Screening Room

August 4, 2015

The Long, Lonely Walk: Hallways in Horror Films 2

by

Hallway scenes are an essential element of American and international horror films. Hallways are tight, narrow, walled, made for transit — and yet sometimes our most sensitive moments are out in the hall, doors closed behind us. Hallways are places for tense encounters, confusion, and fear.

July 31, 2015

The Unwritten Profile: On The End Of The Tour 13

by

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give to The End of the Tour, the new film about a five-day interview between the writer David Foster Wallace and Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky, is that I finally started reading Wallace again.

June 4, 2015

Four Uneasy Pieces: How Detroit Moved Beyond Ruin Porn 3

by

The facile visual shorthand of ruin porn has eclipsed nuanced narrative as a way of telling the complex story of Detroit.

April 30, 2015

The Implications of Artificial Intelligence: On Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’ 14

by

In subverting current ideas about gender, sci fi, and the thriller genre, Alex Garland delivers a film about theory of mind that is deliciously hard to read.

April 9, 2015

Winter Is Coming: How HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Is Going off Book and Breaking All the Rules 3

by

Anyone fatigued with Game of Thrones, the socio-technological phenomenon — most illegal downloads! most on-line videos of viewers watching characters die! — may find their interest piqued by the show’s challenge to modern assumptions about adaptation and the idea of canon.

February 13, 2015

The Civil Rights Movement Finally Gets Its Hollywood Close-Up 0

by

Selma is the climax of a cinematic crescendo that has been building for years.

February 9, 2015

Rejoice! A Hollywood Screenwriter Read a Novel Last Year! 6

by

I’m happy to report that the writers nominated for the Adapted Screenplay Oscar mixed a little fiction into their reading diets last year. A very little. One novel.

October 20, 2014

One Long Country Song: What Friday Night Lights Taught Me About Storytelling 7

by

I watched Friday Night Lights in real time, as it aired. I wonder if it would have been as much of an influence if I had “binged-watched” all five seasons back-to-back in one or two months’ time. Instead, the show stretched out over the course of five years, 2006-2011, which for me were years when I had to throw out most of the fiction I wrote.

October 3, 2014

Please, Oh Please: On Madam Secretary and the Ladies of TV     6

by

I want my Secretary of State to be clear that, for as long as her job description includes tending to ISIS, then tending to ISIS is more important than the PTA.

September 25, 2014

A Comic Feast: Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy 0

by

Beneath the laughs, of which there are many, The Trip to Italy is an anxious comedy supremely anxious about comedy itself.