In 2011, Saloma Miller Furlong’s Why I Left the Amish: A Memoir appeared during the memoir boom that gave agency to invisible, marginalized, or misrepresented groups. Why I Left the Amish was one of the first memoirs written by a former Amish woman that provided unfettered perspectives on the Amish. While many Amish groups today lead a simple life much like many rural Americans in agricultural communities did in the 19th to early 20th centuries, Amish culture is anything but simple as Furlong’s newest memoir shows.
Michael Fassbender, Marisa Tomei, and Alexandra Daddario: What do these three actors have in common?
You may not know all of them, but what you need to know is that they’ve all played a character from a book or a comic, and that they don’t look like their book-alikes at all! For some people, this may not be relevant, but for book fans, who’ve lived side-by side with their fictional characters, it’s highly important that an actor who somewhat resembles the protagonist in the book plays the role. I’m an avid reader, and whenever the rights to one of my favourite books are bought, I begin to think about the perfect actor who would best fit the role.
Have you ever felt like not watching movies for a while just because you saw one that’s so damn good you knew watching anything else after it would just disappoint you? This is the spell that Mulholland Drive has cast on me.
David Lynch’s 2001 movie was chosen by a BBC poll as the best of the 21st century, yet for me, it’s more than that. For me, it’s the definition of art. Maybe that makes me too much of a New Formalist, but I do believe that what counts in a work of art is not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’. Lynch takes what could simply be a lesbian love story and explores its other dimensions – jealousy, toxicity, rivalry, and betrayal – while at the same time intertwining it with a Hollywood dream. Though this is fascinating, it’s not what sets it apart. What ‘does’ set it apart is how Lynch tells this story in the form of an unnerving, haunting, surrealistic, Freudian mystery/thriller.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Cinderella (Camila Cabello). In the 2021 film, she loves to design dresses and wants to make a business out of it. When the prince (Nicholas Galitzine) announces a ball, her stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel), wanting to protect her from the patriarchal world outside, destroys Cinderella’s dress to keep her from potentially marrying a man she’d just met. The prince, however, is in love with his best friend (Jenet Le Lacheur) but can’t really admit it – not even to himself. Also, he’s not qualified to rule the kingdom. The patriarchy, however, wants him to become king and will never agree to his smart sister (Tallulah Greive) becoming queen.
When Cinderella’s fairy god person (Billy Porter) arrives, they not only turn one of her designs into reality, but they also throw a party at Cinderella’s place. When the prince and his best friend arrive, the presence of the fairy god person gives them the strength to admit their feelings for each other. The prince’s sister becomes heir to the throne, and Cinderella finds a queen with whom to travel around the world and sell her designs. And they all live happily ever after.
Only that’s not what happens.
Dave Eggers’s bestselling tech dystopia, The Circle (2013), has finally received a sequel. While The Circle described the rise of a fictitious tech and social media company and its protagonist’s steady descent into the maelstrom of surveillance culture, The Every now picks up a couple of years later, after the Circle has acquired a big online retailer “named after a South American jungle.” The resulting mega corporation, called the Every, is pretty much the monopolist in all things digital tech – from apps to online shopping to cutting edge hardware. Of course, it’s every bit as scary and unlikeable as one would imagine it to be.
Granted, Babylon Berlin has at its disposition all the means necessary to become a true blockbuster. But it isn’t every day the viewer gets to experience just how phenomenally a big budget can be spent on a TV series – without compromises between bombastic montages and cinematography for lovers, between fast-paced story development and credibly complex characters, that is.
For Babylon Berlin, produced in Germany by German production companies, the commitment to an unflinching and unreserved depiction of a nation on the verge of fascism pays off. As a bit of an inside tip, the show’s spectacular efforts are appreciated far beyond its country of origin, as demonstrated by almost exclusively glowing U.S. reviews.