This Week at the Avon: Gloria

gloria-poster01

I knew that I wanted to see Gloria when I first saw its preview a few months back. The two-minute clip didn’t give away much—there was a quirky-looking middle-aged woman in thick-rimmed glasses laughing by herself a lot and some empowering Spanish music. The film was attractive because it looked like both a feel-good indie film and a likely projection of someone I could relate to in thirty years. Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t say the protagonist and I are quite the same. Gloria is way, way cooler.

Gloria delves into the life of your typical divorcée who has lost herself and her sense of purpose in the rubble of family, friends, and daily life at work. Though she fits the mold of millions of characters we’ve already met, there’s something whimsical setting Gloria apart. Directed by Sebastian Lelio and starring Paulina Garcia, Gloria was shot and takes place in Chile. The movie is acted in Spanish and paired with subtitles, yet felt just as relatable as your go-to rom-com about old folks smoking weed and falling in love (It’s ComplicatedThe Notebook, etc.).

The best thing about Gloria isn’t even the inherent need to cheer alongside her as she kicks ass in all that she does. Rather, it’s the small details so cleverly snuck in. For example: in the first few minutes of the film, Gloria returns home to find an ugly cat in her foyer that belongs to a neighbor. No matter how many times she shoos the cat away, it constantly finds a home in Gloria’s bachelorette/hip grandma pad throughout the film, teasing her spinster way of life. Gloria will have great sex but will return home to find the cat; she goes bungee jumping and then finds the cat. As we follow Gloria through a romance more youthful than some I’ve experienced, undertones of aging linger constantly. The film, therefore, becomes whatever you want it to be. A moderate chick-flick for the intelligent woman; a clever love story for the avant-garde guy.

Continue Reading


"So mysterious to meeeeee"

Ways to get hyped for Sochi 2014, even if you hate sports

"So mysterious to meeeeee"

“So mysterious to meeeeee”

It feels like just yesterday that Ryan Lochte and his grill swam their way into our hearts, but, it’s time once again to rally around a new pantheon of athletic demigods. Sochi 2014 has been a long time coming, and, unless you have been living adrift on an ice flow, you have been hearing about the trials and tribulations leading up to this round of winter games.

There are a lot of us who don’t necessarily relate to the Olympics. The peak of our athletic careers consisted of four days in middle school when we were really excited about Wii Fit. We watch the Parade of Nations…for the fashion. The only thing we really remember about London 2012 is Tom Daley’s abs. Trust me; I get it. However, the Olympics are about more than just sports – they are about all sorts of things that Brown students love, like multiculturalism, community, and being really cold all the time. If you are someone who doesn’t like sports, here are a few ways that you can stay up-to-date and get into the Sochi spirit. Continue Reading


RomCom Thursday: About Time

I went to see About Time, the new film from Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis, by myself at 4 on a Monday afternoon. It looked like a nice romcom, and I had nothing better to do. I am not ashamed.

About Time stars an actors whose parents thought it would be a good idea to name him Domnhall Gleason as an awkward young man who has very little luck with the ladies. One day, his father–last seen singing a #1 Christmas hit in Love Actually–tells him that the men of the house can time travel. So good ol’ Domnhall (I think his character had a slightly more reasonable name) uses his new gift to seduce brunette-version Rachel McAdams, and in a matter of a few scenes, marry her.

The rest of the movie is dedicated to Domnhall’s family relationships. His free-spirited sister is stuck with a bad boyfriend and gets boozy; Rachel pops out a child or three; and dear old dad is getting older. The film actually handles these various subplots quite well (the son-dad one is the focus) but you can’t help but feel a little duped. At no point in the final act does Regina and Domnhall’s relationship hit a near-terminal obstacle that can only be resolved by a Spandau Ballet-backed kiss.

Even so, there are plenty of crowd-pleasing tearjerker moments. They may not occur in the context you were expecting them to, but they’re enough to justify your two-hour time commitment. Wait for About Time to hit video, and then bust it out on a dreary winter break evening. It’ll do the trick.


This week at the Avon: ’12 Years a Slave’

slave11n-9-web

It’s almost besides the point to say that 12 Years a Slave, which began playing at the Avon on Friday, is a great movie. Of course it’s a great movie. It’s technically polished, well-acted by all involved–Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, primarily, with brief appearances by everyone from Brad Pitt to The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams –and well-managed, if a bit self-consciously, by director Steve McQueen (not the guy from the 70s car chase movies). But this is beyond a great movie: it’s a statement, with enough sheer power to transcend its medium and become something far more important.

A lot has already been written about 12 Years a Slave‘s cultural significance, including this Washington Post article that quotes African Studies professor Tricia Rose and this Grantland column that is near as long as War and Peace. I can’t speak to the kinds of issues those pieces bring up. I’m not well-read or well-learned or well-cultured enough to be articulate about the broader relevance of the film in the context of American race relations or in the context of American filmmaking.

Here’s what I do know: Continue Reading


Your first spicy with, described by your favorite movie lines

(BlogDH) Spicy Movies 3

My first semester is just half-way over and I’m already beginning to feel nostalgia for my first few weeks at Brown. In that ephemeral time, everything is new and exciting in a way that it will never be again. There are many “firsts” that you will never forget–the first house party, the first class we ever shopped, the first time at the Ratty. There is one “first” considered more sacred than others: the first spicy with. Losing your spicy with virginity is like losing your… well, you know where I’m going with this. Here’s a combination of your two favorite things: cheesy movie quotes (no pun intended) used to describe your first spicy with. The saga begins after the jump. Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: ‘The Graduate’ Screening

The-Graduate-classic-movies-5402638-1024-768

Are you the type of person who’s more interested in sitting back and watching a movie than you are with all the tedium and effort involved in actually producing and screening them (i.e most people)? Despite the prevalence of film-loving types on campus, made apparent by well-known student groups such as Ivy Film Festival and Brown TV, screenings of classics or particular genre favorites are often difficult to come by. Enter the Brown University Film Forum (BUFF), an organization formed by a group of students who, according to co-founder Beatrix Chu ’15, were “surprised by the lack of regular, popular film screenings for students on campus.” Along with weekly screenings, the organization also hopes to incorporate discussions for the kind of people who like to talk about their movies after they watch them (i.e most university students).

BUFF will be screening of The Graduate this Thursday, November 7 at 9 p.m. in the Metcalf Auditorium.Whether you’re a newbie to the film scene, a seasoned movie aficionado, or merely a senior looking for reassurance that finding satisfaction after graduation is as simple as engaging in affairs with married women, stop by BUFF’s event and experience a 60′s classic.

Image via.