Katherine Murray

Spirit Possession and Military Service: Talya Lavie Talks to Us About ‘Zero Motivation’

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What were the biggest challenges in making a feature film? How do people see compulsory military service in Israel? Was that Russian girl really possessed by a ghost? Writer/director Talya Lavie answers our questions about her award-winning film.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Suck

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So, you just saw a terrible movie and you want to tell the world about it – not so fast. How we frame our discussions about sucky movies depends on who’s listening, and whether we’ve got common ground.

‘Zero Motivation’: A Female Slacker Comedy Set in the Israeli Army

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Despite having familiar themes of disaffected youth in dead-end jobs, ‘Zero Motivation’ is one of those rare, uniquely positioned films that couldn’t have been made by anybody else. Writer and director Tayla Lavie draws on her own experience in the Israeli military to tell a dryly funny and sometimes shocking story about female conscripts who have neither the skill nor the will to serve in the army.

Where is the Female Version of ‘Whiplash’?

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I’d really like to see more introspective films about the human experience where the humans experiencing things look like me.

Life is a Battleground in ‘Drunken Butterflies’

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Rockhopper Productions’ first feature film, ‘Drunken Butterflies,’ is a fun-to-watch experiment in filmmaking that’s focused on friendship between working-class Newcastle girls.

Is ‘Glee’ The Rachel Berry Show? (The Answer May be Kind of)

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‘Glee’ was set in Lima, and then it was set in Lima and New York, and then it was set in New York, and now, for its final, thirteen-episode season, it’s moving back to Lima. The most important thing, though, is that it’s finally going to end.

Six Types of Political Movies (Spoiler: This Genre Includes Literally All Movies)

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All art is political. That’s what they teach you in art school, and it’s what they teach you in criticism school. It’s apparently not what they teach you in internet troll school.

When Dead People Have Something Useful to Say: Sexuality and Feminism in Neil Jordan’s Vampire Movies

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Neil Jordan is best known for ‘The Crying Game’ —aka The Movie Where It Suddenly Turns Out That the Main Character is in Love with a Trans Woman – but he also made two vampire movies, and damn if those weren’t kind of interesting, too. Taken together, they show that the vampire genre can be re-invented in all kinds of ways, as long as there’s substance under the biting and blood.

Maybe She Could Rescue Him: How a Time Traveler Saves 1950 in Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’

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‘Masters of Sex’ is not a great show. It’s awkward and safe and seems to think that we’re impressed by watching people masturbate. But it’s also this really strange, kind-of cool story all about the masculine ideal and a time traveler who tries to break the cycle of self-hatred that supports it.

’22 Jump Street’ is That Awkward Moment When You Want to be Progressive and Don’t Know How

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’22 Jump Street’ alternately endorses and makes fun of the idea that we should be sensitive, tolerant people, but it isn’t mean-spirited or offensive – it’s just sort of harmlessly dumb.

Love It or Hate It, Emotions Served Raw in the Music of ‘Les Misérables’

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Pitchy, breathy, raspy, screamy – all the notes are there as A-list Hollywood actors hurl themselves at the camera, relishing the chance to look and sound as ugly as their quasi-operatic characters feel. The soundtrack is probably not going to go on your iPod.

That said, there’s something amazing about the pitchiness / raspiness / screaminess / ugliness that serves to draw us in.

Love It or Hate It, Emotions Served Raw in the Music of ‘Les Misérables’

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Ugly singing; ugly make-up. ‘Les Misérables’ is deservedly known as the film that tried too hard to bum us out, and Anne Hathaway is known as the actress who tries too hard to be liked. But, isn’t it nice, sometimes, when somebody makes an effort?