The 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth is based on a 1963 novel of the same name, but it seems like it was written specifically for and about its alien-like star David Bowie. When Bowie agreed to make the movie, he was in the middle of a whirlwind of pop success. After several years of trying to break onto the scene, his career had shot off like a rocket. The dizzying rise was getting to him, though, he… Read more »

Patricia Highsmith wrote The Price of Salt, the novel that was rereleased as Carol decades later, in 1949 while undergoing intense psychoanalysis in an attempt to get herself into “a condition to be married.” Being gay was so socially unacceptable at that time that even a free-thinking, tradition-bucking, iconoclast like Highsmith temporarily bowed to the intense pressure to mold herself into who society thought she was supposed to be.

“Do you really mean it when you say that?” Rinko asks her boyfriend before they say goodnight. She’s an empathetic, caring girlfriend, but she also has insecurities, flares of jealousy. She can be demanding and stay icy for days if you slight her, but she always forgives as long as you stay attentive. She doesn’t judge.

The Coen brothers’ latest effort, Hail, Caesar, shines not when it’s lambasting showbiz, but when it’s celebrating it. The over-the-top musical numbers are stunning and just as magical as the iconic performances they’re inspired by. These types of displays are the essence of entertainment: an attempt to pull you out of yourself and into a looking glass world that sparkles with song and graceful, effortless movements. They’re dream sequences of the human spirit.

Einar Wegener picked the day he was going to kill himself: May 1, 1930. Months before the looming suicide date arrived, however, Einar was given an unbelievable opportunity. He found he could physically transform into Lili with the help of innovative German doctors. The surgeries were risky, but at that point so was continuing life in the world as Einar. The stakes were high all around, and if there was a way to make Einar disappear so Lili could live, he was going to try it.

The first thing you’ll notice in Aokigahara is the still silence. The foliage here is especially dense, it grows on a bed of nutrient-rich lava from a 10-day 864 Mt. Fuji eruption, and its lush expanse blocks outside sound. There is an uncommon lack of wildlife, so even the rustle of scurrying creatures or trills of a birdsong is rare. Most of the time all that can be heard is the crunch of your own feet.

The concept of “The Force” in Star Wars seems to resonant universally. The idea of the force seems easy enough to understand when you’re in the midst of the delightful intergalactic ride full of non-stop action and satisfying scene wipes, but it gets a bit more nebulous the more you try to grasp it. What is The Force, really? And why do we respond so powerfully to it?