VERONICA MARS, Season Four – Review by Martha P Nochimson

In its first three seasons, Veronica Mars was widely regarded as a sparkling feminist television series. Well, its fourth season, airing on Hulu, would seem to unmask the show as creator Rob Thomas’ 21st century version of the kind of backlash entertainment that appears right on cue whenever women make new strides toward independence, personhood, and realization of their talents and goals. Like running for president and “me too”? Suddenly, Veronica has emerged as a sinister warning to any girl who would be her own person while female. And in a very big way.

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HOMECOMING Season One – Overview by Martha P Nochimson

As far as I know, there will be two seasons of Homecoming, so it is still possible that this wonderfully innovative beginning will collapse into a formulaic conclusion in the next season, marooning us in the older thriller world of simplistic right and wrong. (I hope not.) But the series thus far is so tantalizing that a discussion of the way it touches on current anxieties and blind spots in contemporary America is not premature.

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BLACKkKLANSMAN – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

In Blackkklansman, a movie with a title that makes it sound like it’s a Mel Brooks high concept farce from the 1970’s, Spike Lee Has dipped back into historical events that began in 1978 to hold the mirror up to the dangerous racial chaos of America in 2018. And it’s no farce. At the same time, both Lee’s film and the book of the same name on which it is based, a memoir by a black undercover police detective, Ron Stallworth, working in Colorado Springs, do create cognitive dissonance. A black man in the Klan? How?

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BEING JULIA – Review by Martha Nochimson

Being Julia ( 2004) is a dazzling, fourteen year old romantic comedy whose time has come for a closer look. Based on a Somerset Maugham novella, Theatre, and set in 1938 London, at first glance it seems to be the essence of what has become offensive to progressive people. Successful British actress, Julia Lambert lives in a bubble of class privilege and audience adulation, to the exclusion of all else in society. But, don’t turn away. Being Julia offers an opportunity for feminists to mine unexpected gold and to examine our own prejudices and myopia.

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THE DEATH OF STALIN – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

You can’t get a better deflector for these dark days in the United States than a serio-comic farce set in the now defunct Soviet Union in 1953, as the mammoth country was given an opportunity to emerge from the rigid structure of Stalin’s tyranny. The Death of Stalin (2017) directed by political satirist Armando Ianucci is such film, a comic tour de force about the anarchy hidden within despotism.

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NYFF18 Review: THE FAVOURITE — Martha P. Nochimson

Have you ever wondered what sexual politics would be like in a matriarchy? In their rompin’ stompin’ film, The Favourite, shown as the opening night feature for this year’s New York Film Festival, director Yorgos Lanthimos and writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, give you space to imaginatively explore that possibility.

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EYE ON MEDIA: Keeping Up With Hugh Grant — Profile by Martha Nochimson

On IMDb.com, a biographical note by Steve Shelokhonov, who has made his mark, such as it is, as the author of IMDb mini-biographies, describes Hugh Grant as an actor known for “playing characters projecting warmth and sincere happiness.” It’s not an important piece of scholarship, but it is widely read, due to its venue, and it is, unfortunately, typical of the kind of entertainment journalism that promotes reductive stereotypes of star reputations. It’s undated, but couldn’t have been written much after 2003, so it grows out of Grant’s early work. Even so, it is a distortion.

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