Culture

Look Closer: The Importance of Punch Drunk Love

Punch Drunk Love is a kind of movie we are all familiar with, but also one that is unlike any other. The initial shot of this movie makes director Paul Thomas Anderson’s vision clear: he aims to show us something we could not have seen otherwise. It is through his craft that the audience is treated to a subversion of the romantic comedy—a genre of film riddled with clichés. PDL is special because it is made up of things we are used to seeing and flips them on their head. This subversion of components generates something entirely different: a beautiful, intimate experience that demands that we change what we ask for from these kinds of movies.

Crystal Hearts: McDonald’s After 2am

Downtown Toronto is a paragon of late night, big city affairs. The ROM stands an eight-minute subway ride away from the CN Tower. Toronto’s extending crowds lead into the University of Toronto’s Varsity Centre and the Royal Conservatory of Music, across the street from the slimmer crowds of young adults and teens equipped with fake IDs entering their selected bars for the night. The Bloor-Yonge intersection lies just a few blocks east. Turning south on Yonge reveals a different sense of a big city: one of detachment and poverty, wonderfully depicted within the Yonge-Charles McDonald’s.

Do Self-Help Books Really Help?

As far as individual books go, controversy is normal and often welcomed. In terms of disagreement on entire genres, however, one category up for discussion is that of self-help literature. These types of books have been around for over a century, even if they seem to be a relatively modern occurrence, and their popularity has been on the rise. In 2018, sales of self-help books in Britain were up 20% from the previous year, landing at a solid three million books sold. Celebrities have even gotten in on the business, with Russell Brand and Fearne Cotton having written and published their own books. It is estimated that the genre will be worth 13.2 billion dollars in the US market by 2022.

Literary Value and Zadie Smith’s “Tower of Shame”

Literary Value and Zadie Smith’s “Tower of Shame”

An interview with Zadie Smith recently appeared in The Guardian, and, in the title, was a quote from Smith herself: “I’ve never finished Proust or even the Brothers Karamazov.” Only in the subtitle is there any information about Smith’s responses to the multitude of dependent-clause prompts that read a little like a feedback form: The book I’m currently reading. The book I wish I’d written. The last book that made me cry. Despite the format of the interview, it still manages to provide plenty of lovely insight into the interests and reading habits of one of the world’s most famous authors.

Honey Boy Is *Literal* Therapy.

Honey Boy Is *Literal* Therapy.

The immersiveness of Honey Boy goes like this: You imagine playing your own father in an autobiopic. You imagine doing it so well that the audience believes you are not you, that you are your father, and a little boy with a different childhood is you. Maybe this pleases you in some way, because maybe you feel connected to your father only by exploring the pain he might have caused you.

Horror Movie List

Horror Movie List

Happy Halloween A.V. readers! And what better way is there to celebrate today, and the rest of Scorpio season, than with a good old-fashioned movie marathon, horror edition. Below are a few recent (and one or two older) films to put you into the spirit of the season.

What’s on at the Fisher Library?

What’s on at the Fisher Library?

This autumn’s special exhibition at the Fisher Rare Book Library for the autumn combines the art of photography with that of bookmaking. It features the work of Michael Torosian’s Lumiere Press, the only fine press worldwide that focuses exclusively on photography. The Fisher Library recently acquired the Lumiere Press Archives, including all twenty-two books that the press has published to date. The display celebrates both the craftsmanship of Torosian’s entirely handmade books and the art of some of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. 

Join our mailing list to receive the latest posts and updates from our Acta.

You have Successfully Subscribed!