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Picture of a movie: American Beauty
American Beauty
After his death sometime in his 43rd year, suburbanite Lester Burnham tells of the last few weeks of his life, during which he had no idea of his imminent passing. He is a husband to real estate agent Carolyn Burnham and father to high school student Jane Burnham. Although Lester and Carolyn once loved each other, they now merely tolerate each other. Typical wallflower Jane also hates both her parents; the three suffer individually in silence in their home life. Jane tries to steer clear of both her parents. Carolyn, relatively new to the real estate business, wants to create the persona of success to further her career, aspiring to the professional life of Buddy Kane, the king of the real estate business in their neighborhood. Lester merely walks mindlessly through life, including at his job in advertising. His company is downsizing, and he, like all the other employees, has to justify his position to the newly hired efficiency expert to keep his job. Things change for Lester when he falls in love at first sight with Jane's more experienced classmate, Angela Hayes. Both Janie and Angela can see Lester's sexual infatuation with Angela, who courts such attention from any man as a sign that she is model material, she having once appeared in Seventeen and is a career to which she aspires. Lester's infatuation with Angela gives him a reenergized view on life, where he openly doesn't care anymore what anyone thinks about what he does, anyone except Angela. This infatuation coincides with the Fittses moving in next door: homophobic disciplinarian US Marine Colonel Frank Fitts who rules the house with a military fist (that fist being both figurative and literal), his semi-comatose wife Barbara Fitts, and their bright and quietly subversive 18-year-old son Ricky Fitts, who openly abides by his father's rules while behind the scenes lives by his own quite different perspective. Much like Lester's infatuation, Ricky immediately becomes infatuated with Jane; he considers girls like Angela as ordinary. The entry of Angela and the Fittses into the Burnhams' lives ultimately leads to each of the players confronting what is truly in his or her heart.
Picture of a movie: The Big Short
The Big Short
Three separate but parallel stories of the U.S mortgage housing crisis of 2005 are told. Michael Burry, an eccentric ex-physician turned one-eyed Scion Capital hedge fund manager, has traded traditional office attire for shorts, bare feet and a Supercuts haircut. He believes that the US housing market is built on a bubble that will burst within the next few years. Autonomy within the company allows Burry to do largely as he pleases, so Burry proceeds to bet against the housing market with the banks, who are more than happy to accept his proposal for something that has never happened in American history. The banks believe that Burry is a crackpot and therefore are confident in that they will win the deal. Jared Vennett with Deutschebank gets wind of what Burry is doing and, as an investor believes he too can cash in on Burry's beliefs. An errant telephone call to FrontPoint Partners gets this information into the hands of Mark Baum, an idealist who is fed up with the corruption in the financial industry. Baum and his associates, who work at an arms length under Morgan Stanley, decide to join forces with Vennett despite not totally trusting him. In addition to Burry's information, they further believe that most of the mortgages are overrated by the bond agencies, with the banks collating all the sub-prime mortgages under AAA packages. Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley, who are minor players in a $30 million start-up garage company called Brownfield, get a hold of Vennett's prospectus on the matter. Wanting in on the action but not having the official clout to play, they decide to call an old "friend", retired investment banker Ben Rickert, to help out. All three of these groups work on the premise that the banks are stupid and don't know what's going on, while for them to win, the general economy has to lose, which means the suffering of the general investor who trusts the financial institutions. That latter aspect may not sit well with Baum. Some of these assumptions may be incorrect and may be far more manipulative than they could have ever imagined, which in turn may throw curves into the process.
Image of Glitchcraft: Self-Reflexive Horror, Genre, and Technology
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Glitchcraft: Self-Reflexive Horror, Genre, and Technology
The shared love of exploitation movies, B movies, and other trash treasures can be found in the DNA throughout all of Robert Rodriguz (Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn) and Quentin Tarantino’s (Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds) careers. In 2007, they embarked on a project, while also enlisting the help of fellow trash lovers Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, and Eli Roth, to bring back the kind of dirty, lurid, vulgar movies they loved as a kid and that they would watch on video. Taking its name from the slang term these movie houses and drive in theatres were called (from the way the reels would just grind through projector after projector), the two created a bizarre and brilliant memory project, a real double feature with their own versions, odes, and idealizations of glorious B-movies: Rodriguez with his zombie apocalypse extravaganza Planet Terror, starring Rose McGowan as a stripper with a machine gun leg; and Tarantino’s Death Proof, a slasher movie where the killer uses a souped up muscle car to take out his victims, with Kurt Russell as psychotic Stuntman Mike. A thrillingly entertaining experiment in nostalgia, each film featuring favorite tropes and cliches and riddled with scratches and film damage, Grindhouse relishes in the beauty of cinematic vulgarity.

Glitchcraft: Self-Reflexive Horror, Genre, and Technology

Bury Your Gays: Queer Horror

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