Characters on the Couch
Film & Television Blog

by Dr. Sandra Cohen

Confusing Gap in FBI Agent
Jane Banner’s Character

Where does Wind River’s Jane Banner, FBI Agent, (Elizabeth Olson) fit into the mix of marginalized Native Americans and a white Game Tracker (Jeremy Renner) with a significant loss of his own? And, who was she anyway, coming out of nowhere in all her conspicuously dissimilar blonde beauty? We never really know. The film, with…

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Tearing Down Walls
Against Grief

Director Jean-Marc Vallee’s film, Demolition, stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Davis Mitchell, a man who tragically loses his wife in a sudden car accident. If you haven’t seen the film, Demolition is a must-watch to understand the subtleties of this post and, more so, the intricacies of Davis’ reaction. This is a film about a man’s…

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Trauma & Perversion
Where Does Triumph Come In?

Trauma. We know it. We experience it. We’re left with its aftermath – when Director Paul Verhoeven’s “noir thriller,” Elle, careens to its conclusion. Leaving the theater, my mind was spinning.  As Verhoeven says, the film has: “an enormous amount of ambiguity, gaps that are in the narrative on purpose for the audience to fill in.”…

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