pm

Whatever Happened to Josh Hartnett? An Exploration of His Recent Work

Remember Josh Hartnett, the heartthrob of the late 90's and early aughts with the irresistible cleft chin? Of course you do: he scuffled with Chris Klein over Leelee Sobieski in Here on Earth, fought the Japanese with Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor and struggled, charmingly, with his hormones in 40 Days and 40 Nights. But … » 3/06/14 12:00pm 3/06/14 12:00pm

Lying Awake at 3AM? Freak Yourself Out With Beyond the Black Rainbow

It's 3 a.m. There's a hard day behind you, a hard day before you, and all you want to do is prolong the night's quiet, dark serenity for just a few hours more. But what movie should you stream at this unsavory hour? Something scary and strange, obviously! Beyond the Black Rainbow is both. *Fear not, horror fans: this… » 3/05/14 12:00pm 3/05/14 12:00pm

Room 237 Decodes Insane Theories of The Shining — Calumet, Anyone?

Is The Shining more than just a straightforward horror film? Could it also be a densely layered exploration of the Native American holocaust, or perhaps Kubrick's cryptic admission that he helped fake the moon landing? If you've never seen Room 237, you're in for a weird ride through the hallowed mind-halls of some of… » 3/03/14 4:00pm 3/03/14 4:00pm

Is There Hope for Humanity or Are We Going to Destroy Ourselves?

"We are running 21st-century software — our knowledge — on hardware [our brains and bodies] that hasn't been upgraded for 50,000 years, and this lies at the core of many of our problems," Ronald Wright explains in Surviving Progress, the film loosely based on his book A Short History of Progress. (If you haven't seen the … » 2/28/14 12:00pm 2/28/14 12:00pm

Witness the Bleak Reality of Independent Development in Indie Game

"I was actually seriously depressed for about three to four months after Braid came out," says Jonathan Blow, the best-selling game's creator in Indie Game: The Movie. This 2011 documentary (which you can watch here) follows the progress of four independent game designers as they go through the stressful process of… » 2/28/14 12:00pm 2/28/14 12:00pm

Discuss Iconic Fallen Race-Car Driver Ayrton Senna in Senna

Although Ayrton Senna's inevitable death at the age of 34 hung ominously over the 2010 documentary Senna (you can watch here if you haven't seen it yet), it captured and celebrated the Brazilian Formula 1 driver's awe-inspiring racing career. And there's a lot more to the story than just tragedy. » 2/21/14 12:00pm 2/21/14 12:00pm