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Firing Blanks: Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”

CW: discussion of murder & war crimes

 

“Why did we watch this?” Dania asked, falling onto the armrest of the couch. Her eyes glazed over, numb to the respectful patriotism in the credits music playing from Gwen’s computer.

“I wanted to know what the fuss was about,” Gwen said, calmly. “Do you remember when it came out? How it was the only thing people could talk about?”

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Split Decision: Ekachai Uekrongtham’s “Beautiful Boxer”

“Why…this one?”

“Curiosity, basically,” Dania said. “I’d heard about it but never actually watched it before.”

She could tell from the reactions during the film –– none negative, but none enraptured –– that her friends had mixed opinions on Beautiful Boxer. As a very early example of a transgender biography on film, it was replete with issues that would sink it for a modern viewer.

“It’s a male actor playing the lead, right?” Gwen asked. On screen, the name Asanee Suwan scrolled by, in line with Nong Toom and her deadname.

“A male boxer, yes,” Dania said. “He had never acted professionally before this, he was chosen so he could nail the fight scenes.”

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The Cover Is Not The Book: Disney and Rob Marshall’s “Mary Poppins Returns”

As they walked out of the theatre, Hazel was still humming the repetitive melody to “Trip A Little Light Fantastic,” her feet tapping along like the dancers in the film. Her wide grin was a contrast to the more stoic, contemplative look her older sister held as they returned to the parking lot.

“What did you think of the movie, Hazel?” Gwen prompted.

“I loved it!” Hazel shouted. Gwen put a finger to her lips, and Hazel’s head dropped slightly. “Oops,” she whispered. “Sorry.”

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The Mirror To Nature: Neil Diamond’s “Reel Injun”

“What do you think he would say about Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger?” Dania asked.

Rolling her eyes, Eleanor replied. “What do you think?”

“It might make an interesting discussion,” Dania said. “Compared to something like Iron Eyes Cody.”

“Well, Iron Eyes Cody is a problematic example,” Gwen said, as the credits for Reen Injun began to roll. “An extremely interesting one, but a more extensive issue than simply casting Johnny Depp as Tonto.”

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