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Hey folks! This is a classic from the archives. I wrote this back when I was in 2014 and remains one of my early favorite essays. In honor of reaching a year of releasing articles, I decided to dust off this old chestnut.

Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (codename OSS 117) is France’s most notorious secret agent. He is assigned to deliver 10,000 francs to Freidrich Von Zimmel, a former Nazi in Rio in exchange for microfilm containing the names of French Nazi collaborators. Along the way, he comes across a wide variety of enemies before stumbling into a group…

The Films of Greta Gerwig

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Quilting has been around as long as humanity has needed to keep warm, but it wasn’t until it moved to the New World that it became its own art form as well as a comfort item. Over the course of the birth of a new nation that would be the United States, quilting would become a wholly American combination of practicality and artistic expression wrapped into one comfortable patchwork package. The Quilt is the type of thing passed down from one generation to the next, added on to, a piece of living history in the making.

In just 3 short…

Why Die Hard is as Much of a Christmas Movie as It’s a Wonderful Life

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Christmas season is upon us and with it comes the endless posts about people gathering around the Netflix fireplace to indulge in their favorite Christmas cinematic traditions. The sounds of “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” and the screams of Kevin McAllister will emanate from houses across America. This of course also results in the inevitable and endless debates of what is and isn’t a Christmas movie.

Film bros will come out of the woodwork celebrating the chance to watch their favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard, and the rest of the world will roll their collective eyes in ire. But…

Seeking Justice for Nurse Mildred Ratched

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“She had sacrificed her life for other people. She hasn’t married, hadn’t done this, hadn’t done that, and was self-sufficient on her own leading this life, because she dedicated her life, her earlier life, to other people who needed her.” — Louise Fletcher on Nurse Ratched

When one thinks of the most reviled villains in all of pop culture, many will turn to the watchful and tyrannical eye of Nurse Mildred Ratched from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, Dale Wasserman’s 1963 play, and Milos Forman’s 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She has become synonymous with the horrors of institutional corruption and the subject of ire amongst audiences everywhere. Her shadow as a villain looms so large that she recently got her own dark and gritty Netflix origin story.

Nurse Ratched is ranked number five on the list of AFI’s Top 50 Onscreen Villains. Number…

Exploring the Elements of the Cult Horror Film

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The world of horror is a vast and diverse playground of chills, thrills, and (blood) spills. As one of the most enduring and popular genres in cinema, it has many branches that make it so effective. While slashers, ghost stories, and vampire pictures have their place, one subgenre in particular seems to leave a lasting psychological effect that most of its sister subgenres don’t. It goes by many names, from folk horror to pagan horror to fanatical horror, but it is most easily surmised as the cult horror film.

When the phrase “cult film,” is bandied about, it’s often in…

How the Opening Number Establishes The Music Man as the GOAT

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All aboard!

“Words holler at me.” — Meredith Willson

Oh ho, another revival of Meredith Willson’s seminal classic The Music Man is coming down to Broadway and with it the agonized groans from its detractors. “UGH, why is this backwards, old school, boring piece of Norman Rockwell idealism being dragged out of its grave when there are more important things to put on our stages like BEETLEJUICE?!” The easy answer is that it’s a well-established classic with Wolverine attached as the lead so it’s going to sell as quickly as Harold Hill’s trombones. …

Burnham Moves to Film to Pass His Ideals to a Wider Audience with Eighth Grade

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“I’m looking at this girl and thinking ‘There’s a scared little girl who is self-conscious and worried.’” — Bo Burnham on the origins of Eighth Grade

Welcome back to my five-part series examining the work of Bo Burnham! You can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 here.

It begins, as it always has, in another suburban bedroom. But something’s different. It’s darker except for two lights: one from the desk and the other from a laptop screen. The red record light stares out, waiting to be pushed, but it’s not that young boy, it’s a young girl. She’s set up a background and a camera. She looks at the wall, worried she might fade into the background with it. She doesn’t care…

Burnham Tops Perfection and Steps Out of the Comedy Game with Make Happy

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“Performing in life is awful and freedom and love is the act of dropping your performance.” — Bo Burnham

Welcome back to my five-part series examining the work of Bo Burnham! You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here.

It begins with that young boy, now fully grown. He wakes up in a strange bed in a strange town. He opens the window and looks at the barren landscape. His face is covered in clown makeup, but he pays it no mind. After all, it’s who he is. But he’s sick of it all. The world that was once funny to him now only depresses him. He wants to tell the world that he’s had enough…

Burnham Sets A New Comedy Special Standard With what.

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“When I get onstage, I want to do this show, I want to serve this show, and I want to serve this higher idea of theatre.” — Bo Burnham on what.

Welcome back to my five-part series examining the work of Bo Burnham! You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

It begins with an old video of that young boy, even younger than in 2006. He’s a child. His back is to the camera. An unseen voice calls his name. He turns and lights up the moment he sees the camera. He sings a song. Little does he know that performing will become a major part of his life. …

How Burnham’s Move to Television Resulted in the Most Underrated Show of the Decade

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“I think of it as a documentary about heroin addiction made by a heroin addict who’s addicted to heroin at the time.” — Bo Burnham on Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous

Welcome back to my five-part series examining the work of Bo Burnham! You can read Part 1 here.

It begins in a bedroom, much like the one we saw a few years ago. But something’s different. It looks more professional, the video quality’s certainly a step up. It looks like someone hired a camera crew. Someone did, that young boy, now a little older, lies in his bed. He pretends to sleep and makes a big show of waking up. From the moment he wakes up, he is performing for the camera. He looks at it, smiling. He’s about to…

McKegg Collins

Part time writer, full time nerd

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