From a young age, I never paid much attention to what most of my idols and heroes looked like or where they were from. Superman soared across the sky and Spider-Man swung across New York buildings and their alter-egos just looked like what the child version of myself believed the average person looked like. Part of growing up for me was realizing that I looked different from what I and many of my peers had been conditioned to consider the average. Most average looking pop culture figures did not share that many physical attributes with the little Latino kid that was looking up to them; it did not bother me at a young age since it was just the established norm. This established norm is eroding more and more every year though media continues to take significant strides in representation.
Once I learned about the Criterion Collection: It was game over. A company that literally specializes in putting out the very best, most high-quality versions of great films on physical release was destined to be my new obsession. But what fascinates me the most about Criterion is not just obtaining their beautiful releases in mass buying sprees, but the process behind how their releases come to be.
Barbie goes through an almost hero’s journey as she is thrust out of her world- Barbie Land- into the ‘real world’ and learns that maybe Barbie didn’t have the all-encompassing fix-it effect that the Barbies thought. She learns of patriarchy, misogyny, and the anxiety and insecurity that womanhood inherently possesses in society today. It’s overwhelming; she feels, for the first time, something other than ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’.
As I left the SLC following my third viewing of Past Lives, I heard an overwhelming murmur of phrases which included, “It’s so good!” or “The characters are so real,” and “That was so sad!” all of which are valid assessments. However, while I, too, was repeating many of these phrases, I couldn’t help but feel like the movie was deserving of more than an assessment similar to so many others. In its brisk 106-minute runtime, Past Lives excels in the task of taking the audience into the lives of a mere three characters, giving very little in terms of information on who they are or any in-depth character traits, and bringing us to tears, as we wallow in the idea of lost time.
Tár has had the internet in a frenzy since its release a little over three months ago. The
minutiae of the film leave much to be dissected, which has led to a deep division in viewers'
opinions. Nevertheless, I found it to be an entertaining tale of ultimate defeat that is shot and
acted in a way that makes it feel almost like a documentary. Despite the excellence of
cinematographic techniques, the film is not without its detriments; Ultimately, it is a triumph for
the lead actress Cate Blanchett, but it makes certain questionable choices that detract from
“I am not bad, I'm just drawn that way,” Jessica Rabbit seductively says. Ironically, she wasn’t always supposed to have her famous figure; instead, she looked more like your average princess. The change to her appearance came when Jessica’s voice actress, Kathleen Turner, saw the design and realized the character was “pretty, not sexy.” She started to tease the animators about adding her long legs to the character and said, “wouldn’t it be funny to have big you-know-what’s on her?”
As the theater lights dim and opening credits begin, a simple black and white logo appear on the screen. Cutting across the dark screen are a few simple lines, gracefully darting and intersecting with each other before forming the name: A24. On the surface, it’s just one letter and two numbers. But as most movie fans have come to realize, this simplistic intro could very well precede their next favorite film.