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It Feels Like Summer in ‘Planet Hulk #1’

Gladiator Captain America riding a big red T. Rex. I think you get the picture.

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There Are No Strings on Me: Ultron and the Top 10 Comicbook Robots

Ultron may be the most famous, but he's hardly alone in the ranks of comicbook automata. Here's a list of the 10 most interesting and important robot characters in comicbook history.

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‘Thirty Girls’: What We Learned Later

Thirty Girls is an artful fictionalized account of the 1996 kidnapping of the St. Mary’s College schoolgirls of Aboke, Uganda.

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‘Sunset’ Is a Tale of Objects

Sunset is an experiment in telling a story through the objects that people interact with.

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2 Jun 2015 // 2:30 AM

Jamie xx: In Colour

Jamie xx steps out from behind the xx's monochromatic palette with a Technicolor solo debut, the appropriately titled In Colour.

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Neoliberalism Is Changing Our World Without Our Even Noticing

Wendy Brown charts the ‘stealth revolution’ that’s transforming every aspect of society -- and now has democracy in its sights.

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Daughn Gibson: Carnation

Carnation finds Daughn Gibson taking scissors to his signature sound, recutting it to a new style all the while keeping his natural waywardness.

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Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes / Under the Pink (reissues)

Extremely welcome reissues of two of Amos’s classic ‘90s albums, which, over 20 years on from their original releases, have lost none of their ability to challenge, enlighten, and empower.

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The Mike + Ruthy Band: As Bright As You Can

Bright As You Can finds ballads and bluegrass a decided part of the mix, be it the shimmering steel guitar tempered “Chasin’ Gold” and “Freckled Ocean” or the opening good time romp of the title track itself. However, this pair are far more diverse than your typical back porch combo.

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Warm Soda: Symbolic Dream

Not unlike a sugar rush, Symbolic Dream's candy-coated sheen quickly becomes too much of a good thing.

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‘Children of Men’, ‘Babel’, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, and the Mapping of the (Post)modern Global World

Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón -- the "Three Amigos" of Mexican cinema -- use their 2006 masterpieces to examine the global through the lens of the local.

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Mark Olson: Good-bye Lizelle

Mark Olson and guests create a warm sonic atmosphere with an international flavour on Good-bye Lizelle.

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‘A Year in Champagne’ Is All Fruit and No Acidity

There's plenty of dazzle but little depth in this champagne documentary.

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Keller Williams Huffs a Musical ‘Vape’ With His New Record

Two decades into his career, Keller Williams still feels more like a summer tour pal that anyone can relate to, rather than a distant rock star.

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‘Charlie’s Country’ Remembers and Lives Australia’s Tragic Colonial Past

Through a subtle script, exceptional acting, and brilliant cinematography, Charlie’s Country shows how the steady erosion of one individual’s autonomy illuminates an entire nation’s past.

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The Best in the Worst Circumstances in ‘Old Man Logan #1’

Wolverine is the best he is at what he does and in a world where he gets to prove it.

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Nobody Won the ‘War for the Soul of America’

Andrew Hartman’s engaging exploration of the culture wars confirms that the conflicts will never be resolved because both sides are too extreme for America's moderate middle-ground.

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Simon Spence’s Biography of the Happy Mondays Is ‘All Excess’

This is an excellent biography of the defining band of the ‘chemical generation’.

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Hacking Reality with ‘Axiom Verge’

Axiom Verge is the best game you won't remember playing.

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Soak: Before We Forgot How to Dream

Soak's full-length debut may be more briny than brainy, but it’s the emotional truths she sings that keep the listener afloat.

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In ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, Meryl Streep Proves She Is the Author of Her Films

It takes a superior actress to convey a character’s entire history in one scene, and in this film, at least, Meryl Streep does it masterfully.

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Girlpool: Before the World Was Big

Before the World Was Big is ready to comfort you on the road ahead, in so doing becoming the sound of growing up.

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Old Crow Medicine Show: Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer EP

Sometimes the most simple statement can sum up a career and all it entails. With the EP Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer, Old Crow Medicine Show have done just that.

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Arnold Dreyblatt: Nodal Excitation

A long but not-quite-lost piece of DIY minimalism gets its second victory lap on Drag City.

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Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld: Never Were the Way She Was (take 2)

Two Constellation instrumentalists produce an organic work of seismic proportions.

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‘Teaching Plato in Palestine’ Marks a Valiant Effort, but Falls Short of Consolation

Carlos Fraenkel champions two causes: the first is a culture of debate; the second is an allegiance to the principle of fallibilism. Unfortunately, both are hard to come by.

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“We’re All Fans”: An Interview with Judas Priest’s Ian Hill

Over 45 years in music, 17 studio albums and 45 million records sold. Judas Priest's only constant member talks about the band's storied history, the evolution of heavy metal, and the 30th anniversary of their seminal classic Defenders of the Faith.

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Striking Matches: Nothing But the Silence

Striking Matches have developed what is certainly an exciting first step in the right direction, cementing their album as one of the most solid full-length country debuts of the year so far.

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‘It! The Terror from Beyond Space’ Stars the Alien Before ‘Alien’

You may wonder why the final solution to killing the creature didn't occur to them earlier.

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Even the Rock Can’t Save ‘San Andreas’

What Dwayne Johnson does best, probably better than anyone else right now, is to draw attention to the absurdity and impossibility of himself.

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‘Gemma Bovery’ Is Just a Woman Trying to Be Happy

To viewers, the eponymous Gemma Bovery is an object to feel something about, rather than a being capable of feeling in her own right.

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With His Latest Film, Cameron Crowe says ‘Aloha’ to His Past and to Success

This is like watching the parts of a movie wait for a reason to exist. We don't care if the players find passion or just sit around, eating poi.

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‘San Andreas’ Gets Caught Between the Rock and a Hokey Place

Overloaded with CG eye candy and clichéd dialogue, this is a basic B-movie with blockbuster F/X.

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Shooting Back: Kamel Daoud’s Reply to Albert Camus’ ‘The Stranger’

There is going to be a lot of hype about The Meursault Investigation, and you should believe every word of it.

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Loyalty and Tribalism in ‘The Names’

The nastiest, scariest, most threatening villains in The Names are a group of betrayers within the Names known as the League of Psychopaths, and this is only the beginning.

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Graham Parker and the Rumour: Mystery Glue

Mystery Glue has a distinctively appealing mix of hard-boiled attitude and upbeat melody.

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29 May 2015 // 2:30 AM

The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld

All it takes is the installation of one free web browser to access a realm of the internet where, for a certain amount of cash, you can join in an assassination betting pool.

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Tracey Thorn: Songs from the Falling EP

Thorn wrote and performed the score completely by herself using musical instruments one would find in a school band room (piano, guitar, recorder, bass, percussion) to fit the ambiance of the movie.

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Flunk: Deconstruction Time Again

The Norwegian mood-pop act let remixers have at their latest album, often with surprisingly successful results.

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29 May 2015 // 2:10 AM

Kenny Knight: Crossroads

In this 1980 re-release, Knight reminds us of a folk era foregone.

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Harvard of the South: Miracle EP

Harvard of the South perfects all-things passable about rock music.

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Listening Ahead: Upcoming Music Releases for June 2015

Catch an early glimpse of new albums from Jamie xx, Sun Kil Moon, and Hudson Mohawke.

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Raheem DeVaughn: Love Sex Passion

An underrated soul singer offers up one of his strongest sets to date.

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‘Call the Midwife’ Continues to Charm in Its Fourth Season

An excellent cast, coupled with the show’s strong sense of time and place, makes Call the Midwife consistently engaging and satisfying.

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‘Aquarius’ Complicates Racism in the 1960s and, Maybe, Today

For all its wearying focus on Charles Manson, the show has other, better ideas, including an acknowledgement, via an earnestly outraged NOI member, that black lives might matter.

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Cannes 2015: A Flight Over Our Planet - Reflections on the Festival

The best films of Cannes 2015? Those with a visceral combination of sound and image that document bodies moving through space and that forge a primal kinetic connection with the viewer.

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Philip Glass Balances the Matter-of-Fact With the Metaphysical in ‘Words Without Music’

Philip Glass' memoirs handle weighty life crises and esoteric musical ideas with refreshing, no-nonsense language.

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‘It! The Terror From Beyond Space’ Is Just a Guy in a Rubber Suit

This classic if dated antecedent of Alien looks good on Blu-ray, but considering its influence it deserves much more than this bare-bones release.

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Thomas Brinkmann: What You Hear (Is What You Hear)

Thomas Brinkmann buries the parameters so deep you can barely feel them.

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Let the Face Speak for Itself: Hard Features in ‘The White Buffalo’

The mortal authenticity of Charles Bronson’s face needed no surgical denials or plastic justifications, unlike the onscreen stars of today's image-obsessed culture.

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Eilen Jewell: Sundown Over Ghost Town

Eilen Jewell continues refining her poetic lyricism and songcraft on her fifth studio LP.

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28 May 2015 // 2:15 AM

GNOD: Infinity Machines

Commanded by drones and synths, GNOD's Infinity Machines captures the terrifying experience of human mortality.

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28 May 2015 // 2:10 AM

The Wombats: Glitterbug

The Wombats have moved on from their exuberant indie past. Sadly their new identity as purveyors of retro dance/pop doesn't cut it on account of the lacklustre tunes.

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‘Exile on Kalamazoo Street’ Echoes in Literature Form the Genius of Theatre

Exile on Kalamazoo Street is one of those stories that you come across every once in a while that fills you with a genuine sense of warmth.

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Jimmy LaFave: The Night Tribe

It’s to Jimmy LaFave's credit that all his past accomplishments might just as easily be shuffled aside simply to accommodate a dedicated listen to The Night Tribe.

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Webs of Deception and Allusion Thread Together to Make ‘Pretty Little Liars’

With its constant nods to the work of David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock, Pretty Little Liars conjures up a world of allusions, where the source of truth is always uncertain.

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28 May 2015 // 2:00 AM

John Zorn: Simulacrum

Simulacrum is for those who were afraid John Zorn might be getting soft.

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You Don’t Need ‘The Man With X-Ray Eyes’ to See That Roger Corman’s Film Is Dated

The Roger Corman B-movie classic is still something to see.

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Cannes 2015: ‘Saul Fia’, ‘Mon Roi’, and the Politics of Award-Giving

Whereas Son of Saul represents the advancement of cinematic language, Mon Roi encapsulates the politics of selection and award-giving at Cannes.

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27 May 2015 // 6:22 AM

Why “Wr” Still in Love With Joanna Gruesome

Joanna Gruesome had an early hit with "Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me?" After we spent time with them, the reasons why we're still in love are obvious.

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A Return to Innocence in ‘Convergence - Shazam! #1’

The stakes are purposefully kept low in Convergence: Shazam! #1, which works as a highly entertaining reintroduction to Golden Age Captain Marvel.

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The Ongoing Conversation of Gender and Sexuality

Dutch author Maxim Februari's The Making of a Man is an interesting, if sometimes frustrating, contribution to discussions of gender and sexuality.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love

Psych-rock bedroom dwellers Unknown Mortal Orchestra expand their horizons on their latest album, sounding bigger than ever.

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‘Inside No. 9’: The Beautiful Horror Continues

Series 2 of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's Inside No. 9 provides a perfect balance of tragedy and comedy.

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27 May 2015 // 2:20 AM

Anti-Flag: American Spring

Anti-Flag have been in the game for quite a while. On American Spring, they show that it may be time to throw in the towel.

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Abandoned ‘Star Wars’ Plot Points, Episode III: Evolution of Light and Dark

"Minch Yoda"? "Darth Wilson"? "Kane Starkiller"? "Cos Dashit"? "Jaster Mereel"? "Gary Vader"? Who are these guys that brought the Star Wars saga we know to life?

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Olivia Chaney: The Longest River

Baez, Collins, Mitchell, Marling -- the debut folk album by Olivia Chaney shows that she belongs in this company. It's pretty much perfect.

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Zac Brown Band: Jekyll and Hyde

A mess of competing signals and bad politics mar what could have been a blandly competent country rock experience.

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George FitzGerald: Fading Love

On his effectively moody debut album, British producer FitzGerald inadvertently invents "emo-house".

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‘1995’: The Year the Netscape and Internet Explorer Wars Began

Netscape, Internet Explorer, Amazon, the Oklahoma City bombing, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Bosnian peace talks and the year President Clinton met Monica Lewinsky.

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Mavis Staples: Your Good Fortune

Though only four songs long, her latest, Your Good Fortune, offers a succinct summation of Staples’ range and ability.

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‘Leviathan’ Is a Kafkaesque Nightmare in Russia

Combine Orson Welles’ The Trial with Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, throw in some nods to Job and Thomas Hobbes, and you get Leviathan.

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Los Lobos Brought the Jams for the Benefit of PBS on Cinco de Mayo

Unlike any other band, Los Lobos can provide a uniquely multi-cultural soundtrack for Cinco de Mayo in the City of Angels.

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Cannes 2015: ‘The Lobster’ and ‘Louder Than Bombs’ Are Distinctive English-Language Debuts

Yorgos Lanthimos and Joachim Trier made distinct impressions with their English-language film debuts at Cannes 2015; the former with savage satire, the latter with absorbing family drama.

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‘A-Force #1’ Is Gender-Neutral Awesome

How to make an all-female team of heroes awesome for all genders.

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‘The Prime of Life’: It’s Time to Grow Up

Adulthood today is complicated, but it was complicated a hundred years ago, too.

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Colleen Green Is Having Fun Behind Those Dark Glasses

Colleen Green used to hide behind her sunglasses; now they're just a part of who she is. She tells PopMatters about their origin and the one song she refuses to play live.

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Snarky Puppy & Metropole Orkest: Sylva

On their collaboration with the Metropole Orkest, Snarky Puppy takes us on a journey, visiting a century of American music in a few seconds without ever stopping for air.

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26 May 2015 // 2:20 AM

Turbowolf: Two Hands

Featuring big notes, commanding melodies and biting hooks, Two Hands bathes listeners in thick, fuzzy, quirky rock.

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Shelby Lynne: I Can’t Imagine (take 1)

I Can't Imagine feels like a remarkably minor record in Lynne's discography, full of warmth and good vibes but lacking that conviction that has defined virtually all of her post-millennial work.

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26 May 2015 // 2:10 AM

Bill Fay: Who Is the Sender?

Once obscure singer-songwriter Bill Fay returns with his second album in three years, a celebration of life and an expression of hope for the future.

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Guided by God and Other Adventures in World Travel

Albert Podell's Around the World in 50 Years is an entertaining read that's in need of a timeline and other such worldly "guides".

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Sneaky Feelings: Send You

This 1983 debut effort by under-appreciated Flying Nun band, who were in the vanguard of the famed Dunedin Sound, is the latest to get the Captured Tracks reissue treatment.

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Is There Anybody Out There? Looking for UFOs in the California Desert

With his appearance at the Contact in the Desert conference this year, Jim Marrs continues to spread his unconventional views on what is really going on in the world.

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Milford Graves & Bill Laswell: Space/Time – Redemption

Milford Graves and Bill Laswell turn in another one of those duet albums that don't sound like one.

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On Denaturing Racial Elements in Two ‘50s-era Films

Two fascinating bits of Americana, Black Gold and Face of Fire, are defined by racial themes, yet tackle the subject quite differently.

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The Viewers Are the Only Ones in Pain in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Christian Grey refers to his playroom as "the Red Room of Pain". If he really wanted to inflict torture on people, he'd show them Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Cannes 2015: ‘Love’ and ‘Youth’ Amp Up the Sex at the Festival

Both Gaspar Noé's Love and Paulo Sorrentino's Youth explore sexual desire, but they take very different approaches.

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The Ghosts of ‘Poltergeist’ Can’t Spook Technology

There's lots of tech on display in this remake of 1982's Poltergeist, but the script sure doesn't know how to grapple with it.

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Cannes 2015: ‘Dheepan’ and ‘The Lobster’ Depict Different Kinds of War

Two movies screening in competition at Cannes, Dheepan and The Lobster, consider very different sorts of war, between hardcore gangs and between life aspirations.

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Cannes 2015: Women Resist Their Masters in ‘Sicario’ and ‘The Assassin’

Both Sicario and The Assassin tell the stories of women embroiled in conflict: in the former, the drug war; in the latter, the courts of ninth-century China.

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‘Tomorrowland’ Is a Future That’s Past

In loving a future that used to be "better", Tomorrowland is predictably incoherent. It wants an old future, one that's long gone.

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Cannes 2015: ‘Mediterranea’ Explores African Migration to Italy

Evoking De Sica, Denis, and the Dardennes, Jonas Carpignano’s film Mediterranea is a humane and visceral portrait of African migration to Italy.

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A Job for Superman: On Multiversity, Convergence and These Precious Mortal Hours

The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 begins with a return to the beginning of the superhero genre, but not the real beginning.

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22 May 2015 // 8:10 AM

Why It’s Time to Stop Hating Spotify

An independent artist opens up about how much he’s earned from Spotify, what it means to his band, and why listeners should feel good about the shift to streaming consumption.

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Richard Goldstein on the Front Lines With Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, Abby Hoffman and More

Richard Goldstein's journey is a closely observed, fervently lived “I was there” account of the music, the politics, the sex, the drugs, and the poetry in rock lyrics.

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The Milk Carton Kids: Monterey

Monterey is an earnest, serious collection of minimalist folk songs that only comes to life when the Milk Carton Kids liven up those songs through lyrics or tempo.

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How Are Sci-fi TV Shows and Their Starships Like Canadian Cities in Winter?

Two Canadian forays into sci-fi television, Ascension and The Starlost, bear interesting parallels to modern life in Canada.

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Joanna Gruesome: Peanut Butter

Joanna Gruesome mash together lo-fi punk and fuzzy twee pop for a gleefully unbalanced follow-up to their acclaimed 2013 debut.

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Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web

All it takes is one mis-sent Tweet to reveal just how muddy the context for engaging in social media discourse really is.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Blind Woman's Curse' Is Full of Delirious Action With Swords and Cats

// Short Ends and Leader

"This bewildering, reckless, and captivating Japanese monstrosity is a colorful, widescreen explosion of cross-genre craziness.

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