Archives for December 2015

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Hateful Eight’ (2015)

Quentin Tarantino, a huge fan of the Western, likes to hybridize genres. His latest experiment, The Hateful Eight, set in Wyoming about a decade after the Civil War, is a movie about a bunch of cunning entrepreneur-cowboys for whom, in Saturnine style, the end justifies the means. A significant part of this three-hour, solo-film festival […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘45 Years’ (2015)

When a marriage lasts nearly half a century, presumably the partners have figured out a way to romp in the garden without stomping on the flowers. But because every spring blasts new growth, who can predict what seasonal surprises lurk in the soil? In the case of Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) and her husband Geoff […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Son of Saul’ (2015)

No matter what privileges they give you, the enemy is still the enemy, an adage at the heart of Holocaust drama Son of Saul, whose protagonist must figure out how to use a benefit bestowed by his oppressor to create a personal testimony to goodness before he dies. Directed by Hungarian László Nemes, the movie […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Big Short’ (2015)

In the continuously expanding and contracting world of finance, fortunes are made by those able to spot markers ahead of everyone else, just like the men propelling the narrative in The Big Short. Co-written and directed by Adam McKay, and based on Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book about the meltdown in the housing market in 2008, […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘Fargo’: Sioux Falls, Jung and the Flying Saucer (2015)

In “The Castle,” “Fargo”’s Season 2’s penultimate episode, Hank (Ted Danson) tells a local cop, who has legal jurisdiction but poor strategy, an anecdote. The story centers on a feisty lieutenant who, during the war, criticized their commanding officer, General Eisenhower, for his Very Bad Plan. Hank does not succeed at making this same point […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Revenant’ (2015)

Survival has always been about either vanquishing or besting one’s foes, whether they’re humans or offshoots of Nature at its most unforgiving. In The Revenant, co-written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the protagonist must triumph over both. The ordeal is not pretty. The movie is loosely based on Michael Punke’s novel set in the […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Macbeth’ (2015)

Towards the end of the official Shakespearian “Macbeth,” the titular character delivers a grim assessment of “dusty death”: the candle of vitality burns but briefly, and life “struts and frets his hour upon the stage.” Director Justin Kurzel, whose Macbeth is based on the Bard’s, takes the metaphor of the stage and runs with it, […]