Media Crit

Note: All work titles are hyperlinked to their original postings.


Luce (2019): Movie Review

Starring Octavia Spencer and Naomi Watts, Luce is a psychological thriller that will make moviegoers question their own perceptions: of the film’s namesake protagonist, of the events in question, of their own understanding of race relations in the United States.

Books (Prose)

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder: Review and Critique

Danger go vroom is the usual cadence of most psychological thrillers, works that are worthy of the harsh 3.5 star–ratings on Goodreads. However, this book not only “understood the assignment,” as the kids are saying, but it was also lyrical in its depictions, and the dialogue was actually believable.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado: Summary and Review

The author, Carmen Maria Machado, reflects on her long-term relationship with a woman and the slow buildup of psychological abuse techniques her girlfriend employs over time: gaslighting, name-calling, self-victimization, privacy violation, triangulated communication and more.

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese laymon: Summary and Review

In Heavy: An American Memoir, Kiese Laymon investigates the intersectionality of male privilege alongside his oppression by writing an open letter to his mother, a professional academic who beat and abused him — and loved him.

Books (Poetry)

Obit: Poems by Victoria Chang: Summary and Review

[Chang] makes obituaries into poems, punctuating them occasionally with tankas about her children, what it means to raise children with the too-close knowledge that one day we’ll all die.


The One with the Failed Gender Ideals: What the Jokes in Friends Tell Us about American Culture

Because these failures are staged, not a true threat on the notion of personhood in American society, it’s OK for the audience to laugh and remind themselves that their identity is safe. In the same breath, however, viewers at home learn what is acceptable to do as a man or woman—and what is not.

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