Confirming the Excellence of Confirmation

Confirmation is a timely exploration of gender, race and power, based on the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce). However,the movie is not really about Thomas — it follows Anita Hill (Kerry Washington), who shares her experiences as his advisor and assistant, and was subjected to sexual harassment by him. A historical drama at the genre’s best, Confirmation presents the proceedings mostly factually, although leaning to the side of Anita Hill. The bias doesn’t seem to get in the way of fact, and allows an important story to be told. Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas share many characteristics.

A Conversation With High School Musical Composer, David Lawrence

David Lawrence is a film and television composer, songwriter and producer whose score and song credits include the American Pie films, the High School Musical series, and the forthcoming HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols. The Sun spoke with Lawrence in anticipation of his visit this Friday about movie music, the process of scoring and Frank Sinatra. The Sun: There are so many people who write music to be a pop hit or for the radio.  Was it your goal to write television theme music or soundtrack music? David Lawrence: I went to conservatory in New York.

Girls’ Fifth Season Goes Off Like a Bomb

The first episode of HBO’s Girls hotly anticipated season five is simply and ineptly named “Wedding Day.”  A more fitting title may instead be “The Abominable Bridesmaids,” or “Rain on Her Wedding Parade,”or even perhaps most accurately, “Lives of 20-Somethings Go Off Like Bombs in Slow Motion (at a Wedding).”

Girls has been a staple of quirky feminist television since 2012, drawing much of its plot line from writer Lena Dunham’s own life experiences. Few other shows offer such powerful statements on the modern female existence, incorporating key elements on issues of self-image, body shaming in the social media and hard-hitting takes on women’s rights to services such as abortion. Naturally, the show has drawn several points of controversy — namely regarding its ethnic representation. In The Independent, Catherine Scott critiques both the writers and characters in the show in a scathing review, “What’s there to celebrate for feminism when black, Hispanic or Asian women are totally written out of a series that’s supposedly set in one of the most diverse cities on earth? But also, what’s there to celebrate for feminism when a show depicts four entirely self-interested young women and a lead character having the most depressing, disempowered sexual relationships imaginable?”

At the end of season four last year, audiences were left with a number of dilemmas spawning from the four main characters’ hectic personal relationships.

Show Me A Hero: An Understated Treasure

 

The conventional wisdom about David Simon, the creator of The Wire (yes it really is the greatest show of all time as many people annoyingly but correctly remind you), Treme and Generation Kill is that he is a pessimist: that his shows are about the inability of society to resolve its ills. And while this is true to some extent, it does not paint the full picture of his work. Simon’s shows can be optimistic about people — ordinary people just trying to get by and do the right thing. Rather, he seems to be deeply pessimistic about human institutions. These institutions, whether they be government bureaucracies, drug gangs or entire cities, are unable to reform themselves, and often in their structure, prevent individuals from doing the right thing.