Cynthia Fuchs

Cynthia Fuchs is Film and TV reviews editor at PopMatters.com and director of Film & Media Studies and Associate Professor of English, Film & Video Studies, African and African American Studies, Sport & American Culture, and Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University.

 

Articles by Cynthia Fuchs

 

DETROIT — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

detroit posterDetroit‘s focus on the 11 hours at the Algiers doesn’t expose racism as deviance as much as it displays its patterns. Like the other two movies in Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s war film trilogy, Detroit lurches occasionally, from journalism to sensationalism, from personal experiences to cultural critique. Less invested in any particular character than The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty, the new film poses a compelling challenge to that framework as a way to interrogate systems. Its focus on racism, the driving force of this war (as it is of most wars) presents it as a pathology and a system, alive in a past that is hardly over. Continue reading…

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THE MIDWIFE — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

THE MIDWIFE POSTER‘We’ll never understand each other.” Claire (Catherine Frot) stands abruptly, ready to leave the restaurant where she’s just sat down with Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve). A long shot near the start of Martin Provost’s The Midwife (Sage Femme) reveals other diners, oblivious to the drama at center screen. Béatrice gazes up at Claire, surprised at her upset: “We were just starting to be friends again.” Continue reading…

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MAUDIE — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

“Slim pickins applied for the job.” Everett (Ethan Hawke) is disappointed. A fishmonger in Nova Scotia, he’s put up an advertisement in search of a live-in housecleaner. Times are hard during the 1930s, and as he insists more than once, Everett doesn’t plan to pay much or change his routine. The one person who does apply is Maud (Sally Hawkins), looking to support herself for the first time, after her brother Charlie (Zachary Bennett) sold their house without consulting her. Neither Everett nor Maud can imagine the future they’re about to share. Continue reading…

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MEGAN LEAVEY — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

MEGAN LEAVEY POSTER“I left this place a thousand times in my mind, but I never actually went anywhere,” says Megan Leavey (Kate Mara). That place is home, a small town in upstate New York with an unsupportive mother (Edie Falco) and a kindly but mostly absent father (Bradley Whitford). Megan’s sense of confinement shapes the early scenes in Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s movie: trucks, railroad tracks, and a hulking factory form internal frames as she looks off-screen. Her escape is the Marines: it’s 2003 and the war in Iraq is underway, a war the movie uses a backdrop for the story of Megan’s coming of age. Continue reading…

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THE FIFTH ELEMENT — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

“This woman is mankind’s most precious possession.” So exclaims Father Cornelius (Ian Holm), gazing with awe and adoration at Leeloo (Milla Jovovich). The priest has been awaiting her arrival for years, and now, in 2263, hopes against hope that she’ll fulfill the prophecy and save the world. Continue reading…

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HEAL THE LIVING — Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Katell Quillévéré’s Heal the Living opens with the sound of breathing. Seventeen-year-old Simon (Gabin Verdet) wakes to see his girlfriend sleeping beside him, as their breathing together creates a soothing, essential rhythm. It’s before dawn, and Simon is soon out of bed and on his way to the beach, where he and his friends will surf: as he rides his bicycle, the camera hovers and follows him, creating another rhythm, swift and lovely, when Simon’s friend — riding a skateboard — comes up beside him on the street. Together, they make their way to a van driven by a third friend, and they’re off, to the deep blue, early morning waves. Continue reading…

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MERU – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Climbing Meru might be represented in a film, but even as it’s shared here, among Conrad, Jimmy, and Renan, each has his own version of what happened. So too does Jenni, despite and because of what she knows and doesn’t know. Read more>>

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GOODNIGHT MOMMY – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

‘Goodnight Mommy’ Messes With Our Minds Using Nightmares, Twins — and a Single Mom. Read more>>

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LISTEN TO ME MARLON – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

‘Listen to Me Marlon’ Makes It Clear That for Marlon Brando, Acting Was Surviving. Read more>>

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COURT -Review by Cynthia Fuchs

‘Court’ Is a Wise, Incisive Contemplation of India’s Institutional Mechanics. Read more>>

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CARTEL LAND – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

‘Cartel Land’ and the Never-Ending Story of the Drug War. Read more>>

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HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

‘Heaven Knows What’ Blurs the Boundaries Between Documentary and Fiction. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Stolen” – Cynthia Fuchs reviews

As Stolen looks at slavery in North Africa, it becomes clear that saying “too much” is costly for Fetim. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Source Code” – Cynthia Fuchs reviews

Colter, like Deckard before him, has to accept who and where he is, even as these definitions recede before him. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Pushing the Elephant” – Cynthia Fuchs reviews

As ambassador for the humanitarian organization, Mapendo International, Rose Mapendo tells her story again and again, encouraging her listeners to draw lessons from it. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Triangle: Remembering the Fire” – Cynthia Fuchs reviews

As the film makes clear, the story of the Triangle Fire is actually many stories, fragmented, frightening, and heroic. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Town” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

A single, lingering, low-angle close-up of Pete Postlethwaite’s face goes a long way toward making any movie at least a little compelling. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Waiting for ‘Superman’” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

The young students’ stories are surely Waiting for ‘Superman’’s most effective strategy, but it’s hard not to wonder at how they are being used in such a slick enterprise. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Social Network” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

The possible “openness” of Facebook here hinges on the definitive closed system embodied by this fictional Mark Zuckerberg. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Teenage Paparazzo” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Teenage Paparazzo establishes at least a couple of foci, namely, Adrian Grenier’s relationship with the picture-snapping press and his relationship with that relationship, as he portrays it on TV. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women on Film – “Freakonomics” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Freakonomics’ four sections offer various takes on the source book’s premise: what happens when you ask “a different kind of question entirely?” Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Marwencol” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Marwencol shows a process of self-imagining and storytelling that reflects the intricate ways that we all understand ourselves, the worlds inside and around us. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Let Me In” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Let Me In both tweaks and fulfills right-wingy, quasi-religious views by making the most virulent embodiment of evil a little girl. a href=”http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/131649-let-me-in/” target=”new”>Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Unmatched” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

Unmatched is a sports documentary that’s less interested in the sport — the wins and losses, the athletic brilliance and skill and effort — than in the deep and emotional connections between these rivals and friends. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “I’m Still Here” – Review by Cynthia Fuchs

The question is not whether the new Joaquin Phoenix or even the movie is a hoax — all documentaries show performances, selves designed for cameras. The more interesting question has to do with you: do you want to believe the film, and why?

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