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

If a movie is titled Fences and its protagonist has had his dreams of being a baseball star crushed, it’s fair to consider that sport’s well known adage. To “swing for the fences” refers to players who literally aim to hit the ball over a field’s barriers, scoring a home run. That sort of physical […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Patriots Day’ (2016)

Archetypal, explosive violence – the coupling of energy that’s both Martian-aggressive and Uranian-sudden – is both a personal and collective attack in Patriots Day. Co-written and directed by Peter Berg, the film sets in motion the rhythms just prior to the Boston Marathon, in 1913, that traditionally falls on what’s called Patriots Day. That year, […]

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: ‘Toni Erdmann’ (2016)

You yell at the screen and cover your eyes. But this is no horror film. It’s a highly sophisticated cinematic tale of the affectionately desperate pursuit of an adult female executive by her aging father who takes on Grand Guignol attire – atrocious, fake vampiric teeth and bad wig – and the name “Toni Erdmann” […]

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

You need a kickass, steely preservationist to ensure that an exceptional life becomes a memory that feeds future generations. And in Jackie, that force-of-nature caretaker is Jacqueline Kennedy who, after her husband’s assassination, impressionistically exudes intentions – elegantly, sullenly, arrogantly – to ensure Jack’s being remembered. Directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain, and written by […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (2016)

The archetypal Father is many things. The biological dad. A person who behaves like a father. A vigilant caretaker. All these paternal activities encompass the same vital force: guide, lead, protect and introduce the child into the world. Directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea is a sobering, often heartbreaking story about […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (2016)

In Nocturnal Animals, the sting of a paper cut can penetrate way below the dermal level. Directed and written by Tom Ford, the film, based on the book Tony and Susan, by Austin Wright, demonstrates that a seemingly slight abrasion can turn into a deep, male-inflicted wound, underscoring the movie’s key questions: how do we […]

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

What does a host say to the newly arrived? Especially when they’re aliens? That’s the key question posed in Arrival: What’s your business here, given that 12 of your ships that look like squished Bosu balls standing upright have plopped down all over our planet. Directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on the Ted Chiang […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ (2016)

Much of the anticipation surrounding Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk involves both the film’s 4K ultra-high resolution and 3D run at 120-frames-a-second. This experimental technique, created by the film’s director, Ang Lee, is designed to foster a greater level of cinematic artistic expression. And the speed – five times that of traditional movies – gives […]

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 […]