Rachel Redfern

Political Humor and Humanity in HBO’s ‘VEEP’

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She’s a toxic political figure, a creator of monumental gaffes and inappropriate situations who doesn’t even have the excuse of good intentions. Her intentions are always self-serving and she treats her staff atrociously, often assigning them the blame for her mistakes.

“Mama’s Here Now” and Dynamics of Sexual Trauma

Cicely Tyson and Viola Davis in 'How To Get Away With Murder'

But last Thursday’s episode, “Mama’s Here Now,” hosted a surprising masterclass on dealing with the fraught topic of sexual abuse on network television.

‘Finding Vivian Maier’: The Greatest Art Mystery of the 20th Century

A portrait of the artist–Vivian Maier

However, Vivian Maier–besides being an obvious genius–remains a mystery. ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ follows the narrative mystery as we pursue the reclusive and eccentric Vivian (or her personas of Ms. Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Meyers, Maier) across the US and through the streets of the 1950s and 1960s, attempting to discover more of a woman who is still unknowable.

Eight Trailers to Watch (and Love or Hate After)

Melissa McCarthy is going to be in Ghostbusters!

However, in honor of some possible greatness, let us consider some more films that could also be equally amazing, or as roundly terrible. Enjoy.

Is ‘Better Call Saul’ the Next ‘Breaking Bad’?

Bob Odenkirk as the great Saul in AMC's 'Better Call Saul'

So what about ‘Better Call Saul’? Will Gilligan and Gould offer us more female characters (to either love or hate)? So far I see only one major female role being advertised, that of Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), a tough lawyer foil for Saul. At this stage, it just feels thin, and we all know that Gilligan and Gould can absolutely produce some interesting female characters to add to their Alberquerque setting; the question is, will they?

The Beautiful Journey of ‘Layover’: An Interview and Review

'Layover' and its atmospheric Los Angeles

And yet, the way that Simone slides through a single night in a foreign country (whether metaphorical or literal) is not only reflective of the millennial experience, but also of a larger, more human experience.

15 Funny Women for 2014

On the subject of female comediennes, A.O. Scott, ‘New York Times’ movie critic, recently wrote, “The ‘can women be funny?’ pseudo-debate of a few years ago, ridiculous at the time, has been settled so decisively it’s as if it never happened…The real issue, in any case, was never the ability of women to get a laugh but rather their right to be as honest as men.” I love A.O. Scott and his writing is brilliant, and I agree with him—the “can women be funny?” argument is a weird pseudo-debate that managed to gain traction on the big world of the web.

‘Finding Vivian Maier’: The Greatest Art Mystery of the 20th Century

A portrait of the artist--Vivian Meier

However, Vivian Maier–besides being an obvious genius–remains a mystery. ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ follows the narrative mystery as we pursue the reclusive and eccentric Vivian (or her personas of Ms. Meier, Mayer, Meyer, Meyers, Maier) across the US and through the streets of the 1950s and 1960s, attempting to discover more of a woman who is still unknowable.

‘Girl Soldier’: Trauma, Terror, and Reconciliation

Kadiatu Koromoa sits for a portrait in Jonathon Torgovnik's 'Girl Soldier'

Jonathan Torgovnik, South-African based award winning photographer and filmmaker, was drawn to these women’s stories and from them created the short film, ‘Girl Soldier.’ ‘Girl Soldier’ features interviews with several ex-child soldiers from the Sierra Leone civil war—women who managed to survive their traumatic history and have now been reintegrated back into their communities.

Death and Life on ‘K2: Siren of the Himalayas’

k2: Siren of the Himalayas

On April 18, 2014, 16 Sherpas, the great guides of the Nepali mountain range, were killed in an avalanche from the Khumbu icefall, making Friday, April 18, the deadliest day in Everest history. The tragedy brought light to a controversy of Everest summiting that had been brewing for the past few years. Suddenly, there was a spotlight on the high-adventure tourist industry running out of Everest: the overcrowded and littered Everest summit, the fights between Sherpas and trekkers, and the fact that Sherpas do the hardest, most dangerous work of summiting without awards or recognition.

‘Fargo’: Female Fail or Female Fabulous?

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Without revealing too many spoilers, the philosophy of the main characters was overwhelmingly skewed toward the idea of the “hen-pecked” “downtrodden” American male, completely emasculated by a society that demands respect and a lack of violence. At first then it appeared we were viewing a hyper-masculine awakening of the main character, Lyster Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and cheering him on as he committed his first acts of violence.

How Is The Sex, Masters and Johnson?

The biggest question for the show will obviously be, um, what about the sex? Sex is in the title: the opening sequence bathes in it, and every episode features it. As a big proponent of women’s sexuality I’m pretty much all for it; however, I desperately hope that ‘Masters’ doesn’t just become cheap exhibitionism driving up late night ratings; I want to know that ‘Masters of Sex’ is trying to tell us something in all of the orgasmic moaning (fake or real).