Screening Room

June 18, 2012

Shadow of a Doubt: Franz Kafka and TV’s ‘The Killing’ 16

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When I first began to watch The Killing two months ago, I told a friend who’d been watching since day one. His reaction was vehement. “Goddamn FUCK THE KILLING. I keep watching it and it keeps NOT GOING ANYWHERE. And yet I cannot stop watching.”

June 4, 2012

Ten Books to Read When Mad Men is Over 19

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Mad Men is about to disappear from our lives once again, leaving us to grapple alone with our complicated nostalgia for an era when men were men, women were secretaries, and alcoholism was glamorous. These books give a closer look at the era.

May 10, 2012

On The Road, On The Screen 9

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A large part of On The Road’s powerful and ongoing appeal undoubtedly stems from the lyricism of its language — as opposed to its linearity, or even narrative coherence. Translating this to the screen could quite simply be impossible. Indeed, one suspects it is the reason that, up till now, so many screenwriters have failed in turning Kerouac’s text into visual form.

February 24, 2012

Source Material: Breaking Down the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay 14

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If the publishing industry really does collapse, as some predict it will, it won’t be the big houses or the independent bookstores that will be most affected, it will be Hollywood. This year’s crop of Oscar contenders begs the question “Can there be a cinema without books?”

January 20, 2012

The Literary Pedigree of Downton Abbey 9

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The current PBS Masterpiece series mashes the “class” buttons hard, in both the literary and the economic senses. But its relationship with the English novel is more complicated than it might appear.

November 16, 2011

Monster Mashups: The Recurring Horror of Mary Poppins 3

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The monsters are always among us, because no matter how tightly we shore up the windows and nail shut the doors, we always create some new cracks through which they can come.

September 30, 2011

The Joys and Compromises of Bennett Miller’s Moneyball 2

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Take whatever it is that’s important to you – knitting, perhaps, or mountain biking – and then imagine waiting for a feature film about it. Would you be excited or nervous? Or would you simply be dreading how Hollywood would manage to fuck up your passion?

September 21, 2011

A Documentary for Our Times: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 8

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As the divisions of class and race continue to harden and widen in this country, I say we could use more leaders like Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis, with their beautiful, hard-earned fury.

September 8, 2011

Star Wars, Apatow, and the Death of Classic Comedy 2

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Judd Apatow and friends, with their hyper-familiar brand of hairy-assed humor, have issued a crushing blow to the suspension of disbelief — and made the gap between old comedy and new unbridgeable.

August 16, 2011

Films You Haven’t Seen Yet…The Sequel! 7

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You might think that Real Steel 2 is an exception. You might think that, even by the standards of Hollywood conservatism gone mad, work on Real Steel 2 is a damning, individual act of hubris. But it’s far from the only example.