critic magazine

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?

—  An open letter from Dylan Farrow

The Smart Set by Kevin Lightner

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Thanks to Luis Cesar

Julie striking her best “Little Miss Sunshine of the Sixties” pose for the cover of New York News Sunday magazine in 1964

The acerbic film critic, Pauline Kael, might easily have had cover girl images like this in mind when she wrote:

Julie Andrews, with the clean scrubbed look and the unyieldingly high spirits; the good sport who makes the best of everything; the girl who’s so unquestionably good that she carries this one dimension like a shield. The perfect, perky schoolgirl, the adorable tomboy, the gawky colt. Sexless, inhumanly happy, the sparkling maid, a mind as clean and well brushed as her teeth. What is she? Merely the ideal heroine for the best of all possible worlds. (1970, 178)

Well, here in the best of all possible worlds known as The Parallel Julieverse, we find it entirely possible to love Julie for her upbeat fabulousness and well-brushed teeth and Ms. Kael for her entertaining snark!


Kael, Pauline. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. London: Calder and Boyars, 1970.

© 2017, Brett Farmer. All Rights Reserved


For the second time in his life, River was looking very uncomfortable in a tuxedo and bow tie. His hair was much, much longer than his date’s! Some magazines criticized him for not cutting his hair or styling it better for the televised ceremony, but others simply said, “That’s River- independent.”

- In Search of River Phoenix (2004)


January 19th 1809: Edgar Allan Poe born

On this day in 1809, the American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. The young Poe barely knew his parents, with his father leaving the family and his mother passing away when he was just three years old. He lived with another couple as foster-parents, and was forced to gamble to pay for his tuition at the University of Virginia, which he had to drop out of due to financial difficulties. He soon joined the army and was accepted into West Point, though he was expelled after a year. After leaving the academy, Poe turned his full attention to his writing. He then traveled around Northern cities, including New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; it was in Baltimore, in 1836, that he married his young cousin Virginia. In Richmond, Poe worked as a critic for various magazines, occasionally publishing his original work which included short stories and poems. In 1841, Poe published his ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’, which many consider the beginning of the detective fiction genre. His most famous work, the poem ‘The Raven’, was published in 1845 to critical praise. Sadly, his wife died from tuberculosis two years later, leaving the writer grief-stricken and nearly destitute, as he never had great financial success.  On October 3rd, he was found ill in Baltimore and taken to hospital, where he died on October 7th aged 40. It is still unknown what his precise cause of death was, but alcoholism is widely believed to have played a part. While not appreciated in his lifetime, Poe is now considered one of the great American writers.

“Lord, help my poor soul”
- Poe’s last words


Election (黑社會). Dir. Johnnie To (杜琪峯). 2005.

Out of the many triad (Chinese organized crime) films that have come out of Hong Kong, Election is widely lauded as one of the most realistic and nuanced depictions of the inner goings-on of the lives of high-ranking triad members. The film is directed by Johnnie To, a prolific Hong Kong filmmaker and producer who is known for his action and crime films. Election features a large ensemble cast, and focuses on the power struggle between two prominent triad members, the pleasant and mild-mannered Lok (Simon Yam) and the explosive, impatient Big D (Tony Leung Ka-fai), as they fight for the elected seat of chairman for their triad. 

Unlike conventional thriller-type gangster films, Election moves along at a measured pace and is shot in a stylish, yet realist style, featuring little blood and violence and instead exploring the complex web of allegiances and betrayals that are woven among the characters. The film also depicts the triad’s rituals and ceremonies, which stem from the 18th-century Tiandihui secret society that sought to overthrow the Qing dynasty, and the traditional values and virtues of the brotherhood that are being washed away by the changing modern world and the ever-present desires of self-interest. 

Election was nominated for an unprecedented 14 Golden Horse Awards, and was named Best Film of 2005 by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards.

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With her signature mix of twisted humor, wild eroticism, and incendiary critiques of Italian society, Lina Wertmüller established herself as one of the most talked-about figures in 1970s world cinema. Not only was she hailed by critics (New York magazine called her “the most important film director since Ingmar Bergman”) and successful at the box office, she also became an industry darling, and in 1977, her controversial World War II picaresque Seven Beauties earned her the distinction of being the first woman nominated for an Academy Award for best director. Decades later, her polemical farces—including other hits such as Swept Away, The Seduction of Mimi, and Love and Anarchy—continue to deliver a shock to the heart.

Now eighty-eight, Wertmüller remains a fiery force, still donning the white-rimmed glasses that have adorned her face for decades. Her illustrious career is the subject of a comprehensive retrospective at New York’s newly reopened Quad Cinema, which also features Valerio Ruiz’s new documentary portrait Behind the White Glasses and Federico Fellini’s 8½, on which Wertmüller worked as an assistant director. For the occasion, I had a brief chat with the director over e-mail about her early days as a moviegoer and the intimate collaborations that brought her work to life.

Grotesque Poetry: A Conversation with Lina Wertmüller

It Never Ends Well (Part 1)

Prompt/Summary: Based on “The Ugly Truth”, for @hunters-from-stark-tower movie challenge.

Pairings: eventual Bucky x Y/N, eventual Clint x Y/N, Natasha x Sam

Warnings: Swearing, mentions of sex, vulgarities…

Word Count: 2894

A/N: Some of the lines used in this fic don’t belong to me, I got them out of the movie, so credit to the writers. I’d love to hear what you think, feedback is always appreciated.

Originally posted by dailyavengers

“You’re late.” was the first thing you heard as soon as you answered the phone.

“Don’t need to remind me.” your eyes practically rolled to the back of your head in annoyance at your best friend, “Natasha, please, please, cover for me. I’m ten minutes away from the office.”

“Depends. What’s in for me?”

“A big hug from me.” you answered again, “Is Mr. Stark there yet?”

“No, but he hardly is here. Why are you late anyway?”

“I spilled coffee on my blouse.”

“That doesn’t really surprise me.” she laughed.

“I swear it was an accident, I just tripped.” you defended, “Anyway, I’ll be there shortly, in about five minutes.”

As soon as she agreed, you hung up and drove the rest of the way to your workplace. Soon enough, you found yourself parking in your designated spot and entering the Stark Magazine Headquarters. Inside the building was hectic, as usual, as everyone tried to complete their own tasks in time. Grabbing some documents from one of the assistants, you walked decidedly to your shared office, where Natasha was seated at her desk. You closed the glass door behind you and greeted her shortly, before going over to your own computer and starting it.

“Give me an update, Romanoff.”

“The Lakers basketball player is here for the interview, for the Sports department.”

“Great. We should send Pietro to interview him, a photographer and a couple of writers to get the article ready.”

“Already did.”

“Genius. And please, tell Pietro to do the interview objectively. Last time, he almost blew up the whole thing by arguing about what team was better.”

She chuckled lowly, “I’ll make sure to tell him.”

Keep reading

On Wynonna Earp Renewal

I want to try to provide a succinct statement on the likelihood of a season 3/where we stand on renewal of Wynonna Earp. Because there is so much conflicting information and statistics and I know for someone who gets as anxious as I do about things I care about, this uncertainty can be rattling. So with what I know, here’s what I think is going on.

First of all, social media, ratings, and viewing numbers are the top 3 most important things to garage a show’s success. Syfy audience ratings (Id love to know where they get those numbers because they don’t seem terribly accurate when looking at other ratings sources) and viewer numbers are largely the same as last season, which is alright- we got renewed last time. It’d be fantastic if these were higher so keep pushing to make them higher but I don’t think this is as dire as it may seem sometimes.

Social media presence this fandom has down pretty solid. Like this is the strong suit here. Keeping up with the #renewWynonnaEarp and #nochill is an easy thing everyone can do. I even joined twitter solely so I could do this. And in the modern days social media presence is huge with networks- they really care what gets them talked about online. So if Wynonna Earp keeps trending and grabbing attention they’ll want to keep it around.

Lastly reviews and ratings. I know in those weekly tables the ratings compared to other syfy shows look not the greatest. But remember there are shows with even lower ratings getting renewed. Plus, those ratings are the only ones I see that appear low. Look anywhere else like Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Amazon, iTunes, etc…and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Like ridiculously so. Even from professional critics. Last I checked WE season 2 had a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s nuts. So I honestly don’t know what Syfy is measuring but I doubt those odd decimal ratings are a huge determining factor. Also keep in mind how many big name magazines and critics have written about WE. Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly? This is a major accomplishment for a small time tv show. This is a new accomplishment too- there’s way more attention than there was last season.

So my final say is- until we get a renewal confirmation things are up in the air. So don’t get complacent to think anything is guaranteed. Because it’s not. And Syfy may make an odd decision. There’s a lot going on. But don’t give up either, because we’ve been making some fantastic progress. Just keep pushing, that’s what we can do and it has a lot of power.

anonymous asked:

I've been reading queer magazines lately and there was an issue dealing with aro/ace stuff just filled with article after article about how monogamous romantic relationships are inherently abusive and morally wrong and now I'm super anxious about being in a relationship with another girl? Am I abusing her by being in a romantic relationship with her? Please send help

uhh you are definitely NOT abusing anyone by wanting a monogamous relationship (romantic and/or sexual!) with them. There is nothing inherently abusive about monogamous relationships, and anyone who is telling you that is not someone who should be giving relationship advice.

There are circumstances when monogamous relationships can be abusive (just like there are circumstances where polyamorous relationships can be abusive) but there is absolutely NOTHING inherently abusive about wanting to be monogamous with someone.

I don’t want to get too ~Discoursey~ here but I will say this: be cautious and critical when reading magazines that talk about LGBT+ related issues. There is a lot of magazines, YouTube channels, blogs, and other media outlets that can sometimes spread misinformation at best, or even harmful rhetoric. It can be very easy to read something that was written by an LGBT+ person and assume that this person has your best interests at heart, but there are plenty of LGBT+ people who are uneducated and may subscribe to harmful ideologies. There is a spectrum of quality in LGBT+ outlets, and not all LGBT+ media outlets are created equal. I’d recommend you be wary with extremes when it comes to this sort of thing, and always check in with yourself, your gut feeling, of whether or not something feels right.

Websites who talk about what’s “queerest,” who promote things like “monosexism” or “straight-passing privilege,” who say things like “afab/amab privilege,” who imply that “everyone is bisexual” or that there are “more radical” sexualities than others, are all things that I recommend avoiding. I know there are people who will disagree with me on that, but there are subsets of the LGBT+ community that can take some things too far and usually it ends up turning into an unhealthy community where imaginary privileges are treated like real ones and members of those communities can be emotionally berated and isolated.

TL;DR: Be careful when reading LGBT+ media outlets. Just because it was written by an LGBT+ person doesn’t mean it can’t be blatantly wrong, harmful, and damaging.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a monogamous relationship, I promise you that you will be able to find a girl who will want to be monogamous with you also, and please stay safe <3