All posts by Molly Stoneman

Observing the Future of Princeton Film

Swarms of tour groups descend upon campus each week, cameras and guidebooks in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of the picturesque campus that has been the location and subject of countless films. Wading through the Holder Courtyard cloisters, an unmistakable glimmer of recognition connects the tourists to movies old and new: A Beautiful Mind, Across the Universe, Princess Diaries 2, and Admission, to name a few. In the newest addition to this list, Princeton supplies not only the location and content, but also the actors, producers, screenwriter, director, equipment, and funding. The Observer Effect, written and directed by Eric Hayes ’18, premiered on Friday to a nearly full house at The Garden Theater.

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Fuller House: Nostalgia or Narcissism?

What within us creates nostalgia? Is Generation Y really so sentimental for wholesome childhood values in our current world of corruption and needless distaste? The cynic in me says no; it is not nostalgia, but narcissism that fuels the contemporary wave of childhood reboots—from this year’s Grease revamp to the upcoming Gilmore Girls reunion—so that we might relive adolescent comfort from behind a knowing smirk that the world is not quite so upbeat after all.

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Reunited And It Feels…Just Alright

Midway through the movie, I realized that Sisters, the newest collaboration from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, was not made for me. My first hint should have been the movie theater crowded with women in their 40s and 50s. While the Generation Xers cracked up at 80’s reference after reference, I—the only person under 40 in the theater—was left out. Sisters will be a great family movie night rental with parents, but for the college kiddos hoping for another Girl’s Night In addition to the repertoire, you will be disappointed.

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The Coen Brothers’ Roman Forum

When Josh Brolin’s character tells you that, “an army of technicians, actors, and top-notch artistic people are working hard to bring to the screen our biggest release of the year,” you cannot help but think he is not just talking about a fictional movie production. The Coen Brothers’ latest film Hail, Caesar! creates a glamorous world of nostalgia for the Golden Age of Hollywood, but is the film self-deprecating or self-indulgent?

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A Girl Grows in Brooklyn

Just in time for the holidays, Brooklyn delivers a visually stunning memoir of transition, loneliness, and letting go. Adapted from Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name, Brooklyn captures the story of Eilis (Ay-lish) Lacey, a young woman who moves from rural Ireland to Brooklyn in the early 1950s in pursuit of a better future. Eilis (a perfectly cast Saoirse Ronan) finds herself torn between her two worlds, each meaningful in different ways, and conversely familiar to her as she matures in love and life. When can she let go of her old life to start anew? Brooklyn beautifully captures the conflict of what happens when there is no right answer to the question.

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Over-Seasoned and Undercooked

Start with a charismatic ‘bad boy.’ Add a dash of troubled past. Sprinkle in former enemies, and simmer in some old flames. Fill to top with food close-ups. Mix vigorously. With an all-star cast and an established director, Burnt should have been a recipe for success. Instead, this predictable redemption story is a disappointing flameout.

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The Complicated Feminism of Magic Mike XXL

Can a film about male strippers really be feminist? On the surface, Magic Mike XXL certainly tries. However, the first time a woman speaks is 22 minutes and 27 seconds into the movie. Normally, going one-sixth of the way through a film before introducing a female character would be quite noticeable, but since there are only three or four named women in the movie, the missing dialogue is subtle. For a film so obviously targeted to women, does this movie do enough productive work? Continue reading The Complicated Feminism of Magic Mike XXL