Author: Stefen Styrsky

The Bad Batch by Ana Lily Amirpour

Within the first ten minutes of The Bad Batch, her social critique by way of apocalyptic fantasia, our protagonist Arlen loses both an arm and a leg to a desert-dwelling band of cannibal bodybuilders.

About Stefen Styrsky

Stefen Styrsky's fiction has appeared in The Offing, Number Eleven Magazine, Inch, and the Tahoma Literary Review. A few years ago he earned an MA degree in fiction writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Stefen lives in Washington, DC.

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Red Squirrels

She and Dante took a flat in Chatham. They weren’t married. She could never invite her sister for a visit. When Dante’s family paid a call, she hid in the bedroom. Even Dante’s friends were ignorant of their living arrangement.

About Stefen Styrsky

Stefen Styrsky's fiction has appeared in The Offing, Number Eleven Magazine, Inch, and the Tahoma Literary Review. A few years ago he earned an MA degree in fiction writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Stefen lives in Washington, DC.

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The Salesman, A Film by Asghar Farhadi

It’s a testament to Farhadi’s skill as a storyteller that he keeps shifting our sympathies. In the best traditions of the thriller, we get caught up in Emad’s quest for revenge despite what it does to his soul.

About Stefen Styrsky

Stefen Styrsky's fiction has appeared in The Offing, Number Eleven Magazine, Inch, and the Tahoma Literary Review. A few years ago he earned an MA degree in fiction writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Stefen lives in Washington, DC.

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Moonlight: A Film by Barry Jenkins

There really couldn’t be any simpler film than Moonlight – a young man named Chiron comes of age in a poor section of Miami. Yet, to signal just how perceptive and multilayered this film will be, director Barry Jenkins opens with a power move: an extended long take in which the camera never sits still, circling the actors like an anxious lion. It’s an amazing display of bravura directing, made even more potent when echoed later in the film at a crucial plot point. But it’s also Jenkins’s wake-up clap to the audience. For despite the film’s low-key tone, aided by such impressive, just downright beautiful camerawork, Moonlight is a revelation of nuanced characters and plot and exposition.

About Stefen Styrsky

Stefen Styrsky's fiction has appeared in The Offing, Number Eleven Magazine, Inch, and the Tahoma Literary Review. A few years ago he earned an MA degree in fiction writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Stefen lives in Washington, DC.

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Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story

  Question: Can a film delve into the topical yet timeless issues of free-will, social conformity, and malevolent authority, and still remain a fun, genuine entertainment? I answer in the affirmative and as Exhibit A give you Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter (2015). Experimenter tells the story of social psychologist Stanley Milgram, author of a study now known as the “Obedience Experiments.” It begins at Yale University in 1961 when Milgram (confident, yet affable and self-deprecating Peter Sarsgaard) is deep into his series of tests that will soon become controversial blockbusters of social research. We watch a volunteer deliver a series...

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