Tag Archives: Sarah Paulson

12 Years a Slave (2013)



Steve McQueen probably hated Django Unchained. Where Tarantino’s Django Unchained toyed with history’s facts to make the horrors of slavery a plot point, 12 Years a Slave is a film about a torture perpetrated on millions of black men, women and children. McQueen’s third feature isn’t interested in the audience’s comfort or catharsis, and tells a story full of vicious, hard violence and fractured souls. McQueen brings you as close as he possibly can to the horrors of antebellum slavery, not shying from bloody truths, and ultimately reminds us that far, far too often, history’s mad men and their ugly horrors go unpunished and unredressed.

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Mud (2013)



“You’re a good man, Ellis.”

This approbation comes near the end of Jeff Nichols’ Mud, and serves as crucial validation for the film’s 14-year-old hero. Much of Mud finds Nichols exploring the lengths to which a boy will go to be treated as an equal by a man he respects. Through selfless labor and violence and love, Ellis tenaciously builds up the ground beneath him in a grasp for equal footing, and every last action rings of utter truth. Because Jeff Nichols understands that most of us are still boys, falling over ourselves to prove that we’re not.

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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Security of self is an easy thing to take for granted. The sense that despite what may happen outside of you, you know who you are and you know that it is your life you’re living. For those of us who have dealt with depression or anxiety, or experienced the trauma of a panic attack or a nervous breakdown, there’s a stronger sense of how important, and how fleeting that security can be. In a way, it’s everything you have, because it’s one of the only things that can’t be disconnected from who you are. Or I suppose, it is who you are, and that is a terrible thing to lose. An insight deftly examined by Writer/Director Sean Durkin in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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