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Cinema and Television, May/June 2010 »

[27 May 2010 | 6 Comments | 50,503 Views]
Playtime’s Favorite War (and Anti-War) Films

The United States celebrates its Memorial Day in honor of fallen servicemen and women on Monday.  In remembrance for all fallen soldiers in countries around the world, we at Playtime have devised their favorites from war and anti-war cinema, all capturing the spirit of human struggle.

Matthew Kessen

Apocalypse Now (d. Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) – Apocalypse Now is, to many, a definitive war movie. The book on which it is based, however – Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – actually has nothing to do with war. The novella’s Kurtz instead goes …

Departments, September 2009, World Affairs »

[16 Sep 2009 | No Comment | 4,198 Views]
A Tribute to Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

Patrick Swayze.

We loved you.

We salute you.

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[22 Jul 2009 | No Comment | 2,343 Views]
The Light is Out: (500) Days of Summer

(500)Days of Summer, is not a love story, at least that’s what we’re told within the first few minutes of the film. It’s not a love story, like All the Real Girls or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind aren’t love stories; they’re about love but reveal the bleaker underside, the heartbreak and uncertainty that inevitably come with commitment.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom, and he believes in love. He learned about love from pop music and movies, and he believes that there is someone perfect out there for him. …

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

Top 5: Stars Who Suffer in Silence
[8 Jul 2009 | No Comment | 918 Views]
Top 5: Stars Who Suffer in Silence

Although celebrities are clearly a better class of people, they are nevertheless still people, still subject to human frailties and medical conditions. In order to raise awareness and sales of their memoirs, some celebs have told the world of their troubles: Mary Tyler Moore chairs a diabetes charity, Magic Johnson has advocated for HIV awareness and safer sex, and members of the Brat Pack have never tried to hide their prefrontal lobotomies. But other celebs have hidden behind a wall of shame. Let us shatter the secrecy surrounding five …

Cinema and Television, Cultural Comment, June 2009, Literature »

[18 Jun 2009 | No Comment | 9,410 Views]
The 7 Most Essential Genre Conventions

If you’re a frustrated genre novelist, aspiring fantasy screenwriter, or fanfic writer in the making — and really, who isn’t? — you’ve probably found yourself standing at a bewildering crossroads of dramatic options. Should you rip off Star Wars, or Batman?  What does it truly mean to be human in an age where technology itself blurs the definitions of humanity? What are the limits of love in the face of our own cosmic mortality? Would The Matrix have been cooler with lasers? Fear not. The guideposts to your literary journey …

April 2009, Cinema and Television »

Brighton Beach Blues: Two Lovers
[8 Apr 2009 | One Comment | 1,566 Views]
Brighton Beach Blues: <i>Two Lovers</i>

"ONE lover, ah ah ah…"
From its somnambulistic opening, a slow-mo Joaquin Phoenix shedding his dry cleaning delivery along a pier and calmly plunging into Sheepshead Bay, his mind’s eye imagining a woman forlornly leaving a home, Two Lovers establishes its pervasive tone as that of fatalistic, romantic depression.  Phoenix is Leonard Kraditor, a young Brighton Beach man with emotional problems whose previous suicide attempt forced him to live in his parents’ apartment and to work for their dry cleaning business.  In quick succession, two love interests enter his life: Sandra …

Cinema and Television, March 2009 »

Catherine: Portrait of a Modern Woman in Jules et Jim
[18 Mar 2009 | No Comment | 3,922 Views]
Catherine: Portrait of a Modern Woman in Jules et Jim

Some critics of Francois Truffaut’s 1962 film, Jules et Jim have argued that the film’s central character, Catherine (brought to life by the incomparable Jeanne Moreau), is an impulsive and unpredictable force of nature. You cannot anticipate what she will do, and perhaps that’s why she is so enchanting to her male friends. Though there is something to this idea, I think there are too many patterns in her behaviour to it off as completely random. To the audience, she is not enchanting because she is impulsive, but rather because …

Cinema and Television, February 2009 »

[5 Feb 2009 | 12 Comments | 4,322 Views]
Gold in the Desert: 2008 in Film

It seems as though 2007 and 2008 are mirror images of each other.  2007 was a year in which blockbuster summer entertainment hit an all-time low, with unimaginative sequels and threequels failing creatively left and right.  However, there were a lot of great films that came out outside of the bloated summer mold that were fantastic, so many that putting together a list of my favorites that year was almost impossible and actually ranking them was out of the question.  This year was the opposite, the summer movie season was …

Cinema and Television, December 2008 »

[3 Dec 2008 | 7 Comments | 13,755 Views]
Fight Club 9 years later

Being a relatively young film lover, I have not been able to experience many films that have changed with me as I’ve grown older.  While I’ve become accustomed to having changing opinions of a certain movie as I’ve grown up and seen it more, this is generally only in the case of films that I loved as a child but found that they lost something upon further review (Goonies being the best example of this). I’m sure that there are films that will become more or less important for me …

Cinema and Television, Oct/Nov 2008 »

[30 Oct 2008 | 11 Comments | 3,062 Views]
The Queue Conundrum

My queue is pimp.
I understand that such a statement is highly subjective, but it’s true. If we were in the fifth grade, on a playground, my queue could beat up your queue . It didn’t get that way over night, though.  No. Hell no. There were hours, days, WEEKS of hardcore training and tweeking to get it as pimp as it is. It’s like the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Or the Mighty Ducks. It’s actually more like the Mighty Ducks. With Air Bud as their center. Not that either …