About Kristi Israel

Still Watching: Two Sides of Early Woody Allen

Still Watching is a weekly examination of old TV shows or films.This week I chose two films directed by Woody Allen. This was my first time seeing Annie Hall, one of Allen’s most iconic works. Thematically, it was standard fare for Allen. I usually enjoy his “small” storytelling, meaning he doesn’t tell epic stories of kings, but of ordinary people struggling through life, trying to find their way through their neuroses. In Annie Hall, though, Allen is constantly employing techniques such as br … [Read more...]

Still Watching: Reds

I seem to be on a primary color kick. Last week I wrote about NYPD Blue, and this week’s Still Watching pic is Reds, an epic directed by Warren Beatty. Apparently 1981 was a banner year for film, at least the ones I seem to be choosing lately. Reds follows the true story of American journalist and die-hard communist John Reed, who was in Russia when the Bolscheviks took power, and his struggle to establish communism in the United States. The film also follows his romance with Louise Bryant, p … [Read more...]

Still Watching: NYPD Blue

Lately I’ve been watching reruns of NYPD Blue. This long-running series (1993-2005) broke ground in the 90’s for its relatively graphic nature by primetime standards. Created by Stephen Bochco and David Milch, and starring Dennis Franz and a string of various actors as his partners in the 15th precinct detective squad, NYPD Blue has always drawn me with its strong characters and stories.Thanks to boxed sets of dvds and Netflix instant streaming, most of us tend to watch older television shows i … [Read more...]

Still Watching: Gallipoli

Still Watching is a weekly examination of old TV shows or films.This week, thanks to Netflix, I had the pleasure of watching an old favorite: Peter Weir’s Gallipoli. It had been years since I had seen it, and it held up well. If you have never experienced this film, or known of the World War I campaign for which the film is named, I recommend you do. The campaign was waged on the Gallipoli Peninsula, a part of the Ottoman Empire, where the United Kingdom, Australia and their allies were f … [Read more...]

Still Watching: I Want a Queue, Too!

Still Watching is a weekly examination of old TV shows or films.I’m taking a break this week from the Lost Re-Watch. I still plan to keep going through the series, deciphering what I can from it, for my own benefit as much as yours. But I also need time to explore some older movies and other television shows as part of the “Still Watching” column. I recently joined Netflix- nothing like being on the cutting edge of pop culture, right? It only took me years to get on that bandwagon. I don’t know … [Read more...]

Lost Again: Solitary

Welcome back to “Lost Again”, my weekly examination of the Lost series. I am re-watching the series and theorizing, based on the now-complete knowledge of the entire show, which plot lines were cohesive and well-developed throughout, providing amazing payoffs by the end of the series, and which ones were dropped, messed up, or flat-out busted.This week I will be looking at only one episode, because it is chock-full of material that needs to be addressed. Some nice groundwork is laid here for ma … [Read more...]

Lost Again: The Moth and Confidence Man

In Lost Again, Kristi Israel watches two episodes of Lost each week, examining them in light of the whole of the series.The Moth: Charlie is the focus of this episode. He struggles with his drug addiction, and Locke, at this point still caring at least a little about others, encourages him to go cold turkey. He somehow has found the drugs, and tells Charlie he will give him three chances to ask for his drugs back, and on the third time, he will give them to Charlie. The name of the episode … [Read more...]

Roller Derby Part 1: Battering the Temple

Do you ever just want to do something that could be potentially dangerous? I don’t mean wanting to do something dangerous because it is dangerous. I mean having the desire to do something specific, like football, for example, that you’re pretty much guarantees you'll get hurt in some way while taking part?I was recently taken to the roller derby here in Los Angeles by a friend of mine. The LA Derby Dolls, a league of several different teams, have their own rink, which was where the Drew Barr … [Read more...]

Lost Again: White Rabbit and House of the Rising Sun

I’d like to address something quickly before diving into this week’s Re-Watch of Lost, which I am re-naming “Lost Again”, because Re-Watch isn’t really a word, and I get tired of the dash. I haven’t really expressed my overarching theory of storytelling, especially epic storytelling. There is much to be said of it, but I will skim the surface here, to establish a context in which to continue this project. Writing obviously works on a literal and figurative level, and I am a big believer in the fa … [Read more...]

Still Watching: Lost Re-Watch, Tabula Rasa and Walkabout

Still Watching is a weekly examination of old TV shows or films.Welcome to Week 2 of the Lost Re-Watch. This week I will be coverinng the third and fourth episodes of Season 1, and looking at them in light of any relevant knowledge which was revealed later in the series. The idea of this project is to see what coherent themesand plots structures run through the series, and where it makes us chase ghosts which never go anywhere. … [Read more...]