Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde Movie

In cinema, real, dangerous women have been a fascinating anomaly – rare invaders of the norm who arrive, surprise, and vanish. As stalwarts of diversity, they wait in the wings until they’re tapped for the next tale, used so often that their names become immortally infamous – like Bonnie Parker, who died eighty years ago today in an ambush alongside partner in crime, Clyde Barrow. If Hollywood was to be believed, history holds only a handful of badass women, but the repetitive nature of historical biographies isn’t a necessity, it’s a matter of habit. Hollywood opts for the familiar rather than mine the deep and plentiful repositories of women in history, save for the rare interludes that have brought women like Domino Harvey, Valerie Solanas, and Mary Surratt to the big screen. But they are a few of many more – tough heroines and villains whose lives are just asking for a film treatment. Here are seven, and the cinematic counterparts they could challenge.

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The 1964 film version of Bonnie and Clyde is widely considered a modern classic and one of the jumping off points for the new Hollywood of the 60s and 70s. Do we really need another Bonnie and Clyde movie then, since we already had one that did things so well? Of course we do, we need a new version of everything. And this one might not actually be so bad, because instead of being a similarly romantic take on the story of the lovebird outlaws, this new proposed project is going to be based on a more real life take on the duo.

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Culture Warrior

You hear the phrase “This movie could never be made today” quite often, and it’s typically a thinly veiled means by which a creative team allows themselves to administer loving pats on their own backs. But in the context of at a 35th anniversary exhibition of the restoration of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with a justifiably disgruntled Paul Schrader in attendance, such a sentence rings profoundly and depressingly true. Like many of you, I’ve seen Taxi Driver many times before. For many, it’s a formative moment in becoming a cinephile. But I had never until last weekend seen the film outside of a private setting. And in a public screening, on the big screen, I’m happy to say the film still has the potential to shock and profoundly affect viewers so many decades on. For me personally it was the most disturbing of any time I’d ever seen the film, and I was appropriately uncomfortable despite anticipating the film’s every beat. Perhaps it was because I was sharing the film’s stakes with a crowd instead of by myself or with a small group of people, or perhaps the content comes across as so much more subversive when projected onto a giant screen, or perhaps it was because the aura of a room always feels different when the creative talent involved is in attendance. For whatever reason, I found the film to be more upsetting than in any other context of viewing. But one of the most appalling moments of Taxi […]

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Culture Warrior

Acts of spontaneity have been an essential component of artistic expression in the twentieth century, based in the notion of a perceived “purity” within the spontaneous act that allows art to be directly articulated without mediation or interference from social pressures and constructs. From the improvisatory paintings of Jackson Pollock to the idea of the rewrite as heresy within Jack Kerouac’s prose, spontaneity in many cases is seen as the only way to make art that has any “real” meaning. According to Daniel Belgrad, mid-century efforts toward artistic spontaneity provided a means of expression free from the constrains enforced by an oppressive, conformist hegemonic culture: “This new avant-garde shared the belief that cultural conditioning functioned ideologically by encouraging the atrophy of certain perceptions and the exaggeration of others…In the recovery of such an alternative “reality”…they saw the only basis for constructively radical social change.” Spontaneity through art then doesn’t alter perception as much as its restores it to its ideal original state, allowing artists and spectators of art to see beyond a regime’s oppressive confines.

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This week’s Culture Warrior looks absolutely fabulous in that suit.

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I’m sure a decent number of film sites out there are going to be looking at the Best Gangster films of all time. Since we already know that Analyze This tops the list every year, we decided to do something a little different – looking at the gorgeous women that stand beside their connected men.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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