12 Steps to Build Better Oscar Bait

Among film critics, “oscar-bait” is a derisive term applied to films that pander to Oscar voters. Now of course not all Oscar-nominated films have all these elements. Plenty of winners draw outside the lines. Films that break this mold are, in my opinion, the best of the crop. Bong Joon-ho’s wildly original, dystopian visions rightlyContinue reading “12 Steps to Build Better Oscar Bait”

Bergman’s Female Characters

When I first viewed Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, I knew I had discovered one of my favorite filmmakers. Now, working my way through his oeuvre, I am deeply moved by the honesty of his female characters. The titular character in SUMMER WITH MONIKA (1953) is at first a high-spirited young woman (played by the sensuallyContinue reading “Bergman’s Female Characters”

Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You

You apologize for things you didn’t do. You feel a wave of self-doubt whenever anyone points out that maybe you just misunderstood or maybe you didn’t remember right. Maybe it’s true, you tell yourself. You’re always messing up anyway. You look at others and feel inferior—when you can muster the courage to lift your eyesContinue reading “Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You”