Girls

Girls Female Author

Normally Kate and Rob would be discussing the finer points of this blunt episode of Girls, but since they’re at Sundance, I have the privilege, and because I don’t want to ruin the format of their feature, I’m going to have a conversation about the episode despite being only one person. Hopefully it gets confusing. Fortunately, “Female Author” was ridiculously straightforward. Jessa and Adam bonded over the coffee machine at AA, Marnie and Desi struggle with creative success and romantic failure, Hannah becomes the truth-teller of her writing workshop and Shoshana goes through a completely unnecessary job interview. Overall, it felt like a filler episode, catching up with everyone in transition without showing any great action — granted, the show has dealt fairly casually even with the aftermath of large dramatic swings, too, but this episode felt especially like it was coasting. That’s not automatically a bad thing, especially for a show that doesn’t often catch its own breath, but let’s get to the conversation.

read more...

Female Pervert

“No testicle is safe” is my favorite phrase in the long synopsis for Female Pervert, a new feature about to premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival. “Like Lena Dunham” is my least favorite. Not because I have anything against Dunham, but her name and her show are mentioned way too much in the promotion of other women filmmakers and other movies and TV series about hip femmillennials, especially those living in the big city. Last year, on the eve of Sundance, Obvious Child was being likened to Girls, sight unseen. And Appropriate Behavior writer-director Desiree Akhavan was heavily compared to Dunham (now Akhavan is actually a cast member on Girls for the new season). There was also Fort Tilden, which debuted at SXSW, easily looked at as a Girls wannabe. For some it can in fact be a positive selling point, but for many others it can be a negative. Female Pervert is the latest from Jiyoung Lee, an up-and-coming Atlanta-based filmmaker who does happen to be female, and the movie does happen to be about a young woman in the city (Jennifer Kim, who also had a small part in Obvious Child), and maybe its focus on sexual perversion has something in common with bits of Girls but it also just looks like an awkward comedy that could very well be its own thing. Does Girls have a scene involving a dildo and a theremin? I don’t think so. Female Pervert seems a lot less real, but not necessarily in a bad way. […]

read more...

Girls

Well, she did it. Hannah (Lena Dunham) actually made it to Iowa (whether or not she actually makes it at Iowa remains to be seen, but things are already not looking good). That we didn’t get to see Hannah and her well-meaning parents actually road trip from Brooklyn to Iowa City (approximate distance = 1,000 miles) is a minor quibble about a mostly good, exceedingly crisply directed episode (Dunham directed this one, in addition to co-writing it with right-hand gal Jenni Konner). Things have changed for Hannah in the, uh, well probably like 15 hours since she left Brooklyn. She’s got a new apartment (a nicely appointed and shockingly large Victorian spread, procured for $800 a month from an understandably flabbergasted realtor), a brain-expanding graduate student life to embark on (approximate number of times Hannah reminded people she was a graduate student in this episode = 429), a bike that’s just about to be stolen, and tons of brand new friends. Wait, did we say “friends”? Oh, we meant “people in her program who already think she’s a total moron.” Hannah’s first impression on the rest of the writers in her workshop isn’t a good one — partially because they all seem to be varying shades of stuck up, but mostly because Hannah’s ability to accept criticism and present herself as an actual human adult is at its bare minimum during this episode — and after being in Iowa for mere hours, she’s already vaguely threatening suicide. Never change, Hannah! (Wait, never mind, […]

read more...

Girls Iowa

The fourth season of HBO’s occasionally beloved and often controversial Girls has arrived, and with it comes the promise that maybe this go-round will actually feature those damn eponymous girls growing into actual women. The season picks up soon after the conclusion of last year’s run, with Hannah (Lena Dunham) bound for the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) recovering from attempting to off her employer (hey, she asked for it), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) dealing with the fallout of maybekindasorta not graduating college and Marnie (Allison Williams) attempting to break into the apparently blossoming jazz brunch scene. These girls are certainly moving forward, but that doesn’t mean that the decisions that are pushing them are the best ones they could make — if that’s not the way of Girls, we don’t know what is. As ever, Rob Hunter and myself are here to recap the show for you, complete with well-meaning arguments, heady banter and a deep concern for, well, just about everyone. This is your fourth season of Girls, and it’s going to Iowa, whether you like it or not.

read more...

HBO

Get your tissues ready, folks, because 2015 is offering up a bountiful feast of delicious television offerings…that are ending. 2015 will see the end of series like Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, Justified and Parenthood, and it should come as little surprise that some of those exact series are topping our most-hyped list. Will they end with a bang? A whimper? Both, with a bang-y ending and everyone whimpering on their respective couches? We don’t yet, people, but we’re going to find out soon. Although we’re super-excited for the new television our smaller screens have to offer this year (and, yes, we even made an entire list to prove it), there are plenty of returning shows to get us just as riled up, even the precious few that are sticking around for many more years to come. Take a look.

read more...

HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT blu

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! We were off last week for the holiday, so today we’re looking at the new releases for 12/30/14 and 1/6/15. If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Guest David Collins (Dan Stevens) is a recent discharge from the Army who arrives on a grieving family’s doorstep with a kind words about their deceased military son. They take him in, and soon he’s working his way into their lives with kind words and a helping hand. Something is a bit off with David though, and soon the family’s most suspicious and cynical member, Anna (Maika Monroe) discovers the truth behind David’s presence. The guys behind You’re Next (Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett) return, but instead of toying around with a home invasion this time around they’ve set their playful sights on the action genre. The result is some solid fun, both of the comedic and violent varieties, anchored by a fantastically unexpected turn from Stevens. The Downton Abbey alum is convincing throughout, and he finds a great foil in young Monroe. Capping it all off with a strong visual style and a killer soundtrack/score, Wingard and Barrett have delivered their most purely enjoyable romp yet, and I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that it took me a second viewing to really appreciate it. Now if only someone can convince them to make their next film a sequel to both The Guest *and* You’re Next. David versus Erin. Boom. […]

read more...

2014review_tv

Television! The original moving picture-centric method of in-home entertainment. The boob tube has gone through significant changes over the past few years, earning some long-fought-for respect and gifting the world with the kind of bold and original programming that doesn’t always find its way to the big screen. Alternative networks, from Netflix to paid premium channels like HBO, continued to flex their creative muscles, and the result has so far been a new, if not golden, at least silver age of television. Of note: this year’s list is a combination of returning shows that exhibited some extra achievement and newbie series that display significant promise. It’s not perfect — no list is, after all — but it serves to illuminate the shows that, for various reasons, were truly the best of the year. From series approaching the end of their runs to recent debuts that have already impressed us, it’s a massively mixed bag, but the quality is consistent. These are the shows you should be watching.

read more...

Girls Two Plane Rides

Hey, there, fellow hip people, how is it hanging? What are you up to — whazzup? — these days? What is on your television box set? What? Pssh, I have something new for you now. You will, like totally for sure, like it. HBO has been trying to carve out a niche in hip, young people television programming for a while now — if we’re measuring in terms of Girls seasons, it’s been Three Girls Seasons — with somewhat limited returns. Although Girls remains a strong talking point (and its newbie time slot pal, Looking, has similarly inspired more than a few heady think pieces), the ratings for both shows have never been extraordinary, and HBO’s attempts to grab the younger set remain somewhat limited at best. That may be changing, though, as HBO is now folding in another new original program to their Young, Hip Sunday Nights (new term that needs a little work) that has the kind of more general appeal they need. Still, hip, though.

read more...

Girls Season 3

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

Girls

The third season of Lena Dunham‘s Girls was put to bed this past Sunday night, and we’re already speculating about what the next run has in store for those eponymous girls (and, more importantly, their awesome boys). The series’ love for ending things on a cliffhanger only heightens anticipation — there’s nothing like some good old-fashioned “will she? won’t she?” to keep people on board — and the third season didn’t back down from putting some possible big changes into motion. What will the fourth season look like? Who will be there? How much of it will we get? Will we get to meet Caroline’s spawn? Is is still going to be in Brooklyn? Loud yelling about Adam Driver! Everyone, get ahold of yourselves. We might not know the answers to all of those questions, but we sure do know a lot. Take a look.

read more...

Girls Two Plane Rides

Do you remember how last season’s Girls run ended? The running? The romance? The OCD reveal? It was a heady time in our lives, back when there was still some hope for Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver), Marnie (Allison Williams) hadn’t lost another boyfriend, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) was trying to spread his wings, and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) had gone MIA. Think of it now! No Caroline! No GQ! No rehab! The good old days! “Two Plane Rides” effectively ends the series’s third season — and probably a whole mess of relationships, too — with the revelation of something just as unexpected as Hannah’s OCD: she applied to the country’s best grad school. And she got in. Elsewhere, Adam bombs his Broadway debut (by his approximation), Marnie goes after another bad boy, Shosh sees her partying come to its logical end, and Jessa tries to kill an old lady. No, really. The series closed out with a truly excellent finale — one packed with fun details like Elijah’s formal shorts, Shoshanna’s sad hair and wholly expected college flunk out, Adam’s “bad” performance, Marnie’s inability to stay away from “emotional property,” Jessa having to face some real consequences, and Hannah proving herself to be some kind of intellectual titan.

read more...

Hannah Horvath Girls

The third season of HBO’s Girls ended on an eerily familiar note – with nearly every co-star’s latest plot trajectory coming to a foreseeable and well-crafted head, while leading lady Hannah (Lena Dunham) found her life thrown into a suddenly new direction by the revelation of some massive information that had not been previously disclosed to the show’s audience – the kind that feels a bit like a cheap trick. The second season utilized this narrative device to drive Hannah into some negative territory, using the season’s final three episodes to unveil a previously obscured secret: that Hannah had suffered from OCD since high school. Although some hints as to Hannah’s condition had been previously evident – a stray comment from Marnie, a weird tic from Hannah – the news came as an unearned shock, and while it initially provided some new plot points for the show to play with, its ultimate payoff seems weak even a dozen episodes on. The third season finale, “Two Plane Rides,” went the same route, though its seemingly out-of-nowhere plot twist seems like a mostly positive move for Hannah. Hannah’s “career” as a writer has always been central to her identity, even as she’s suffered some big setbacks (oops, your editor is dead), sabotaged herself at a job that involves both money and writing (it’s too bad that advertorials couldn’t satisfy her), and struggled to find time to develop her craft (remember her short-lived plan to write after work?). Which is what makes the […]

read more...

Hannah Horvath

Hannah Horvath, the ostensibly central character of Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls, has never been a model of social grace, and her inability to behave not only well, but even somewhat appropriately in most situations and relationships has drawn serious criticism from fans and foes of the show alike. Dunham, who seems to be both very charming and very smart in person, has obviously quite purposely saddled herself with a character that continually touts the scope of her maturation without actually maturing. At all. Ever. As the series approaches its third season finale – next week’s episode, intriguingly titled “Two Plane Rides,” will close out the series until 2015 – now seems to be the perfect time for Hannah to actually grow, change, and move forward. But she’s not doing any of those things (in fact, she’s getting markedly worse), and her behavior in last week’s episode highlights how far Hannah is from not just social grace, but basic social abilities. Let’s put it this way – Hannah has pulled some serious crap over three seasons, and as eye-popping as her behavior may have been to people capable of successful relationships and reactions in “I Saw You,” it’s just one in a long string of terrible moves by one Ms. Hannah Horvath.

read more...

Girls I Saw You

In most cases, when one half of a seemingly happy couple moves out while still claiming to be dedicated to the relationship, it’s not a good sign – but “most cases” don’t appear to apply to the romance of Girls’ Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver). The duo have been through more ups and downs than your local Six Flags rollercoaster, and although our own Rob Hunter and myself have spent most of the show’s third season prepping for their inevitable demise, it sure is taking longer than we expected. Not that Hannah is helping – amid cries from Adam for her to “relax!” and assuring her that his moving in with Ray (Alex Karpovsky, finally back) is just to get his head right for his Broadway debut, she’s still being overemotional and untrusting. Hey, girl, we get it, but that doesn’t account for the rest of her behavior in this week’s episode, “I Saw You,” which soon spirals out to see Hannah setting fire to every aspect of her life. Elsewhere, Marnie (Allison Williams) and Beardy McSingsalot (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) hit their first open mic night, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) does something with her hair and her face that’s great, and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) gets a job. No, really. Patti LuPone also returns to drop some knowledge, and Elijah (Andrew Rannells) reacts spectacularly. Also, Ray and Adam hang out together in a bathroom.

read more...

Girls Role Play

This week’s installment of “Kate Erbland and Rob Hunter talk  about Girls and mostly agree, except when they really, really don’t” comes to you on a slight delay, as our own Rob Hunter is busy navigating the wilds of the SXSW Film Festival (where, yes, Girls star and creator Lena Dunham got her start and also contributed a keynote speech to this year’s fest, so it kind of works out perfectly). That’s not to say that we were not pumped to talk about “Role-Play,” because we were, but sometimes other movies and breakfast tacos get in the way. With two episodes left in the HBO series’ third season, it seems that some of our predictions are on their way to coming true — Hannah (Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver) are bound for some troubles, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is forced to grapple with her problems, and Marnie (Allison Williams) just can’t shake her attempts at a music career — with some new twists along the way. In “Role-Play,” Hannah tries to spice up the couple’s sex life with some, well, role play, which ends in a most unexpected way — with Adam moving out (temporarily?) to focus on his Broadway debut. Elsewhere, Shosh (Zosia Mamet) stages an intervention for Jessa, and Marnie continues to croon jams at a guy who apparently has a girlfriend named “Clementine.”

read more...

fort tilden 1

Is it possible to make an independent film about young women in Brooklyn without comparison to Girls? It doesn’t appear so, and I’m not going to pretend I’m not guilty of doing so myself with the angle of this post. But I can’t respond to the unfortunate laziness to which we use Lena Dunham’s show as a reference point without as much. Now it’s not always just Girls; the acclaimed Frances Ha — itself initially likened to Girls — has joined the show as an easy measure and descriptor for any subsequent work focused on 20-something females in a certain part of New York City. It happened during Sundance with Obvious Child, and now ahead of its SXSW premiere, it’s already happening to Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers‘s Fort Tilden. Both films deserve better simply for the fact that they’re their own entities. Not that it’s uncommon to use old movies as reference to sell new ones, especially for festival crowds. In fact, Bliss and Rogers are specifically citing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion as being similar predecessors to Fort Tilden. Having only seen some clips and their Kickstarter campaign teaser, it reminds me of Quick Change in the way it’s about people just trying to get across Brooklyn and Queens to a destination that shouldn’t be too hard to reach. And as a huge fan of that movie and really any kind of New York City Odyssey film (After Hours is another good one), […]

read more...

Girls Flo Episode

Fans of Oscar nominee June Squibb had a hell of a double feature last night, as the Nebraska star hit up the Academy Awards and co-starred on this season’s tenth episode of Lena Dunham‘s Girls, appearing as Hannah’s (Dunham) reportedly-near-death grandmother, Flo. Although some of the best episodes of the HBO series’ third season have benefitted from throwing the show’s entire cast together in one place, “Flo” mixed things up to its own stirring effect — removing Hannah from New York City and forcing her upstate to mingle with her mother (Becky Ann Baker), her crazy cousin (Sarah Steele), and her bickering aunts (Deirdre Lovejoy and Amy Morton). Sure, Adam (Adam Driver) made a quick visit, but this episode was all about the interpersonal relationships of the women in Hannah’s family, and man, are they messed up. With just one more episode to go, Rob Hunter and I turn our critical charms to this season’s latest episode of Girls.

read more...

Girls

Did you think that Lena Dunham‘s Girls was going to split up its various leading ladies and gents after yet another episode that tossed them together for maximum fun, drama, and dancing? Well, yeah, we did, too — fortunately enough, though, this week’s “Incidentals” rehashes some of the magic of “Beach House,” moving most of the main characters of the series into a limited space for a limited amount of time. This time around, the group takes up residence at the swanky Gramercy Park Hotel, where Hannah (Dunham) has been tasked with spending just one night in the hotel in order to write a listicle or something for her GQ gig. It’s nice timing, too, because Adam (Adam Driver) has just locked his first big Broadway role, and they have something to celebrate! That doesn’t quite explain why Hannah took it upon herself to invite the entire crew, including Shosh, Elijah, Marnie, and Jessa, but we’ll just go with it, because these bonkers weirdos are great together. Also in the mix? Jessa’s old rehab pal Jasper and Adam’s new co-star Desi. It’s like one big shaken cocktail of volatile personalities, and your own Rob Hunter and myself are here to sip deep.

read more...

Jennifer Westfeldt Girls

Lena Dunham’s popular television series Girls has already advanced the careers of its four central stars – Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, and Jemima Kirke – but the HBO production has also dedicated plenty of screen time to a bevy of other talented ladies, even those not necessarily known for their acting work. Dunham’s series has long appeared to be compelled to cast the coolest female talents for a variety of guest roles that often quite handily subvert their public and professional personas. Kathryn Hahn had an arc back in the show’s first season as the mother of Jessa’s young babysitting charges who attempts to juggle her career and her family, Rosanna Arquette stopped by for an episode, comedienne Jenny Slate showed up for one, and even Dunham’s artist mom (and Tiny Furniture co-star) Laurie Simmons has played a named character in an ep. Elsewhere, Dunham’s childhood pal Audrey Gelman (who supposedly inspired the overachieving character of Marnie) is a political wonk by trade, but even she has shown up in three episodes of the series (remember her? she played Charlie’s just terrible new girlfriend in the first season?). 

read more...

Girls Beach House

As our Girls girls continue to grow (marginally, at best) up, they are also quite markedly growing apart. This season has scarcely seen all four ladies in one room at the same time, and has instead been forced to rely on commonplace television tricks and tropes and prods to get every major character in one place, including staging a birthday party for Hannah earlier in the season and, in the seventh episode, shipping Hannah, Marnie, Shosh, and Jessa off to a somewhat secluded beach house. The point of the trip, at least according to Marnie (who organized the outing) is “to heal.” The other girls might not agree. Despite going out of her way to make a nice weekend for the ladies, Marnie (Allison Williams) gets kicked in the teeth at nearly every turn – her bedroom assignments initially ignored, her rigid schedule mocked, her dinner party dismissed – thanks to Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her obvious disdain for structure, the inorganic but still exciting injection of a newly-returned Elijah (Andrew Rannells), Elijah’s pack of wild friends (including new boyfriend “Pal,” played by Danny Strong, who wrote the film The Butler for chrissakes), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and an apparent nudity clause, and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and her deeply simmering resentments. Let’s go to the beach house! And eat and dance and sing and reveal how very, very much we hate each other. It’s Girls. It’s “Beach House.” It’s a glorious mess. And it’s Rob Hunter and myself, pulling every bit apart for mastication, just like Marnie’s literally cooked goose […]

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 01.31.2015
B+
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
B-
published: 01.29.2015
B-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3