6 items from 2013
The Victorians really did invent the first vibrator to cure women of various 'afflictions', but the reality probably wasn't anything like as much fun as is depicted here
Director: Tanya Wexler
Entertainment grade: C
History grade: C+
The first mechanical vibrator designed for the massage of men and women was invented in the early 18th century. As the industrial revolution progressed, it was succeeded by devices powered by water, steam and electricity.
Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is an idealistic doctor in Victorian London, trying to convince his sceptical colleagues of germ theory and the importance of hygiene. This annoys them so much that he keeps getting sacked, and he finally ends up at the upmarket practice of Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce), treating ladies suffering from hysteria. According to Dr Rachel P Maines of the Cornell University School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, whose enthralling book The Technology of »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
Caring Across Generations - a movement of 3 million people across the country uniting to ensure that all Americans have access to quality homecare - has partnered with actress Adepero Oduye (Pariah), Tony nominees Kathleen Chalfant (Wit), Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar), Micki Grant (Having Our Say), and filmmaker Tanya Wexler (Hysteria) to present "Care Is...", a series of 4 video PSAs that portray moments of care that many will find familiar. Launching on Mother's Day, the series was written in collaboration with award-winning Off Broadway playwrights Winter Miller, Alex Beech, Leila Buck and Eric Lockley, and »
- Tambay A. Obenson
A Scandalous Method: Winocour’s Debut a Rich Case Study
Celebrated filmmaker Alice Winocour, renowned for several of her short films, makes a compelling debut with Augustine, based on the real life case study of a highly publicized teenage patient of a 19th century French neurologist. Subtle and sharply observed, unlike the shrill and spurious 2011 David Cronenberg A Dangerous Method, which shares similar unprofessional patient and doctor themes, Winocour creates an entrancing, impressionistic portrayal of historical sexism and exploitation.
In 1885 Paris, Augustine (Soko), an illiterate housemaid, suffers from a series of seizures, which usually results in partial paralysis of various body parts. After one such violent and very public display, Augustine awakens to find one of her eyes shut tight, and so her cousin, who works in the same household, shuttles her off to the Hospital of Pitie Salpetre and there she is placed under observation by the famed Professor »
- Nicholas Bell
Chicago – If a film were meant to be judged purely on the basis of its final shot, then Daniel Barnz’s “Won’t Back Down” would be an unqualified success. The image of a little girl finally learning to pronounce the word “hope” could’ve easily been a cheesy contrivance straight out of a Feldco commercial. Even on paper, the shot sounds downright silly.
The fact that it works so well is a testament to the strength of Roman Osin’s cinematography (which visually brings the picture full circle), the tender performance by Emily Alyn Lind (of “Enter the Void” fame) and editor Kristina Boden’s impeccably timed cut to black. Indeed, the shot is a small triumph, but it is regrettably preceded by a great many other shots that don’t work at all.
Blu-ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
This picture was a critical and financial flop that likely was further damaged »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
There's a divided verdict on whether that archetypal dystopian judge, jury and executioner has been well-served (or otherwise) by the British fantasy actioner Dredd (2012, Entertainment, 18). A disappointment at the box office, the film nevertheless won praise from fans of the 2000Ad comic strip, who admired its gritty edge and fittingly nihilistic tone.
Certainly it does much to restore the cosmic balance after the bloated 90s misfire Judge Dredd, which replaced the comic with the comedic (who could forget Rob Schneider's tooth-grating turn as a slappably whacky sidekick?) and left audiences laughing at, rather than with, the picture.
Unlike his superstar predecessor Sly Stallone, whose face was too famous to be hidden beneath Dredd's trademark helmet, Karl Urban proudly embraces below-the-nose acting, playing it with a stiff jaw and curled upper lip, which authentically replicate the source material. Whatever its faults, Pete Travis's tightly »
- Mark Kermode
In an age of invention, one man set out to find a medical cure for what ails women … and accidentally electrified our love lives forever. Coming to DVD on January 14, 2013 courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Hysteria is a lighthearted, romantic comedy that tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness.
Academy Award® nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (Best Supporting Actress, Crazy Heart, 2009) and Hugh Dancy (Adam, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Jane Austen Book Club) lead an accomplished cast, including Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest) Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Evita), Ashley Jensen (TV’s “Ugly Betty”) and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy, Brideshead Revisited) in this charming yet irreverent untold tale of discovery.
- Matt Holmes
6 items from 2013
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