All posts by Parth Parihar

The “Coming of Age” of Coming-of-Age Films

Why aren’t we seeing movies about growing up in the twenty first century? Has film lost its ability to convey a collective experience? How does film hold up in an age of television and Internet? Rebecca, Ryohei, and Parth ponder the fate of traditional coming-of-age films and where the genre might be headed in the future.

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Buffer Oscar Predictions

With the Oscars so close, the Buffer editors love nothing more than to debate the outcomes of each category. Here are our predictions for the winners of some of the top categories for this year’s Academy Awards.

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August: Osage County “Flat, Hot Nothing”

August: Osage County succeeds remarkably well in transporting us to the strange Okie world in which it takes place.  The movie is filled with vistas of the sun-scorched Plains, a setting Barbara Weston (Julia Roberts) contemptuously refers to as “flat, hot, nothing.”  And throughout the viewing, that’s exactly where we find ourselves.  A place that lacks depth and dimension, is fraught with cacophony and argumentation, and ultimately amounts to less than the sum of its parts.  Not that the film isn’t pleasant at times—don’t get me wrong—but as we scratch our heads for answers to questions like what was this movie about, anyway? we can’t seem to place August: Osage County anywhere at all.

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The Returned, Best in (TV) Show 2013

 What’s the highest rated TV show on MetaCritic this season? The answer may surprise you. With an impressive score of 92%, Les Revenants, Canal+ and Music Box Film’s French supernatural drama chronicling the resurrection of the deceased residents of an alpine town, takes the crown. Christened The Returned in its English incarnation, the series completed its first season on the Sundance Channel on December 19. And while it may not be the greatest season of any show I’ve ever seen, The Returned is compelling, fresh, and continues to ask us subtly intriguing questions that make us— well, return.

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A Bug’s Life: Colonial Allegory

We celebrate the fifteenth anniversary (November 23, 2013) of Disney-Pixar’s A Bug’s Life: has it stood the test of time?

On the face of it, it seems nearly impossible to humanize insects. But those creepy crawlies that barely get our attention, save for a scream or a swat, elicit onscreen not only many a chuckle but also a great deal of emotional investment from the viewer of A Bug’s Life. This in itself is perhaps the greatest achievement of Disney and Pixar’s 1998 film chronicling the life and times of an ant colony that faces an existential crisis when a band of roving grasshoppers seeks to exact tribute from their small store of food. Moviegoers were hooked by the professional animation and visual impact of the new Pixar animation. But though the fifth highest grossing Thanksgiving movie ever, fifteen years later A Bug’s Life has failed to acquire the iconic status we bestow upon many other animated films, like The Lion King (1994), Toy Story (1995), or Finding Nemo (2003). Could the biggest reason for the film’s disappearance into cultural limbo be that A Bug’s Life was always as much covert political allegory as light children’s entertainment?

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Dexter: A Tale of Two Shots

Dexter’s series finale may be titled Remember the Monsters, but it is hard to scavenge anything resembling the good ol’ days in the hollow carcass that Showtime’s fixture has become. And while we’re being honest with each other, I was so thoroughly disturbed by Dexter’s ending that I felt the need to draw its last shot (see above)—and only when I had finished did I realize the problem.

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