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Monday, Jul 28, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
PopMatters looks back on some of the standout moments from the Godfather of Soul, from his work in film to his identity as a "sex machine".

SPONSORED POST—Calling all music fans, August 1st brings the release of the eagerly awaited new biopic about James Brown, Get on Up. With a stellar cast—Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, and Octavia Spencer—Get on Up is directed by The Help‘s Tate Taylor and looks to be a major crowd-pleaser. This is also the perfect time to reflect on Brown’s staggering importance within music and our cultural landscape. Join in with Pharrell and Questlove in celebrating your thoughts about the Godfather of Soul’s lasting legacy using #SayItLoud on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and more. We are celebrating with you in offering up five of Brown’s most important career highlights.


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Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014
Let’s celebrate Ringo Starr’s 74th birthday with cartoons.

It’s hard to believe, but week marks the 74th birthday of Ringo Starr. He’s one of rock’s most accomplished drummers and a successful solo artist, but have you ever realized how many times he has been animated?


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Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014
“The entire control room is like a group of six-year-olds whose birthday is next week, you know, and there’s gonna be cake, there’s gonna be presents, their friends are gonna be there, and they just know its going to be great.”

Monica Dunford rides her bike to work. More than once in Particle Fever, the camera follows her along un-busy streets in her neighborhood, on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland, her head helmeted, her pants leg Velcroed. But as typical as she may look, Monica is not. She’s an experimental physicist, for one thing, and for another, she works at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This is the place where everything changed. Everything. It’s the place where, on 4 July 2012, a dedicated company of scientists found the Higgs boson. Dunford records her thoughts at the time, one of several video-diary-like moments: “I don’t think I can describe the excitement,” she says, her hair pulled back, her hands in motion, and a fraction of the gigantic collider—chips and tubes and cables—overwhelming the background of the shot. “The entire control room is like a group of six-year-olds whose birthday is next week, you know, and there’s gonna be cake, there’s gonna be presents, their friends are gonna be there, and they just know its going to be great.”


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Watch the award-winning documentary about the famed Burning Man festival right here on PopMatters. Spark: A Burning Man Story is available for streaming and purchase.

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


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Spark


Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


 



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Monday, Apr 7, 2014
The film indicts US arrogance in its many forms, including the American administrations and corporate interests that blundered their ways through decades of combat and escalation.

“Look, they’re focusing on us now. First they bomb as much as they please, then they film.” Responding to the camera following him across a broken, muddy plot of land where the remains of a home lean into the rain, a Vietnamese villager disdains the effort to document his loss. Among the many self-aware moments in Peter Davis’ Hearts and Minds, this one is particularly tragic. There is no distinguishing between invasions for him, as he remains resilient and proud, as a neighbor leans down to pick up debris in the background. The camera pans with his movement to find another man, who stares directly into the lens as he puts a cigarette to his lips. Affronted perpetually, all they can do is watch those who watch them.


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