Top 10 TV Series of 2017

Top 10 TV Series of 2017 10. I Love Dick Jill Soloway’s brilliant micro-series about art, desire, and aging simply scorches: from the dusty desert setting to the searing sexual chemistry, you can practically feel heat emanate from your screen. Failed filmmaker Chris (Kathryn Hahn, indispensable) follows her older academic husband from Brooklyn to Texas…

Top 10 Films of 2017

Top 10 films released in 2017 10. Battle of the Sexes Can we just pretend Emma Stone won her Oscar for this one instead of Blah-Blah Bland? Stone is warm and understated as feminist tennis legend Billie Jean King, who faces off against Steve Carrell’s frustrating/charming Bobby Riggs in the famed 1970s tennis match of…

Witches to Love: A Bibliography

Not everyone loves witch stories, but many people do. They’re characters who can right injustices with ancient magic or psychic abilities. They can fly or talk to animals or entice romantic interests. They can transform. Audiences are drawn to their power and their powers, their wisdom and their knowledge. They are women who are respected…

“Antibirth” Review: Something is Rotten in the State of Michigan

Hallucinogenic body horror flick Antibirth is a stomach-roiling kaleidoscope of mindfuck terrors and shock-induced howls, an experience so bizarre, so brain-frying, you’ll stumble off the ride and immediately want to go again. Danny Perez’s feature film debut is a triumph of disgust and primal feminist rage, a dream fever that questions what a drug-fueled threesome…

“Left on Pearl” Review: Searing Documentary Reads Like a Heist Film

On March 8, 1971, at the burgeoning of the women’s liberation movement, several hundred young activists marched from an International Women’s Day rally at Boston Common into the city of Cambridge and ended up seizing a Harvard University building in the name of feminism. They called it “The Women’s Center.” The activists were young, spirited, and savvy, drawn…

“Only Yesterday” Review: This Coming-of-Age Captivates

If you have the opportunity to see Japanese animated drama film Only Yesterday this week, I implore you to do so, as it is a triumph of both visual storytelling and emotional resonance. Hailing from Hiyao Miyazaki’s famed Studio Ghibli and acclaimed director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya),…

“The Witch” Review: A Creeping Tale of Terrorism

In what circumstances is evil created? It’s a question many terrorism films attempt to answer, but few horror stories work to understand the underpinnings of malevolence as much as they often merely present it as fact. Not so in “The Witch,” Robert Eggers’ absorbing new horror thriller that is indeed also a terrorism story –…

“Mustang” Review: Compels, but Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The crime of summer horseplay is enough to imprison the five Turkish sisters at the heart of Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s captivating but tepid “Mustang,” France’s current Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film In a small, provincial village where women sheath themselves head-to-toe in colorless drapery and keep a watchful gaze on the behavior…

“The Magicians” Review: Dark and Dazzling

What if Harry Potter were a twenty-something tongue-tied twerp still nursing a childhood obsession with the Narnia books when suddenly thrust into the magical world via grad school? That’s the packed premise of Syfy’s “The Magicians,” an engrossing and inventive television adaptation of the popular Lev Grossman novels. Despite its familiar cultural markers, don’t let…

“Hail, Caesar!” Review: Saltless Satire

Hail, Caesar! has all the joy of drinking diluted apple cider vinegar: there’s an undercurrent of mild bitterness, but none of the punch. The latest feature Joel and Ethan Coen, this uneven Hollywood satire feels less like one of their smart, signature capers than it does a vapid Wes Anderson dollhouse set piece. Framed as…