Annihilation: Life in the Anthropocene

On October 8th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report to relatively substantial media coverage---a report that has everything to do with science and the future, rather than our latest political disaster. This coverage lasted a day, if that, before we collectively sighed our despair and moved on. The report itself …

The Transformative Power of Indifference

“I'd say you're confusing suicide with self-destruction. Almost none of us commit suicide and almost all of us self-destruct. In some way, in some part of our lives. We drink, or we smoke. We destabilize the good job. Or the happy marriage. These aren't decisions, they're...They're impulses.” - Annihilation (Directed and Screenplay by Alex Garland, …

“The First Form of Misdirection”: Alex Garland’s Adaptations

"The map had been the first form of misdirection, for what is a map but a way of emphasizing some things and making other things invisible?” - Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer I can’t remember when I first read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. In hindsight, I was certainly too young to appreciate it. My main memories …

Fellini Part 2: Amarcord and Roma – Adolescence, Maturity and the Fantasy Female

In 1972's Roma, Federico Fellini shifted away from the grandiose fantasy which defined his films during the second half of the 1960s (Juliet of the Spirits, Toby Dammit, and Satyricon). Instead, he returned to a more grounded reflection into his past. In Roma, Fellini recalls arriving in late 1930s Rome from his small town of …

Individual Petals of the Same Flower: The Collective Fabric in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia

Nature vs. Nurture is one of my favorite philosophical debates. On one side of the ring, René Descartes, suggesting that human beings are born with innate ideas that inform our decision-making and relationship with the world for the rest of our lives. Across from Descartes stands John Locke, who suggested that human beings begin life …