The Sundial

Haunting the modern romantic-comedy

Amanda Marie Alvarado

May 4, 2009

A great romantic-comedy is like getting a pep-talk on love. Of course some so-called 'chick flicks' function as little more than R-rated versions of fairytales, possibly credited for ruining romances. Still, beneath the delusions of rich princes and gorgeous damsels remains a story communicating the di...

Affirming our ‘State of Play’

Amanda Marie Alvarado

April 22, 2009

A great thriller elicits more than just emotional tension '- a combination of fear and excitement. The best of the genre thrust their story upon the viewer like a sick type of psycho-therapy, confronting that person in the dark with his most cynical nightmares. The immortal film stands the test of time,...

Cleaning biohazard preconceptions

Amanda Marie Alvarado

April 13, 2009

'Sunshine Cleaning' is a movie for losers. It speaks to the loser inside of us as we attempt to live in this world's paradigm with the constant feeling that all we amount to is our financial deficit. In our current society '- as people lose their jobs, homes and selves '- this indie film shows us th...

Duplicitous plot, unambiguous good time

Amanda Marie Alvarado

March 23, 2009

' Tony Gilroy of the 'Bourne Trilogy' debuts his second director/writer initiative since the Oscar-winning 'Michael Clayton.' As a crime/spy romance, 'Duplicity' deals with Gilroy's trademark theme: the elusiveness of truth. Deceit, a common thread in many romantic-comedies, weaves perfectly with a ...

A night with John Waters

Amanda Marie Alvarado

March 18, 2009

Like any impressionable or traumatic event, everyone remembers their first John Waters film. Mine was in a film history course at a conservative Indiana college '- Purdue University. In a thematic section on shock, our class was asked to decipher how the film creates a sense of alarm in Waters' 'Pink Fl...

?The Cake Eaters? has layers without substance

Amanda Marie Alvarado

March 17, 2009

Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut, 'The Cake Eaters,' misplaces the third act. Possibly Masterson wanted to avoid the Hollywood endings her successful acting career was built upon, or maybe the independent film ran over budget. The true reason for the wonder credits (those that roll leaving th...

It’s one big tease

Amanda Marie Alvarado

February 26, 2009

'Unauthorized Polanski,' a very seductive title indicating a story told without permission alludes to the notorious man of unsanctioned actions, director Roman Polanski. Obviously, writer/director Damian Chapa, who also stars as Polanski, knew his star-labeled film could entice the hearts of cinephiles...

An awkward goodbye

Amanda Marie Alvarado

February 19, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix retires on an utterly forgetful note in 'Two Lovers.' Based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story 'White Nights,' the film portrays the life of Leonard Kraditor (Phoenix) - a heartbroken man who moves in with his parents after multiple attempts to kill himself. Leonard's outlook changes wh...

Manufacturing Love

Amanda Marie Alvarado

February 2, 2009

People watch romances to feel their heart race, a burst of warmth in their cheeks and to smell life's infinite wonder in the air. They even go to experience a hollowness in the chest or an aching that stops one's breath. People attend romantic-comedies to feel giddiness, vulnerability, loss and heartbreak. Th...

Blood-sucking returns to its roots

Amanda Marie Alvarado

January 28, 2009

As a fan of vampire films, before the unfortunate dawn of 'Twilight', I've learn to expect disappointment 90 percent of the time. What began with classics like 'Nosferatu' often get bled dry to satiate commercial interests (two words: Tom Cruise). Vampire lovers, once lured, encounter an experience wi...

The student media organization of California State University Northridge