Posts From Author: Movie reviews

The Eyes Have It: The Danish Girl as Book and Movie

The Danish Girl David Ebershoff Penguin, 2015 (originally published 2000); 304pp The Danish Girl Directed by Tom Hooper UK/US/Belgium, 2015; 119 minutes The eyes have it. In the recent, Academy Award-winning film version of The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne’s dazzled, oceanic gaze — coyly averted, abruptly direct — tells a whole story of its own. As Lili, the real-life female alter ego of artist Einar Wegener, he’s unable to look Ben Whishaw’s Henrik in the face for fear of being revealed; with his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), he can say more with a discreet eye-roll or quiver than he can with words. His eyes have an overflowing, revelatory, vulnerable quality — at times it’s like he’s naked. Redmayne, it would seem, has read David Ebershoff‘s novel very closely. First published in 2000, The Danish Girl has deservedly become a classic of trans literature for the sensitivity and perspicuity of its treatment. Although he doesn’t shy from the anatomical realities of the trans experience, Ebershoff’s greatest contribution to the genre is his depiction of Einar’s interior life. And from the very first chapter, Einar seeks respite from the difficulty of being behind his eyelids. Greta (as she’s known in the book) has asked him to put on a pair of women’s […]
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Tarantino’s White Hell

The Hateful Eight Directed by Quentin Tarantino Release date: December 25, 2015 Running time: 182 minutes (roadshow version, screening in the 70mm format); 176 minutes (digital version, sans overture and intermission) Rated R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity PERVASIVE SPOILERS Most of the characters in Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, The Hateful Eight, seem to be governed by codes of behavior and philosophies that they hold to be more important than the sanctity of their own bodies. The vile and fantastic carnage that transpires is a direct consequence of their collective disregard for human life. This is not untypical of Tarantino’s work. From the greedy thieves of Reservoir Dogs to the perverted honor of Kill Bill‘s assassins, his characters have regularly indulged in acts of grotesque violence — and put themselves in danger of being its subject — in the service of various notions and aims concerning revenge or money. Death and mutilation occur when these notions reach their (il)logical conclusions. The special genius of The Hateful Eight, which makes it my favorite Tarantino movie since Kill Bill (and I’ll allow it may be better), lies in locking so many of these characters in a snowbound cabin in Wyoming and simply waiting to see what happens. Kurt Russell is bounty […]
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