Tonya Riley

Tonya Riley is a summer 2013 Prospect intern.

Recent Articles

More Than a Teenage Dream

The Spectacular Now recalls an era of films that dealt with a complicated adolescent existence.

AP Images/Matt Sayles
The Spectacular Now easily earns the epithet of teen film, a genre known more for its box-office potential than festival and critic buzz. It has all the makings of another superficial flick—sex, booze, a teenage soap star in a leading role, and a plot borrowed from young-adult literature. Yet as evidenced by the Grand Jury Prize it won at Sundance, the movie transcends these stereotypes and embraces the kind of realism in the 1980s’ “Brat Pack” films, many written and directed by the iconic John Hughes. By acknowledging that young-adult lives encompass more than school, parties, and puberty, Brat-Pack movies and their portrayal of disaffected youth boosted the teen film into a realm of emotionally resonant cinema that had cultural staying power. With a similar gritty authenticity and dynamic characters, as well as a novel rebuke of adolescent nostalgia, Spectacular presents a new model for the modern teen film. Spectacular , based on the book by Tim Tharp,...

Putin Loves Me, Putin Loves Me Not

A conversation with the author of a new book about the Russian president, touching on fomenting dissent in the country, Syria, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File
AP Photo/Alexei Vladykin Russian President Vladimir Putin has earned Western fascination with his over-the-top motorcycle riding and judo-fighting public persona, aggressive foreign policy, and his seemingly captivating power over the Russian people. However, Putin’s third term has quickly proven that, with a restless Moscow middle class increasingly discontent with his authoritarianism and local activists fed up with the corruption of the capital, the love affair between Russia and Putin may not be one for the ages. In his new book, Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin (Yale University Press) Ben Judah, who grew up the son of a Balkans reporter and whose earliest memories are of the collapse of communism in Bulgaria, explains Putin’s fall from popularity and its context in the greater narrative of modern Russia. Judah, a former reporter and current Russia analyst for the European Stability Initiative, spoke to the Prospect about Syria,...