Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Friday, Nov 8, 2013
Feast on a cornucopia of entertainment options this month.

November is be an interesting month for many reasons. If you’re a gamer, you might be making a big purchase soon. There’s several television events on the way, too.

We may still be a month away from the big holiday season, but there’s plenty of new music and movies to keep us entertained until then.

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Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013
The film is a remarkable portrait, convincing and performative, insistent and expressive, and ever incomplete.

“Never believe you’ve played your last hand,” instructs Jean Marc Calvet. “Never believe it’s too late, never believe that things will never work out.” Under his voiceover, you see Calvet walking into the frame, in slow motion. His sunglasses obscure his eyes, his bald head and hoop earrings overwhelming as he fills the frame, obscuring the traffic behind him.

As an introduction to the French-Nicaraguan painter, these first few moments of Calvet suggest his intensity, his determination, his capacity for self-reflection, They are also the last moment in Dominic Allan’s movie that moves so slowly, literally. From here on out, the pace is propulsive, as Calvet takes you on a journey through his past, passing by his present, and into his possible future. And the camera does its best to keep up with him.

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Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013
The Oscar-winning documentary is as vital and heartrending today as it was on its release almost a decade ago.

The first image is a naked light bulb, swarmed by bugs seeking warmth. A series of equally impressionistic images follows: a child’s face, women in a city street, a hallway crowded with men, a woman undressing. All introduce Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids, a look into the lives of children in Sonagachi, North Calcutta. “The men who enter our building are not so good,” says Kochi. “They are drunk. They come inside and shout and swear.” Kochi stands by a window looking out; behind her, laundry flaps and an orange sky offers beauty, but also, the imminent night, when the men enter.

Film | TV
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Monday, Oct 14, 2013
This remarkable documentary series has offered glimpses of its subjects' experiences, versions of reality constructed and set into a complex dialogue with their viewers.

“There are a few things I would like to say,” essays Neil Hughes. And before he says them, he underlines, “I have tremendous good will toward the series.” That would be the Up documentary series, initiated by director Michael Apted in 1964, when he filmed 20 seven-year-olds living in and around London. Most of those subjects, including Neil, continued to appear in the films, which were made every seven years and broadcast on British TV.

Now, in the eighth movie, 56 Up, Neil talks not only about his life, per se, but also about his life as a documentary subject.

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Monday, Oct 7, 2013
Need a break from the real world? Here's the best of everything entertaining that requires an electrical outlet. This'll at least get you through October -- so long as the power holds.

The season of the witch (or vampire, princess, random cartoon character, etc.) is upon us, and Hollywood is offering plenty of spooky things to get you into the Halloween mood. But there’s more to this month than just one holiday, there is plenty of new music, movies, and video games to keep you entertained also.

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