For Musings, I take a look at the trilogy of Jack Ryan movies from the early 1990s, and how they reflected the global politics and action aesthetics of the time. I can now happily check "Get paid to write about The Hunt for Red October" off my bucket list. Dr. Ryan: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Kremlin
For Musings, I wrote about Tender Mercies and The Apostle, in an attempt to examine the intangibility of belief and the challenge of convincingly portraying on film something that looks and feels differently for everyone who experiences it. “Sing It the Way You Feel It”: Forgiveness and Faith in Tender Mercies
For Musings, I wrote about Samson Raphaelson, a playwright and screenwriter most notable for his nine-film collaboration with Ernst Lubitsch. I discovered Raphaelson after watching the Criterion release of 1943's Heaven Can Wait, which featured among its extras a thirty-minute PBS documentary about Raphaelson, who was then in his 80s. He came at the screen a man possessed, shaking his hands and extolling the virtue in screenplays of human characteristics above all else. To say I fell somewhat in love would not be inaccurate. He wrote a book called The Human Nature of Playwriting[footnote]Available on Kindle.[/footnote], drawn from a course he taught in 1948, that's just as illuminating. The Craftsman's Hands: How Samson Raphaelson Shaped Classic Hollywood
For Musings, I take a look at Sunshine, a sweeping historical drama that stars Ralph Fiennes in three lead roles across three generations: grandfather, father, son. Before rewatching the film for this piece, I'd only seen it once. I rented it on a whim in the fall of 2000, when I was a freshman at college. The video store down the street[footnote]Actual VHS tapes.[/footnote] offered one free catalog rental every day in a different genre: comedy, drama, horror, family, etc. I went all the time, always on the lookout. I hadn't heard of Sunshine or its writer-director, István Szabó, before then, and I'd only seen Ralph Fiennes a few years earlier in Quiz Show.[footnote]I would see Schindler's List later in 2000, and The English Patient sometime in the next year.[/footnote] But the film rocked me back and stayed with me, and I would find myself thinking of it regularly for years. I wanted to revisit it with older eyes, and I was happy to find it's still beautiful, sad, operatic, and ultimately big-hearted.
For Musings, I take a look at It Should Happen to You, a bittersweet dramedy from 1954 that pretty much predicted Kim Kardashian: I’ll Help You Be Popular: It Should Happen to You and the Thirst for Fame
My latest piece for Musings is about Croupier. I feel lucky to have actually caught this in the theater when it was released. It was my introduction to Clive Owen, and for years after, I thought first of Croupier whenever I saw him. He's fantastic in it.
My first piece for Oscilloscope's Musings is about a standout scene in Clean and Sober, one of those great little dramas that can be too easily forgotten. (Good news: you can rent it for a couple bucks.) We Admitted We Were Powerless: Addiction and Recovery in Clean and Sober