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Fameless in life, in death Emily Dickinson was discovered to be remarkable. She was born in 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts, and died in 1886, in Amherst, Massachusetts; wrote many letters; kept a garden; never married; had no children; left behind nearly two thousand poems, which few people suspected she had been writing all that time she was living in the family home, at first with her parents and siblings, and eventually, after the parents...
Costume Party is a monthly column exploring fashion, personal style, and historical aesthetics in film. The House of Mirth, Terence Davies’s 2000 adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel, is an ultimately tragic film filled with sumptuous visuals. (The film plays twice at the Museum of the Moving Image this weekend as their Davies retrospective concludes.) Gillian Anderson plays Lily Bart, a socialite who finds herself entangled in social and financial pitfalls. The story takes place in...
Black Girl (1966) Directed by Ousmane Sembène Sembène’s debut feature may have officially put African cinema on the map, but there’s much more to the film than historical importance. Through its tragic tale of Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop), a Senegalese woman who moves to France to take care of a rich white French couple’s (Anne-Marie Jelinck and Robert Fontaine) children, only to find herself treated as a slave when she gets there, Sembène launches an...
Clueless (1995) Directed by Amy Heckerling Perhaps the first, and still one of the best, of the now numerous movies to transpose the plot of a Jane Austen novel (in this case, Emma) to a modern context, writer-director Heckerling’s Clueless is a fizzy SweeTart of a pop culture time capsule. It’s also a classic female coming-of-age story, echoing both Austen’s older-sister appreciation of her headstrong heroine’s good qualities and her bemused eye-rolling at her misplaced...

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