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Entries in American Crime Story (10)

Thursday
Apr122018

Months of Meryl: A Cry in the Dark (1988)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 #15 — Lindy Chamberlain, a New Zealand matriarch wrongfully convicted of her child’s murder.

MATTHEWOne evening in August 1980, Azaria Chamberlain, the two month-old daughter of New Zealander couple Michael and Lindy Chamberlain, was taken while the family was camping near Ayers Rock. She was never found again. Seconds before Azaria disappeared, Lindy claimed to have seen a dingo rummaging through the tent where her daughter lay sleeping, putting forth the soon-to-be-infamous story that a dingo had taken and perhaps eaten her baby. A seedy, sensationalist media frenzy ensued, with the Chamberlains’ faces splashed across the covers of obsessive tabloids and speculative segments of nightly news programs as many, including the Australian high court, viciously questioned the veracity of the family’s explanation.

None of Meryl Streep’s vehicles have entered the cultural lexicon with quite the same measure of gleefully ubiquitous parody that has surrounded and even overshadowed Fred Schepisi’s 1988 docudrama A Cry in the Dark, also titled — and released in Australia and New Zealand as — Evil Angels after the John Bryson true-crime bestseller that first chronicled the Chamberlain family’s legal ordeal. A Cry in the Dark’s devolution into little more than a widely-known (though often misquoted) punchline has proven to be both admittedly hilarious but also fairly odd, especially considering the gruesome events from which this gag originates...

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Sunday
Mar112018

ACS: Gianni Versace "Ascent"

by Jorge Molina

Because of the backwards narrative style, the entire second season of American Crime Story has been one big origin story for Andrew Cunanan, his relationships, and the motives that eventually led to his string of murders. The seventh episode, titled “Ascent”, was the episode that we’ve been leading up to all along to fully get a changing point in Andrew’s life.

Last week’s episode (titled “Descent”, in parallels that were evident throughout) was about Andrew losing everything he built for himself. This week we get a peek into how he started putting it together...

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Saturday
Mar032018

ACS: Gianni Versace: "Descent"

by Jorge Molina

For the first time in a month's worth of episodes about his victims, American Crime Story returns to an Andrew-centric episode. We're going further back into the narrative, to the events and actions that led to his string of murders.  And as it has been teased all throughout the series, all it takes for a delusional man whose entire identity is built on a bubble of lies to break down, is to pop that bubble...

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Friday
Feb162018

ACS: Gianni Versace: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Jorge Molina continues his review of American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Season two of American Crime Story has taken a more thematic approach to its narrative than the heavily plotted season one. Each episode has been a miniature exploration of an issue revolving around the oppression of the gay community, but you could say that the main thesis has been the different ways in which being in the closet can hurt people: by isolating those around you (Lee Miglin), by taking away your way to keep fighting (David Madsen), by threatening your business and public image (as Donatella fears with Gianni). In the latest episode, framed around Jeff Trail (played by Finn Wittrock), it's how the closet prevents you from living the only life you want to be living.

Episode 5: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 

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Friday
Feb092018

ACS: ...Gianni Versace: "A House by the Lake"

by Jorge Molina

The greatest strength of the second season of American Crime Story has become the amount of care, attention, and empathy devoted to Andrew’s other victims. For the second week in a row, the show steps away from the titular Versace case to tell a self-contained story about the humanity of one of them. This week we focus on David Madson, a boy that Andrew was infatuated with...

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Thursday
Feb012018

ACS: Gianni Versace - "A Random Killing"

by Jorge Molina

The third episode of American Crime Story opens with Judith Light selling perfume in a home shopping commercial.

And what initially seems like a campy an even playful image, slowly devolves into one of the most chilling and disturbing episodes of television (and the best one in this season so far), anchored by outstanding guest performances, strong thematic elements, and as yet another reminder that Darren Criss is miles away from the gelled Warbler of Glee...

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