Some thoughts on Marvel’s newest film and, ugh, representation

There is one savvy, striking shot early in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a brief zap of personality and style. It’s sandwiched between a bland, bordering on incoherent sequence of shots of kicks, punches, dodges, and the like, their choreography impactless, like it was still in a…


On Pablo Larraín’s latest feature

All but in the literal, the family is torched asunder, household happiness an ashy mess from which something new, more selfish, more polymorphously pragmatic can arise. Like a demented dramedy of familial reconstruction, the demon seed of a threesome between The Philadelphia Story, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Frances Ha, Chilean…


Quick thoughts on two new films by Jaume Collet-Serra and M. Night Shyamalan

If, for director Jaume Collet-Serra, the making and unmaking of spectacle and artifice is a kind of paramount preoccupation, evidenced by uncanny Hellscapes like House of Wax and Orphan, M. Night Shyamalan’s could be of the making and unmaking of human spirit as seen through that spectacle. Life and death…


On Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris’ “Zola” and critical impulses

There’s no comparing Zola to anything else. As the opening show slowly dollies around A’Ziah “Zola” King (Taylour Paige) and Stefani (Riley Keough) doing their makeup, making up their identities, in a mirror-filled void, whatever cinematic reference points one might be tempted to project onto the film are dashed away…


Pings, whistles, and the sound of limbo

If you put your lips together, even the worst whistlers among us can conjure the recent past. A little warble to pull you back half a decade ago, before Twitter phased out its little toot of a notification sound. On its own, the little sonic signal is cute, albeit flat…


On estrangement and time and cookies for closers

There is, packaged cheekily in its subtitle, an obvious double meaning in The Boss Baby: Family Business. There is the “family business” as it concerns work (and often ownership) passed down generationally, and there is “family business”, as in matters and topics and relationships within the context of the nuclear…


Looking for the ghosts of the 1990s in the “Friends” reunion, and finding an inverse of Sondheim instead

Look at these people, Aren’t they eerie?

Look at this party, Isn’t it dreary?

I’m so glad I came

— Sally, ‘Don’t Look at Me” from Follies (1971)

The Friends set is not crumbling. The Russian dressing colored couch in Central Perk is not in tatters, and the moths haven’t…


The creators behind “Circle Jerk” make its audience look at people looking in a mirror, waiting to be consumed

I never wrote the essay about my sort of-ex that I had intended to, one that started out drawing the ironic comparison between his flawed communication style and inconsistent articulation of his desires with the fascination he had (which he then shared with me) in the flawed communication style and…


The Housewives are back, and more surreal than ever

For a brief moment, as it was both truly brief and momentary, The Real Housewives of New York returned to its quasi-anthropological (or at least by Bravo standards)/Lauren Greenfield-esque roots. In the premiere episode of its 13th season, the reality TV show paused to show us a reality that was…


A humorous short story about a boy, a girl, a tattoo, a boy, and a little divine decadence

After speaking with five designers, three friends who had recently gone through the ordeal, reading no fewer than fifteen Yelp reviews per each seven parlors, pestering two people who had stepped out for a smoke break from each of the respective seven parlors, and contemplating six iterations each of four…

Kyle Turner

Snarkoleptic. Queer monster. Amateur critic. Professional snob. Writer person. I am relieved to know that I am not a golem. Words in Slate, GQ, the NYTimes, etc

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