Colleen Claes

Colleen Claes
Chicago, Illinois, USA
January 08
Freelance Writer
I'm a freelance writer and blogger when I'm not working 9 to 5. I graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in film and screenwriting. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of media (usually film) and culture. I've contributed to as the Chicago Cult Classics Examiner and have been interviewed by USA Today for my film expertise. I write at a few other places (both for myself and other people), which you find below My Links.

Colleen Claes's Links

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“I have never drawn, even as a child, either puppets or silhouettes but rather facades of houses and gates. One of my favourite games consisted of organising towns. Ignorant in architecture, I constructed buildings and streets crammed with little figures. I invented stories

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JUNE 24, 2011 1:36PM

This is Something I Wrote

Having found my love for writing by the age of seven, I have since gone through many stages of the craft throughout my life. Fads, if you will.

In elementary school, it was dad-illustrated, self-typed (couldn’t draw, but could type up a 10-page document at the age of… Read full post »

 treeoflife jr

In the “boyhood” chapter of the film, Jack (the main character) as a child is running around with other neighborhood boys, causing a ruckus, encapsulating the very meaning of “boys will be boys.”

They fling rocks into the windows of (probably) abandoned houses.… Read full post »

I took a class called “New German Cinema” at the end of my freshman year of college. It was designated as a “seminar” credit, and I enrolled because I knew I was interested in becoming a film major at that point. I think I saw the words “cinema”… Read full post »

 As a fan of Lars von Trier, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and pretty much any "wedding movie" with a dark premise (don't ask), I'm excited about this. Salon writer Drew Grant already referred to it as "Rachel Getting Married meets Donnie Darko," which seems fair, at least from this trailer.

Ei… Read full post »

This photo I took outside of one store (the posh Maison Martin Margiela store) represents how I view the whole city, the whole idea of L.A.: sometimes unremarkable, but often dazzling. Just as we began to become bored by the endlessness of two-story strip malls, motels, or apartment complexes that look like motels, we came across this - beckoning us right before we got on the lackluster highway.à If it had been open, we surely would have been kicked or eyed out of there for our jeans and our lack of money, but all we really cared about was the outside of it anyway. After many photos and oohs and aahs, just as we began to become slightly bored of this as well and head back to the car, the wind blew through and the entire storefront sparkled like diamonds and swayed like a wheat field. Los Angeles, I thought. Ive never seen anything like it.

Photo by: Colleen Claes, March 2011

This photo I took outside of one store (the posh Maison Martin Margiela store in

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MARCH 16, 2011 7:18PM

Celebrating Bertolucci

"I think that I used to love Hollywood movies. I remember great phases and moments. But, unfortunately, now is not the moment."

Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci turns 70 today, with 45+ years of masterful contributions to cinema. As the above quote suggests, Bertolucci has spent his career… Read full post »
MARCH 8, 2011 4:37PM

Champagne in a Can

Sofia Coppola "canned champagne." Yes, it really is the best thing in a can. Go buy it at your nearest alcoholic beverages depot now. It's a tiny pink can filled with bubbly sparkling wine and even has a tiny pink straw attached, picnic-ready. So obviously, I drank… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 23, 2011 1:01AM

Why ‘The Social Network’ Should Win Best Screenplay Oscar

People have said a lot of things about The Social Network. That it’s sexist, that it’s not true to the real story, that it makes Mark Zuckerberg out to be someone he’s not, etc. But the one thing no one really can

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"The trap has nylon nets called ‘heads.’ Two side heads to let the lobster crawl in. And inside, what’s called a bedroom head holds the bait, and keeps him from escaping. You know the old saying: ‘Two’s company, three’s a crowd?’ Well, it’s l

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DECEMBER 14, 2010 11:38PM

'Black Swan': Pitch Perfect

What isn’t there to say in favor of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan that hasn’t already been said? Given the amount of praise it’s gotten (already Golden Globe nominations and Oscar buzz) and how I’m a little late to contribute to it, it feels

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I actually went into Love and Other Drugs with an open mind. Er, more of an open mind than I normally would with this sort of movie. After viewing the trailer, I didn’t think much of it, or even care about seeing it. But

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NOVEMBER 28, 2010 2:24AM

Delayed Reaction: 'Paper Heart'

paper heart

I wanted so badly to be annoyed by Paper Heart (2009) and, in particular, Charlyne Yi. But instead, I found myself smiling throughout pretty much the whole damn thing. Though Yi is definitely an acquired taste, an odd bird, etc., etc., her charm and/… Read full post »

la jetee

"He says something. She doesn't mind, she answers. They have no memories, no plans. Time builds itself painlessly around them. As landmarks, they have the very taste of this moment they live, and scribbling on the walls."

I rewatched one of my… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 17, 2010 8:30PM

The Dirty Irresistibility of HBO's 'In Treatment'

Originally written for and posted on RootSpeak, November 11, 2010.

in treatment s3

A friend recommended In Treatment to me about a year ago and so I started watching season one. I became addicted to the show pretty quickly, gobbling it up in large amounts at… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 21, 2010 10:30AM

'The Social Network': Stop Calling it Sexist

social network

Dear feminists: Can we please stop arguing how sexist The Social Network is? Signed, a fellow feminist.

I hadn't even seen the movie yet when I came across an article on Jezebel's homepage, entitled: "The Social Network, Where Women Never Have Ideas." Sounded pretty/… Read full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2010 12:38AM

Willow Smith: Nine Years Old and Amazing

I'm sure this has been widely seen by now, but I can't get over it. She is nine years old and doing it better than most adult pop stars. "Whip My Hair" Willow Smith (daughter of Will, of course) is one solid music video. There's been some… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 10:41PM

'Never Let Me Go' Novel to Film - a Successful Cloning?


never let me go film

Note to the reader: This post contains spoilers, but not much more than what is revealed in the film's trailer.

I apologize. It's too easy to make a crack about whether or not a film adaptation of a novel about clones is a "good enough clone"… Read full post »

If you hadn't heard of the noisy but catchy lo-fi band Sleigh Bells before, you probably have now between the MTV coverage and the ever-dreaded indie-rock-band-goes-to-car-ads Honda commercial. I'm not sure why, but this is almost exactly how I imagined the music video to be for… Read full post »

Darren Aronofsky's anticipated Black Swan has already screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. So far, the reviews seem relatively divided (as could be expected), while some critics seem almost in awe of the disturbing film - one that the director ha… Read full post »

Originally published in Brittany Julious' "Antic" literary magazine -

There’s a lot of talk about hipsters these days. Well, there are stages of the talk about hipsters.

First, there’s the recognition of something being too out of your reach, too involved in some other kind of pop cultu… Read full post »

AUGUST 10, 2010 4:56PM

Waking Up to Arcade Fire

I went to Lollapalooza this past weekend (thanks to my boyfriend taking me), and I had a semi-spiritual reaction to seeing Arcade Fire live. They closed the festival Sunday night (well, with Soundgarden across the park, but really - who goes to see Soundgarden in 2010?), and… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2010 11:49PM

Creativity and the 9 to 5

Why can't I write? Or do anything creative or productive, for that matter?

When I was unemployed for too many months after college graduation, I thought I felt useless because I didn't have a job. Now I have a full-time job that I enjoy, and I still feel useless… Read full post »

Originally posted on June 24, 2010, this version includes two important updates. 


For some reason, memoirs have steadily become my favorite literary genre as I grow older. It's also the genre I gravitate towards when I write. Creative nonfiction is something I relish in - being… Read full post »

For some reason, memoirs have steadily become my favorite literary genre as I grow older. It's also the genre I gravitate towards when I write. Creative nonfiction is something I relish in - being able to understand someone else's experience, whether there be complete differences or scary similaritie… Read full post »