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

 
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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

“My father told me, this is a dark organization, don’t go there.” Gonen Ben Itzhak sets up the moment when he decided to join Shin Bet, the Israeli secret security service, with his reaction to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “I was shocked like everybody else,” he says, “I felt I needed to do something for my country.” His belief that joining Shin Bet appeared to be that something initiates the unresolved, perhaps irresolvable, conundrum at the center of The Green Prince, open in theaters 12 September. That conundrum begins with definitions and expectations, of self and nation, individual and community, morality, vengeance, and survival. The Palestinians were enemies, even the idea of Palestine was an existential threat to Israel, and so Itzhak embraced his work as a handler of double agents for Shin Bet, believing that the lines were clearly drawn. They were not. As it tells the story of Itzhak’s complicated relationship with one of these, Mosab Hassan Yousef, also known as “Son of Hamas,” Nadav Schirman’s film blurs lines as well, between drama and documentary, truth and desire, intersecting stories framed by smart edits between reenactments, archival footage, and interviews. 


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Friday, Aug 29, 2014
The work of Dr. Susan Robinson forms the focus of Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's intelligent, conscientious documentary, After Tiller, premiering on PBS' POV series on September 1.

“Of course you don’t want an abortion. Nobody wants an abortion.”


Dr. Susan Robinson provides abortions, in particular, for women in their third trimesters who, for any number of reasons, need to end their pregnancies. Robinson is one of four such providers in the US who do this work, work they once did with Dr. George Tiller and work they now continue to do, after his 2009 murder in his church in Wichita. The work, and more importantly, the people who choose to do it, form the focus of Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s intelligent, conscientious documentary, After Tiller, premiering on PBS’ POV series on September 1.


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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Stay tuned to the @PopMatters Twitter tomorrow at 4.00 pm EST as we do a live Twitter session about James Brown and the new biopic celebrating his career, Get on Up. We will be handing out prizes, including $100 iTunes cards.

PopMatters has teamed up with Universal Pictures to celebrate their upcoming release Get on Up. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. 


James Brown empowered a generation of activists with his anthem “Say It Loud”. We’re tasking fans to salute the Godfather of Soul and his lasting impact on social culture and popular music by sharing your thoughts about his music and legacy using #SayItLoud on Twitter.


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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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