Archetypes: Television: Review: Feminine Archetypes in ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ (2017)

Families bequeathe their most valuable possessions to subsequent generations to preserve legacy. In HBO’s fact-based dramatization “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” based on the book by Rebecca Skloot, an item as dear as gold is gifted to the world and bypasses the offspring. The story focuses on what’s medically known as the HeLa cell […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘Big Little Lies” and the World of Neptune (2017)

As the waves relentlessly crash onto the shoreline of Monterey, you anticipate the emergence, any minute now, of bearded Neptune, sporting his trident as though waiting to pierce some high-end seafood and olives. “Big Little Lies,” HBO’s seven-episode drama based on Liane Moriarty’s novel and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is about a murder tied to […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Life’ (2017)

Life will out. As a viable entity, it has no choice except – as we known from the story of the scorpion and the frog – to survive by acting according to its nature. That’s not good news for the six-member crew of an international space station in Life, directed by Daniel Espinosa, whose mission […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Personal Shopper’ (2017)

Noise – clanging, sudden, with threads that potentially reach beyond the earthly realm – can grate both on one’s nerves and the psyche. In Personal Shopper, directed by Olivier Assayas, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is at the receiving end of such missives –smoky visuals and teleportation of household items are also involved – which throw her […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Table 19’ (2017)

Life is messy and not particularly grid-friendly. People color outside the lines, the sort of folks who often end up at Table 19, a slice-of-life film – named for its least desirable ever seating arrangement – written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz. During pre-credits, Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is in torment deciding whether to attend an upcoming […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Get Out’ (2017)

Ever get that sunken feeling? A hellish thing. Persephone, siphoned out of a field while she was picking posies en route to servitude, knew it well. And somehow Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out, has turned that Greek myth on its head so that its bones miraculously structure the story of Chris (Daniel […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘La La Land’ (2016)

Dreams, under the aegis of archetypal Neptune – ruler of film, actors, music and musicians – are slippery, hard-to-hold figments, operating in the depths of the unconscious. And trying to live out a dream in the waking state often means an endless clash between the transcendence of one’s pursuits and the hardcore reality of meeting material needs. […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Elle’ (2016)

Gamers get off on winning battles against creatures that aren’t real. So it’s no wonder that the hot-shot, female, gaming executive in Elle lives her life in Paris as though it were a simulated contest. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Elle follows the story of Michele LeBlanc (Isabelle Huppert), a divorced woman who, in the first […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘The Night Of,’ the Feet and Neptune (2016)

Feet often slip. They and whatever coverings shield them don’t always take people where they want to go. Typically because the wearer doesn’t have a good sense of the direction in which they’re headed. This pretty much describes the eight-part drama “The Night Of” –  it could easily have been called “Feets, Don’t Fail Me […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Lights Out’ (2016)

Abandonment issues – scary, painful and often irreparable – can haunt people their entire lives. In Lights Out, that time frame gets extended to beyond-the-grave. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film is a taut rubber band of resentments, vengefulness and post-mortem co-dependence. The film’s spindly title font suggests what’s to come, as a shadowy […]