In the Saturday Essay, Anna March takes an unflinching look at the historical film Suffragette, which attempts to portray the women who took part in the suffrage movement during the early 1900s. While the film does draw attention to feminist successes, it glosses over the flaws of early activists, such as Susan B....more
Posts Tagged: weekend rumpus roundup
First, Brandon Hicks criticizes parental hypocrisy in “Colorful Language.”
Meanwhile, in the Saturday Review, Joe Sacksteder offers a detailed portrait of the film 99 Homes, by director Ramin Bahrani. The 2008 mortgage crisis serves as the backdrop of a fraught storyline that brings together its protagonist, a victim of the recession, and antagonist, the real estate broker who caused his eviction....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Katie Anderson Howell reflects on a fond and revealing appreciation for the wacky cartoon satire Futurama. The antics of its irreverent protagonists, the time traveling Fry and the one-eyed space captain Leela, loop comfortingly in the background of Howell’s real life....more
First, in the Saturday Review of The Martian, Louise Fabiani exposes strengths and weaknesses of Ridley Scott’s film. It is “exquisite” in a visual sense, but the protagonist, played by Matt Damon, seems to lack an essential humanity. Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig round out an impressive cast....more
First, Brandon Hicks’s most recent comic provides a guidepost for the maturing male artist.
Then, in a cutting Saturday Essay, Eileen G’Sell exposes the forward-looking and regressive trends in advertising. Though Progressive’s fully-clothed and “offbeat” spokeswoman, “Flo,” is a step in the right direction, other advertisers seem to be balking....more
In a focused and engaging Saturday Interview, Arielle Bernstein talks to essayist Karrie Higgins—the author of a 2015 Best American Essay titled “Strange Flowers”—about the generative quality of chaos within the creative process. Higgins points to the influence of forensic science on her approach....more
Caroline Smith writes about parenthood and television in the Saturday Essay. The wildly popular AMC drama Mad Men provides a thematic frame for Smith’s own foray into marriage and motherhood. She even teaches a college writing course on the television show, allowing her to analyze the “messiness” of Mad Men and real life....more
First, Brandon Hicks gives us “Leonard: The Dad From A Different Generation.”
Next, Gayle Brandeis offers a personal and insightful portrait of female body image in the Saturday Essay, “Thunder, Thighs.” Before Brandeis’s own view of her thighs was changed forever, they were her “friends,” her “freedom.” After much introspection, Brandeis learns strategies for coping with the shame imposed on her from outside....more
“If there was one thing I learned from Tess Durbeyfield, Lily Bart, and Constance Chatterly,” writes Gina Di Salvo in the Saturday Essay, “it was not to get trapped.” When Di Salvo becomes a mother, classic works of literature that once provided comfort are reluctantly dropped in favor of the popular children’s film, Frozen....more
First, Brandon Hicks’s illustrated meta-story of advertising woe, “Your Face Here: A Biography.”
Then, Jonathan Harper recounts the challenges he faced growing up as a queer gamer in the Saturday Essay. From Dungeons & Dragons to video games like Dragon Age and Baldur’s Gate, Harper traces the slow but encouraging decline of homophobia in gaming plots....more
First, in the Saturday Essay, Kathryn Buckley reminisces over the 1988 Bette Midler film Beaches, which portrays a friendship between two women whose friendship deepens over the years as they grow older. The similarities between Buckley and her on-screen doppleganger lead her to realizations about a valuable real-life friendship....more
First, Brandon Hicks takes an irreverent look at economic ironies in “Competitive Marketplace.”
Then, setting is paramount in the Saturday Rumpus Review of Antonio Ruizpalacio’s film, Gueros. The director’s vision of Mexico City, writes Alex Norcia, symbolizes “Güeros’s struggling and disaffected youths, an external rendering of what’s most internal.” Its characters fight to create meaning for their lives in a landscape that resists them at every turn....more
First, the Rumpus exclusive video premiere of The Size Queens’s To The Country.
Then, in the Saturday Review of Mad Max: Fury Road, Devin O’Neill explores the movie’s seeds of feminist thought. Though the film is undeniably brutal and violent, O’Neill highlights its anti-patriarchal implications....more
First, Brandon Hicks takes an illustrative look at a few hypothetical situations.
And in the Saturday interview, Anna March talks with Salon editor and author Sarah Hepola about alcoholism and the distorted worldview that comes along with it. Hepola talks movingly about her blackouts, which became the “through line” in her memoir of the same name....more
Judy Bolton-Fasman examines her Cuban-American parents in the Saturday Essay, in particular her mother’s struggle to read Don Quijote in its original Spanish for her master’s degree. Her parents’ heritage informs their aspirations in a new country. “For my father Cuba was a cautionary tale,” Bolton-Fasman writes....more
First, Brandon Hicks finds the essence of military conflict in his comic, “War.”
Then, Arielle Bernstein talks to self-proclaimed “anti-racist feminist” Tamara Winfrey-Harris in the Saturday Interview. Winfrey-Harris’s blog, What Tami Said, provides some of the material for an essay collection due out this July....more
First, the topic of artificial intelligence is the focus of drama in the Saturday Review of Ex Machina. Joe Sacksteder describes the “murky moral terrain” of the film, which follows an unwitting participant in a modern-day mad scientist’s experimentations.
Then, in the Sunday Essay, Thea Goodman shares a difficult story of harassment from her teenage years....more
In the Saturday Essay, Scott Borchert wonders about the symbiosis of author James Agee and folklorist Harry Smith. Though it is unclear if they met in New York during the 1950s, “their works do converge —in spirit, perhaps, and not chronologically.” The “fever-dream” of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men complements the nightmarish quality of Smith’s landmark folk music compilation....more
First, Julie Marie Wade points to Tod Marshall’s skillful use of call and response in his new poetry collection, Bugle. The theme of mortality punctuates this “fierce” and “stunning” book. Marshall’s speaker, Wade writes, “contemplates what we think we know about nature, music, human frailty, and human triumph.”
Meanwhile, The Internet is “the great, depressing equalizer,” admits writer and collaborator Jacob Wren....more