Articles tagged sopranos, american dream, tony soprano, carmella, johnny sac, mcmansion, farelly, blubberland, social mores, mobsters, mafia, italian american, success, failure, wealth, materialism, dissatisfaction,

On Passing Gas and the Time in Yasujiro Ozu’s ‘Good Morning’

Ozu’s Good Morning demonstrates that platitudes such as “hello” and “good morning” are not merely pleasantries, they are acts of reconnaissance.

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‘Goodbye, Things’, on Japanese Minimalism, Requires a Certain Maximalist Means

Sasaki's simplify-your-life minimalism plan requires a certain amount of disposable income to achieve.

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Fyre Festival Is an Argument for Higher Taxes—on the Rich

Every day elite policymakers throughout America make the same arrogant blunders as the Fyre Festival organizers did, and their mistakes can be seen in a drive through most inner cities.

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Crooks, Cops, Rocks and Airplanes: ‘The Sicilian Clan’

After being mostly buried for decades, a Eurocrime caper emerges into the Blu.

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Confronting Evil, Determinism, and Death in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Exploring the darker core of a Christmas classic reveals just what is so wonderful about life.

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‘The Executioner’ Forges the Missing Link Between Preston Sturges and Robert Altman

This excellent satire is shot in long, elaborately staged takes where the camera alternately basks in claustrophobia or wanders all over the landscape.

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If You’re Suspicious of the Pitch, Read ‘Mad Men, Death, and the American Dream’

If Mad Men’s slickness allow us to enjoy the existential emptiness at the heart of American identity without implicating us, Bronfen’s volume works to close that distance.

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There’s Something Oddly Comforting in Chris Oliveros’ Futile Tale

The Envelope Manufacturer is a light parable on the ravages of neoliberal capitalism.

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Roberto M. Dainotto Explores the Making of the Mafia Myth

The Mafia: A Cultural History offers a Sicilian perspective on the enduring popularity of organized crime stories.

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Some Assembly Is Required for Reading ‘Boston Mob’

At times, Mark Songini stretches ideas beyond their breaking point, making the reader reassemble them with Krazy Glue and chicken wire.

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Failure - “Another Space Song” (From My Playlist)

"Another Space Song" from Failure's 1996 release, Fantastic Planet.

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Tomorrow Never Knows: Race and Anxiety in ‘Mad Men’

Like a smartly crafted advertisement, there is more to Mad Men than meets the eye. Amidst the forbidden affairs, heated pitches, and endlessly flowing libations, race relations have risen to prominence during the show's fifth season.

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The Celestial Railroad: Shifting Debates on the Immigrant Experience in ‘Sin Nombre’

Illegal immigration is a hotly contested topic in American society and politics. Sin Nombre opens up important questions about migration that documentaries often ignore: there is no such monolithic category as "the immigrant", and migration is not solely an economic decision.

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Drawn Together: Cornell’s “Demon Knights” and the Ideal of Camelot

In Demon Knights Paul Cornell not only dramatizes the idea of Camelot, but exquisitely reenacts it at one of the oldest comicbook publishers.

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‘Drag Race’: Games, Competition and the Failure Gambit

What can reality television teach us about self-sabotage in gameplay?

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle (40th Anniversary Edition) by George V. Higgins

Higgins’ message, about crime’s futility and the falseness of its glamour as portrayed by Mario Puzo and Francis Coppola, is an important one, and his book more than succeeds in conveying it.

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11 Aug 2009 // 9:59 PM

The Mad Ones by Tom Folsom

This wonderfully recreates the subterranean world of New York in the '60s, when Beatniks, jazz musicians, and existential dropouts began to rub up against the old-school underworld of the city.

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The Shadows of Consumption by by Peter Dauvergne

Dauvergne acknowledges that globalization isn’t just about making life better; it’s about making boatloads of money.

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Tourists of History by Marita Sturken

The idea of education as liberation is a poor one; education might allow a critical perspective on cultural practices, but asserting that ironic frame helps an individual grieve, or mourn, or live a richer and fuller life, is a mistake.

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22 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse OLeary

As a guide to the war zone from the antimaterialist perspective, it's a valuable read.

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"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

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