Author: Sean K. Cureton

Criterion Discovery: Kicking and Screaming

Background Kicking and Screaming (Spine #349) is the feature film debut from American writer and director Noah Baumbach, and was originally released in 1995. It received its Criterion release on DVD on August 21, 2006. Noah Baumbach has one other film included in The Criterion Collection: Frances Ha (Spine #681), an equally impressive independent film on youth in revolt. In addition, the Wes Anderson features The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Spine #300) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (Spine #700) are both projects to which Baumbach is accredited as a screenwriter. Story Grover (Josh Hamilton) is a recent graduate of...

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In Love In the Movies of Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron is a singular filmmaker whose body of work is rather famously romantic. Her writing is characteristically possessed of a whimsy and naïveté that lends her films an elevated romanticism universally felt, our preconceptions about love shaped by the stories we tell one another and the films that move us to love in kind. For many, the seminal romantic comedies When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail are what we picture when we envision romantic intimacy as an ideal. The witty repartee between Ephron’s wayward lovers is fantastically entertaining, their relationships with one another...

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Billy Madison: The Lost Boy Turns 20

Written by Adam Sandler along with frequent screenwriting collaborator and fellow SNL alum Tim Herlihy, the Tamra Davis directed Billy Madison is turning twenty years old this year. The film still feels just as youthfully irreverent and gleefully chaotic as it did initially, even if Sandler’s manic appeal has waned of late, his innate ability to empathetically inhabit the affectations of a child having developed into an adult maturity stunted by the arrested development of his formative years on screen. While you’d be hard pressed to find any child of the 1990s for whom this particular comedy doesn’t hold at...

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Little Miss Sunshine

Overview: A dysfunctional family goes on a cross-country road trip after their youngest daughter, the sole optimistic innocent in a group of dejected and cantankerous characters, is granted entry into a beauty pageant for pre-teen girls. 2006; Fox Searchlight Pictures; Rated R; 101 minutes. The New Normal: Before Modern Family was lazily reconstructing our image of what constitutes the American nuclear unit, the Michael Arndt-penned and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris-directed Little Miss Sunshine was challenging gender dynamics and parental guidance protocols previously established by the likes of The Brady Bunch. In Arndt’s script, humor derives from his American...

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