Katherine Murray

‘Ghostbusters’ Is One of the Most Important Movies of the Year

Ghostbusters reboot

They’re moved to realize that, after everyone talked shit about them for weeks or months on end, someone actually appreciated what they did. It’s a moment of art imitating life that mirrored my experience with ‘Ghostbusters’… I also vastly underestimated how powerful it would be, and how great it would feel, to watch an action-comedy with only women in the leading roles.

‘Hooligan Sparrow’ Touches on Topics of Fame and Notoriety in Activism

Hooligan Sparrow

The documentary, from director Nanfu Wang, follows Chinese activist Ye Haiyan (aka Hooligan Sparrow) as she protests the lack of prosecution in a child sexual abuse case and suffers retaliatory harassment, surveillance, and imprisonment. … ‘Hooligan Sparrow’ is, both intentionally and unintentionally, about the legends that activists build for themselves.

‘Ovarian Psycos’ Highlights the Reasons We Still Need to Take Back the Night

Ovarian Psycos

The Ovarian Psycos is a cycling club for women of color in East Lost Angeles that’s a lot like Take Back the Night. Its purpose is to build a sense of community between local women, but also to draw attention to the fact that women aren’t safe unless they travel in packs. … [Directed by Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Johanna Sokolowski] the film captures something true and beautiful about the power of grassroots organizing, and the idea that regular people can band together and try to create change.

‘Inside the Chinese Closet’ Highlights the Need for Social Acceptance of LGBTQ People in China and Globally

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Often, when we talk about LGBTQ rights, we focus on legal battles – criminalization, marriage equality, adoption, and civil rights – but Sophia Luvara’s new documentary reminds us that social acceptance and cultural attitudes are just as important. ‘Inside the Chinese Closet’ follows Andy and Cherry, a gay man and a lesbian woman who struggle to reconcile their desire to live truthfully with their families’ expectations of them.

‘Starless Dreams’ Offers an Intimate Look at Iran Through Its Juvenile Detention Centers

Starless Dreams

In ‘Starless Dreams,’ we learn about the lives of teenage girls inside Iran’s juvenile detention centers, but we also learn how director Mehrdad Oskouei attempts to change hearts and minds in his own country. It’s an attempt that’s packaged for his fellow citizens rather than foreigners and, watching the film as an outsider is a complicated, multilayered experience.

‘Game of Thrones’: Does It Feel Worse to Cheer For or Against Daenerys?

Game of Thrones Daenerys Targaryen

It’s hard to ignore that this is a white woman from a foreign nation who feels it’s her birthright to teach a bunch of brown people how they should behave. … On the flip side, watching a woman lose power on ‘Game of Thrones’ always seems to involve watching her be sexually victimized somehow, which I can’t really get on board with, no matter how awful she is.

Everything That’s Wrong (And a Few Things That Are Right) with ‘The Magicians’

The Magicians

Watching ‘The Magicians’ can be a lot like watching a real magician. One who’s not very good and keeps using such obvious distraction techniques that you want to rebel by looking at exactly what you’re not supposed to notice. And what we’re not supposed to notice here is an almost total lack of character development, followed by the thought that sperm is magic.

‘Bleeding Heart’ and All the Times It’s Probably Okay to Shoot Someone

Bleeding Heart

Written and directed by Diane Bell, ‘Bleeding Heart’ is about class privilege, moral hypocrisy, and the arrogance of preaching nonviolence to people about to be killed. Mostly, though, it’s a chance to watch Zosia Mamet play someone other than Shoshanna and drink in a dark but gorgeous colour palette.

‘Black Mirror’ is No More Universal Than ‘Girls,’ You Guys

black mirror

The first season of the British sci-fi show ‘Black Mirror’ frames its stories through an unintentionally narrow and myopic point of view, just like the first season of HBO’s ‘Girls.’ For some reason, though, ‘Black Mirror’s extremely specific point of view is mistaken as being universal, while the extremely specific point of view offered by ‘Girls’ is not.

‘Fuller House’ and the Shocking, Heart-Squeezing Power of Time

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I don’t remember thinking that the premiere episode of ‘Fuller House’ was very good, and I don’t remember paying attention to anything that happened in the plot. What I do remember is crying because it has been 20 years, and I can almost imagine how strange it feels for all of these people to be in the same room again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘Master of None’ Is the Series We’ve All Been Waiting For

Master of None

You don’t have to look further than the comments section on any website to see that people with more power routinely try to decide what people with less power have the right to complain about. It’s something that happens in every discussion about inequality, but it’s so rare for that to be the topic itself that I was actually shocked when it was in “Ladies and Gentlemen.”

What Happened to ‘Doctor Who’s Clara

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Clara Oswald finally made her exit from ‘Doctor Who,’ and it was all the things that it could be – aggravating, thought-provoking, overdue, sad, confusing, and amazing.