Book Review: American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: Author’s Preferred Text by Neil Gaiman (New York: William Morrow, 2011; originally published in 2001. 560 pp) Neil Gaiman is a bestselling author of more than twenty books. He has received numerous awards including the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Locus Award. Nothing New Under the Sun A wise, ecclesiastical thinker once said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Such sentiments are particular true for the arts. Everything feels derivative. With music, the Western scale provides 12 notes. It’s no wonder an old musician sues a new musician every quarter or so for plagiarism. Painters have the same issue. Why else travel further through the Dadaist… Read More →

Film Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Bold Films, Open Road Productions, R, 117 min) Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, Rene Russo, and Riz Ahmed. Moore’s Law Moore’s law represents a problem for narrative of any kind. This term denotes the trend where computer hardware doubles every two years. Moore’s Law explains the constant feeling that your technology is outdated, especially if it’s over two years old. While this phenomenon equates to profitable businesses—there is, after all, a consistent need for updated toys, Moore’s Law means that any story developed over two years ago faces potential problems if it attempts to set itself in present day. I would even venture a filmmaker would much rather shoot scenes based on eras… Read More →

Film Review: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything written by Anthony McCarten, directed by James Marsh (Working Title, StudioCanal, Focus Features, Universal Pictures, PG-13, 123 min) Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Circles What does a circle represent for you? With no right or wrong answer, the responses could vary drastically. Some might think about the lack of a flat surface. They would reason a circle must be in constant motion, rolling wherever it might go. Others might consider a circle to be inherently equal; by definition, a circle possesses identical distance from any point on the perimeter to the center of the circle. For others, a circle represents completion, the holistic encompassing nature of life. In theory, a circle could be everything. The… Read More →

Television Show Review: Peaky Blinders: Season 1

Peaky Blinders Season 1

Peaky Blinders: Season 1 created by Steven Knight (Caryn Mandabach Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions, BBC, Netflix, The Weinstein Company) Starring Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Annabelle Wallis, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory, Joe Cole, Sophie Rundle, and Iddo Goldberg. Design Management Not too long ago in a land not too far away, design operated in a different space. It was an important part of business, but really, it was just window dressing. What really mattered was the source—that service or offering and the quality of the product. Design, however, has become an integral part of the business process. Coined design management, the practice governs the tangible outcomes design plays on brand. Design can unlock the creativity and innovation necessary to take business… Read More →

Film Review: The Skeleton Twins

The Skeleton Twins

Skeleton Twins written and directed by Craig Johnson (Duplass Brothers Productions, Venture Forth, Roadside Attractions, R, 93 min) Starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell. A Special Bond? Rumor has it that twins share a special connection. Some even create their own language. What does that bond look like as they grow up and start their own families? The relationship between twins functions as the central theme to Craig Johnson’s The Skeleton Twins. Twins A dark comedy, the film begins with Milo (Bill Hader) finishing a suicide note before reclining in a bath tub to slit his wrists. Simultaneously, his twin sister Maggie (Kristen Wiig), three time zones away, prepares to swallow a lethal dose of pills. Before… Read More →

Film Review: The Immigrant

The Immigrant

The Immigrant written and directed by James Gray (Keep Your Head, Kingsgate Films, Worldview Entertainment, R, 120 min) Starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner. The American Dream What’s your American Dream? A big house? Five cars? Do you have a plan to get there? For many Millennials, the American Dream is more of an American Expectation. The grand ideals of success represent life as it should be, and every day without achievement feels like failure. But isn’t the American Dream about hope? Unparalleled success by definition can’t be for everyone. Were it received by all, it would no longer be unparalleled. What if the American Dream operates as the carrot dangling in front of the rabbit? Hard work… Read More →

Book Review: Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. 448 pp) Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York. Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist. All four of her novels—previous books were Last Night in Montreal, The Singer’s Gun, and The Lola Quartet—were Indie Next Picks, and The Singer’s Gun was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous connections, including The Best American Short… Read More →