Author: BC Wallin

Running from Nightmares: The Terrifying Nature of Power in Stephen King’s IT (1990)

One of the more impactful forms of storytelling is in the tales of the hopeless. When a viewer can feel, empathizing with the protagonist(s), that there is no way to escape, to win, or to evade defeat, that is when a story becomes all the more engrossing. It’s what gives The Dark Knight, the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil, and the entirety of the FX show, Fargo, such narrative power. Everywhere the leads turn, there is somebody under the thumb of Wilson Fisk or the Joker, or else the leads are being followed by the likes of Lorne Malvo....

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Hello Stranger: Love and Murder in Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train

In Dial M for Murder, a man attempts to strangle a woman with a scarf, which is replaced with her scarf. In Psycho, the most famous murder takes place while a woman is showering. In Rope, the very sexuality of the protagonists ties into the act of killing. Alfred Hitchcock is no stranger to sex and its connection to acts of violence. These visceral, base instincts are undercurrents throughout the Master’s oeuvre, and are powerfully at play in one of his best, Strangers on a Train. The weakest and strongest parts of the film are in acting. Farley Granger...

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard Shoots Its Own Foot

Overview: A fallen-from-grace bodyguard protects a hitman on his way to testify against the dictator of Belarus in an international court. Lionsgate Films; 2017; Rated R; 118 Minutes. The Good: Likely, the main reason(s) anybody is going to see The Hitman’s Bodyguard is for Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Each plays a role that he has been playing for years, shoehorned into a story about international intrigue and a theme of planning vs. rolling with the punches. The story is a McGuffin of sorts, only there to explain away why formerly AAA rated bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Reynolds), is...

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Filmstruck Hidden Gem: Germany Year Zero

Germany Year Zero Director: Roberto Rossellini Genre: Drama G.D.B. Films Synopsis: A young boy in post-WWII Germany struggles to help his family survive food shortage and illness. The third film in Roberto Rossellini’s “War Trilogy” (connected by themes and time, not by characters or plot, cf. Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy,” Luhrmann’s “Red Curtain Trilogy,” Renoir’s “Trilogy of Spectacle,” etc.), Germany Year Zero is the first to consider the side of the Germans themselves. While the earlier films, Rome Open City and Paisan, dealt with victims and fighters of Nazi oppression, this concluding chapter focuses on the devastation that German citizens...

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