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Culture, The Exhibitionist Chatting With Marielle Heller, Director of <i>The Diary of a Teenage Girl</i>

Chatting With Marielle Heller, Director of The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The word “limpid” kept coming to mind when I thought of how to describe Marielle Heller, the actress and first-time director of The Diary of a Teenage Girl. In person, she epitomized the dictionary definition: unclouded, completely clear. Her…
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Music, A Confusing Case of Neko? That's Where You Come In

A Confusing Case of Neko? That's Where You Come In

The first time I wrote a real music review, real like for money, I choked. I'd done all the research, the interviews, everything. But the night before the deadline I blanked and couldn't write a word. I called my editor,…
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Film, "The East": The Eco-Terrorists Have Won ... Our Hearts

"The East": The Eco-Terrorists Have Won ... Our Hearts

In the opening scenes of Zal Batmanglij's The East, it's established that protagonist Sarah Moss (co-screenwriter Brit Marling) is a devout Christian. But as the story unfolds and intelligence operative Sarah infiltrates a freegan eco-terrorist collective called The East, her…
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Film, "What Maisie Knew": Henry James Gets an Update

"What Maisie Knew": Henry James Gets an Update

If you plan to see Scott McGehee and David Siegel's What Maisie Knew, this is your homework: Watch Mark Rappaport's From the Journals of Jean Seberg, a fascinating documentary which will tell you everything you need to know about the…
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Film, "Disconnect": The Online World is Still a Dangerous Place

"Disconnect": The Online World is Still a Dangerous Place

Director Henry Alex Rubin has only helmed documentaries before Disconnect, so it seems fair to cut him some slack for dramatic creakiness. Still, after warming up with facts, you'd think the guy would make a higher priority of truthfulness. Rather…
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Film, "Battleship": Soak up the Beautiful Bombast

"Battleship": Soak up the Beautiful Bombast

Every once in a while, a movie comes along that's so utterly shameless that it achieves a certain grandeur. Peter Berg's Battleship, which I swear to God is described in its Wikipedia entry as an "American science fiction action naval…
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Calendar, Night&Day Not the End of the World - Yet

Not the End of the World - Yet

The first thing you see in Lars von Trier's Melancholia is a close-up of Kirsten Dunst's face. Behind her, slow as molasses, birds are dropping from the sky. These are the latter days. Melancholia's first five minutes are like a…
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