Category Archives: family

Cinderella – Maskenfreiheit & play

Kenneth Branagh chooses to begin the story with Cinderella’s childhood and has the heroine suffer her parents’ death and the humiliation of going from owner of the house to unpaid servant. Screenwriter Chris Weitz clearly couldn’t conceive, let alone write, Cinderella’s  moral strength and … Continue reading

Posted in Cinderella (1950), Cinderella (2015), entertainment, fairytales, family, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, freedom, gender, imagination, Into the Woods, magic, play, Precious | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside Out – No emotions, only feelings

Inside Out seeks to hide its lack of originality behind clever ingenuity. It tells the story of a young girl through her ‘emotions’, except these are nothing more than instinctual reactions. Instead of depicting the different sides of one person, … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, emotions, family, good & evil, individualism, Inside Out, love, morality, personhood, reason/rationality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Women, Bad Women, and Witches – Hocus Pocus, The Craft, Practical Magic

Hocus Pocus is fun. It is for children so the evil witches are more fun than scary. Yet, they follow the traditional cinematic construct of the evil witch as a bad woman, a woman who does not adhere to the … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', body, family, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, good & evil, Hocus Pocus, love, magic, morality, nature, patriarchy, Practical Magic, sexuality, The Craft, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breaking Bad – The Puritan American Dream & the Family

Breaking Bad is one of those rare series that understands character development. The series is about Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher, who discovers he has cancer and starts making top-notch meth. This is initially to cover his health … Continue reading

Posted in America, American dream, authenticity, Breaking Bad, capitalism, Christianity, entertainment, family, good & evil, individualism, morality, Protestantism, Uncategorized, western | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chef – Food, Class, and Salvation in America

Chef is an insipid comedy stuffed with movie stars but no bite. Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is the head chef at a posh restaurant in California. He’s frustrated by the restaurant owner’s imposition of classical dishes, which stifles his creativity. … Continue reading

Posted in America, authenticity, autonomy, capitalism, Chef, class, consumerism, family, food, freedom, individualism, morality, nation, personhood, Protestantism, religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Babadook – the ‘horror’ of parenting and social conventions

(This was first published on Wales Art Review, available here) More than a horror, Babadook is a tale of a woman’s sense of inadequacy before society’s conventions and expectations. Australian director, Jennifer Kent, reinterprets F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) to give … Continue reading

Posted in Babadook, class, fairytales, family, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, horror, reality, social conventions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

House of Cards – Power & American Values

The first series of the American House of Cards translates rather well the homonymous British mini-series with the splendid Ian Richardson. Spacey’s House of Cards is more polished and more ironic. Kevin Spacey pontificating to camera while having sex is priceless. The second … Continue reading

Posted in abortion, crime, family, gender, good & evil, House of Cards (US), politics, power | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gomorra – of Power & Loyalty

The TV series Gomorra is simply perfect. It is well written, well shot and well acted. With its pithy style and occasional irony it plunges the viewer into the criminal microcosm of a city where different ethnicities, nationalities and languages … Continue reading

Posted in crime, family, gender, Gomorra, good & evil, loyalty, power, race/diversity | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Walking Dead – Anarchy (S 3-4)

It didn’t get better, it got laughable. The gun festival continued unabated. The zombie doomsday scenario might mean being short of food but not of artillery. The action scenes still lack tension. They are interspersed with “let’s pretend we’re deep” … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, family, gender, good & evil, horror, politics, romanticism, The Walking Dead, TV | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Walking Dead – Patriarchy & Guns (S 1-2)

It’s intolerably bad. The Walking Dead tries to be a straight drama with zombies, but fails to deliver any character development. The action becomes quickly repetitive and tiresome and the moral dilemmas constituting the plot are dealt with superficially. All … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, family, fantasy/supernatural, gender, good & evil, horror, patriarchy, romanticism, The Walking Dead, TV | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments