Jonathan Demme died this week. He’ll perhaps be best remembered as the director of Silence of the Lambs, the film for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director, but upon hearing the news I immediately thought of another film, 2008’s Rachel Getting Married. Both movies are masterpieces, pillars of Demme’s oeuvre—one well-known, one […]
Something funny happened on the way to episode 7: Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
We open Episode 5 on Ford, doing what he was doing when we first met him in the premiere: having a chat with Old Bill in the sub-basement. He’s telling the old dog a story about an old dog—a racing greyhound who, one day, finally caught what he was chasing and didn’t know what to do […]
Back in episode 2 of Westworld, one of the hosts told William that the experiences available to guests in the town are tamer, safer. The further away from the town you get, the more dangerous and intense things get. Four episodes in, it appears Westworld is structured similarly to the park from which it gets its name: the […]
Why do Westworld hosts have to be unclothed when they’re being worked on by park staff? Back in episode 1, I thought the answer had to do with HBO’s love of naked flesh, and I still think that’s a big part of it, but it may also have significance beyond simple audience titillation. Stripping the hosts […]
“Are you real?” The question is asked by William (Jimmi Simpson), a new guest to Westworld, to the host who takes him through orientation. In context, he’s simply asking whether his current host is human or robot, but the question has a deeper meaning as well: are the hosts themselves “real” in any meaningful sense? I’m […]
The premiere of HBO’s big new drama shows promise—and more than a few problems.
Springsteen spent his career chronicling working-class anxieties that Trump now exploits to win primaries. Did the Boss see the Donald coming?
The X-Files is awesome, and with the show coming back to TV, now’s a great time to watch the original again, or for the first time.
In a year with many filmic considerations of artificial intelligence, Spielberg’s misunderstood 2001 film is ripe for reconsideration.