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When I started reading an article on New Statesman by Sarah Ditum (“Why we shouldn’t rebrand prostitution as ‘sex work’”), I was so ready to pounce with all my counter arguments in favor of using “sex work.” The word “prostitution” is archaic and harmful and all that bad stuff. Ditum was prompted to write this piece by a recent push to replace “prostitute” with “sex worker” in the 2015 Associated Press Stylebook. I’ve been a longtime supporter of rights for sex workers and have never really...
  The film version of “Miss Julie” directed by Liv Ullman, and based on the play by August Strindberg, opens up with a young Julie running around an empty house. The child is both lonely and motherless, perhaps giving some context for actions and decisions of an adult Julie, played brilliantly by Jessica Chastain, who is both desperate for and revolted by the affection of others.   The story takes place in Ireland, during Midsummer’s Eve in the year 1890. Ullman takes only a few things away from...
Back when Olive Kitteridge premiered on HBO, Frances McDormand, who acted in and produced the miniseries that spans 25 years of an abrasive New England math teacher’s life, reigned in her ranting and gave an eloquent interview about aging with Katie Couric. The 57-year-old actor-producer explained to the 57-year-old anchor why she feels rage and sadness when women doggedly pursue eternal youth. It was a little awkward, given that with the thick schmear of TV make-up, Couric looks kind of ageless. Then Couric admitted to hair-dying...
Fans of ethereal folk songstress Angel Olsen may be shocked to learn that her first musical project was a Christian ska-punk band she fronted in high school. “I just sang and ran around on stage like an idiot,” the 27-year-old St. Louis native says, laughing. “I wrote lyrics that I’d probably slap myself for now.” Soon after, Olsen bought an old Airline acoustic guitar, and it wasn’t long before she added a stint in Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s band the Babblers, two solid records, and countless...
The Babadook is a thrilling throwback to the golden age of psychological horror movies, where the real sources of terror are the things lurking in the shadows of our minds. Amelia (Essie Davis) is a harried single mom whose son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) finds a creepy book on his shelf. With its spare letters and simple drawings of a lurking figure in a top hat and overcoat, Mr. Babadook is utterly terrifying to Samuel, and it unsettles Amelia too. She hides it, she rips it...