Critical Dissent: Debating Inherent Vice with Yen Nguyen

It’s fair to say that Inherent Vice, the latest from American auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, is a divisive film. This adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel is a digressive, intoxicated journey through 1970s California as perpetually-stoned PI Larry Sportello – everyone just calls him “Doc” – (Joaquin Phoenix) stumbles into a world of neo-Nazis, property…

Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice is one of those rare examples of cinema where the experience of the audience is entirely aligned with the experience of the film’s protagonist. This achievement should celebrated when found in great horror films, that terrify and alienate you along with their characters, or classics like Goodfellas, which follows sharp-edged cocaine dynamism with…

Commentary: The Literal Objectification of Women – How Her, Solaris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Examine Gender Dynamics

[Note: this article contains spoilers for Her, Solaris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind] I’ve been thinking about Spike Jonze’s Her a lot lately. My review focused on the film’s romanticism, describing it as more a love story than “some thesis on relationships or futurism.” I stand by that statement; Her’s success stems from…

Joaquin Phoenix in Her (2013)

Her (2013)

Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) writes letters. Perhaps “writes” is the wrong word; he dictates letters to his computer, which then “handwrites” them for him. He writes letters for couples, for friends, for absent children. Theodore is very good at his job; his letters are poetic, funny and seemingly heartfelt. He reads a letter he’s written…