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Chris Robé

Chris Robé is an associate professor of film and media studies. He’s written for various journals such as Jump Cut, Cinema Journal, Framework, and The Velvet Light Trap. His monograph Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Left Film Culture was published by University of Texas Press. In his spare time he agitates for his friendly faculty union. He is currently researching contemporary media activist formations from the 1970s to the present.


Features

Sunday, September 9 2012

Outsiders Looking in at the Republican National Convention 2012

In spite of all the rhetoric coming from Chief of Police Jane Castor in the days before the RNC about reserving extra jail space for the thousands they expected to arrest, as of Wednesday morning only three protestors had been arrested: one for wearing a mask, and another two who started a fight with each other at Romneyville.


Monday, January 2 2012

Occupying Video: The Underbelly of Globalization Caught on Camera

Occupy Wall Street's strength might be how it enables diverse constituencies to seize upon its imagery and message to engage with social justice concerns, both on the ground and within the video.


Tuesday, July 19 2011

Rust Belt Visions: The 2011 Allied Media Conference

In Detroit, a cauldron where neoliberal experiments are tested and then unleashed upon the world, the Allied Media Conference reveals both the huge challenges facing community organizing and how media can assist the disenfranchised.


Thursday, November 11 2010

Be the Media: The Current State of Activist Media and the Work of Franklin Lopez

At its best, López’s work engages in constructing a new vision where popular culture serves the interests of the poor and dispossessed, where humor is reignited within activism, and the D.I.Y. ethics of punk and hip-hop allow those with talent and gumption to be the media, once again.


Wednesday, May 20 2009

Forbidden Hollywood’s William Wellman: The Forgotten Man

The 1934 Production Code’s puritanical stance towards sexuality is often highlighted by contemporary historians, but it also held extremely reactionary political mandates that forbade movie representations of conflicts between capital and labor.


Columns

Sunday, June 29 2014

"Capital's" Critique of Global Capitalism Is Sage But Dispassionate

Capital offers a savage critique of capitalism and the banking industry, but it fails to imagine its ability to sustain its inhumane and self-destructive practices.


Monday, July 8 2013

Living Inside the Cliché: 'Spring Breakers'

Although one might condemn the girls of Spring Breakers for descending into the lustful materialism of St. Petes, it seems hypocritical coming from avid cinemagoers who also like to immerse themselves in the debauchery of horror films, musicals, melodramas, and the like.


Sunday, April 21 2013

Django May Be Unchained, But America Is Never Unshackled from Its Racist Past

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is at its strongest when it problematizes America's racist past.The destruction of Candyland not only vindicates Django’s revenge-fuelled quest, but also implies that slavery itself has been wiped off the face of the earth.


Wednesday, October 6 2010

'The Grapes of Wrath': The Specter of Tom Joad Emerges From America's Dark Past, Once Again

With the current economic climate -- increasing rates of foreclosure, evictions, unemployment, poverty and misery -- this classic story dangerously impinges upon the present to reveal the specter of Tom Joad emerging from the darkness, once again.


Reviews

Monday, January 27 2014

That Broken Penguin in 'Bad Grandpa's' World Ain't Never Getting Fixed

The Jackass ne’er do wells keep trying to squeeze another penny from the working class world of jerry-rigged skate ramps, overflowing testosterone, and homoerotic pranks.


Monday, July 1 2013

Class Is a System of Relations: 'The Up Series: Seven Disc Special Edition'

The remarkable Up series refuses to descend into proselytizing dogma about class by instead revealing the intricate ways in which class defines our relationships with each other and ourselves.


Thursday, March 7 2013

Transcendental Immanence: 'The Kid with a Bike'

Through their highly labored yet naturalistic filmmaking, the Dardennes approximate the deep undercurrents of emotions that undergird our every action and transform a simple bicycle into what will be one kid’s lifeline.


Sunday, January 27 2013

The (Un)Making of the English Aristocracy: 'Downton Abbey: Season 3'

Downton Abbey might not necessarily represent a perfect world, but it does assert a knowable one, and this provides refuge from the uncertainties that plague us in our everyday lives.


Tuesday, August 7 2012

Tours from the Crypt: Ozzy Osbourne, 'Speak of the Devil'

Speak of the Devil holds the sad place of siphoning off an unfortunate moment in the past for any additional revenues it might yield.


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