Promised Land (2012)

This is Cinematic Water The opening image of Gus Van Sant’s new film, Promised Land (2012) consists of the distorted hands of Steve Butler (Matt Damon): the camera recording them is submerged in a bathroom sink basin as he washes. I begin with this image because of all things, a film with land in the ...

Flight (2012)

Three Acts of Denial Very rarely have I encountered a film that begins with such little promise, yet ends with a flourish of transcendent beauty. And yet, Flight (2012) is such a piece. At first, Robert Zemeckis’ new film seems built out of as simplistic an ethical system as can be imagined. Pilot Whip Whitaker ...

Cabin in the Woods (2011)

The Twilight of the Humans In her negative review of 2011’s The Cabin in the Woods, academic film critic Cynthia Fuchs invokes the feminist analysis of the modern American horror film. Building upon an epigram from Carol Clover’s foundational study of the slasher film, “Her Body, Himself,” Fuchs laments the smug superiority of self-reflexive horror ...