Bob Balaban

Broad City, Ep. 2.04, “Knockoffs” tries out pegging

There’s something beautiful happening with Abbi on this season of Broad City. In season one, Abbi was the straight woman to Ilana’s antics, being dragged along on her escapades and exposed to things she’d never seen before. By the end of the season, some of that had changed, but there’s something altogether different happening now. Four episodes into the second season and Abbi is now experiencing sex acts that Ilana has only dreamed of. Now that’s character development.

GFF 2014: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is perhaps Wes Anderson’s most ambitious film to date, and one of his best

More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that always made itself evident within even his more broad comedic premises, and Anderson’s own best work is that in which a recognisable humanism always makes itself known and potent even within the stylised stiltedness through which most of his characters are written and performed.

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