Katherine Murray

‘Sicario’: The Movie That Dares to Ask if the CIA Really Cares About Mexican Families


An unholy mash-up of ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ ‘Sicario’ defames the city of Juarez, the FBI, and the CIA without telling us anything we don’t already know.

‘Maggie’s Plan’ Is Just as Awkward and Charming and Grim as Gen-Y’s Struggle with Adulthood


Like ‘Frances Ha,’ ‘Maggie’s Plan’ resonates with the gen-Y, mumblecore picture of adulthood that says, “We’re all average, imperfect, confused people trying to stay afloat in a world that feels random and chaotic.” Everything Maggie does comes out of a sincerely-felt – if slightly selfish – desire to be authentic and live truthfully while not having anyone get mad at her. It’s emblematic of a generation full of people who are re-discovering and re-inventing How To Be A Person while ignoring all the models that came before. It’s messy and screwed-up and sometimes stupid-looking, but there’s an optimism to it, too. There’s a sense that we can all cut our own paths through the wilderness, even if we mess it up and go the wrong way.

‘Equals’ Is an Interesting If Not Especially New Portrait of Mental Illness

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Drake Doremus’ dystopian science fiction movie, ‘Equals,’ presents a pretty good metaphor for mental illness – just not a very challenging one.

The Day Mindy Lahiri Ate Seashells and Called Me Immature


I like Mindy Kaling and I like her show, but the season premiere demonstrates how, like many series, ‘The Mindy Project’ has ambivalent feelings about what kind of sex is OK.

On Breathing, Not Breathing, and Forms of Abuse That We Don’t Have the Words to Express


‘Breathe,’ the second feature-length film from French actor and director Mélanie Laurent, offers an unusually nuanced portrait of abusive relationships – specifically through the lens of a toxic friendship between two teenage girls.

‘Miss Julie’ Is My Very Worst Date, Nineteenth Century Style


It’s hard to avoid the sense that this is a story about how the rich are in decline – how complacency has made them helpless and weak enough for the poor to pull them down. It’s hard to know if we’re supposed to think that John has the right idea by using Julie as a stepping stone to move toward his goals – if we’re supposed to think she deserves what she gets because she was stupid and drunk and coming onto him. The play seems to think so – Chastain and Ullmann seem to disagree – the movie itself seems to be a confused mixture of the two viewpoints.

Five Amazing Movies I Just Made Up to Repeat the Same Magic as ‘Spy’

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I would pay real money to watch any of these movies. The larger point though, is that I bet, if we actually tried, we could come up with amazing projects for lots of women in Hollywood that aren’t based on assuming that the only thing we want to watch them do is act sexy (or crazy). There’s no shortage of talent in the film industry, so, maybe rather than waiting for screenwriters to craft great starring roles for women at large, Hollywood could also take a closer look at the stars who are already there and custom build some awesome ‘Spy’-like films for them.

‘Silicon Valley’ Adds Women, Convinces Me It Shouldn’t Add Women


Women aren’t really treated poorly by ‘Silicon Valley,’ but it’s weird that they’re treated as being so different from the male characters on the show. Where the men have recognizable – if exaggerated – human failings, motivations and personality tics, the women are much more inscrutable, like adults who’ve walked into the middle of a children’s game. It’s a pattern that exists outside of just this show, but it’s something that stops women from being full participants in the story even if they now, at least, exist there.

The Three Questions That Divide ‘Breaking Bad’ Fans and What They Tell Us About Masculinity

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‘Breaking Bad’ is one of those well-written, well-acted shows that somehow inspires people to scream at each other in CAPSLOCK. The debate about Walter White and his wife and their drug-trade boils down to your answers to three deceptively simple questions that act as a rorschach test on masculinity in American culture.

How Upset Should We Be About Rape Plot Lines on HBO?


Let me start by saying that the title of this post is a little disingenuous – I’d never tell you how upset to be about the rape plot lines on HBO. You feel how you feel, and you get to make your own decisions about what you do and don’t watch. I do, however, find it interesting that rape’s showing up so often on TV, and I wonder whether that’s a good thing (because we’re finally talking about it) or a bad thing (because we’re slowly getting desensitized to it). I think it’s a little of both.

WIGS’ Flagship Series, ‘Blue,’ Offers a Surprisingly Powerful Look at Sexual Violence


‘Blue’ is either an amazing bait-and-switch or (more likely) a series that changed its mind about what it was part way through. Either way, what began as an inferior, online version of ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl,’ has grown into a powerful, subtle, and well-acted drama about the long-term effects of sexual abuse, and the shadow that misogyny and the threat of violence casts over women’s sexuality in general. It’s also a big achievement for the WIGS channel, whose mission is to create more female-led programming.

The Love Quadrangle with 10 Million Views: Julie Kalceff Answers our Question about Her Lesbian Web Series, ‘Starting From… Now!’

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In recent years, web series have emerged as a platform for LGBT stories – so much so that that Bitch magazine named 2014 the summer of lesbian web series. Just as technology has helped to democratize other forms of story-telling, the falling price of video and audio production, and free delivery platforms like YouTube, have created a world where content that would be a tough sell for network television can find a niche audience online. The crowd-funded Australian web-series ‘Starting From… Now!’ provides a good example of how creators can connect with fans through content, despite their budget limitations.