Latest Blog Posts

by Cynthia Fuchs

14 Feb 2014

The start of the Sochi Olympics has been attended by all sorts of stories, sensational and informative, trivial and jingoistic. Some of these stories you might expect, like the security concerns, the new sports, or the hottest athletes, you may also have seen some that are more sobering, say, the stray dogs of the anniversary of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death. Among the stories you might not have expected—or might rather not revisit—is occasioned by another anniversary, namely, the 20 years that have passed since the attack on Nancy Kerrigan.

While it’s easy enough to fall into tabloidy versions of this revisiting—helped along by Kerrigan’s new gig as a commentator for NBC—it may be more enlightening to reconsider the event by watching 30 for 30: The Price of Gold, now available on Netflix. Both careful and compelling, Nan Burstein’s film looks back on the rivalry between the golden girl Kerrigan and the hardscrabble Tony Harding as well as a number of related stories, not least being the TV coverage of every creepy or melodramatic moment. To that end, it offers a number of perspectives, primarily Harding’s, but also Kerrigan’s husband and manager, Jerry Solomon (Kerrigan herself declined to be interviewed for the film), as well as other skaters, coaches, and reporters, as well as Harding’s childhood friend. What emerges is a remarkable saga having to do with the vagaries of figure skating as sport, art, and industry, entrenched in all manner of corporate and commercial structures focused on selling product—from the Olympics per se to hair products to breakfast cereal. It’s an insight too often obscured by the lingering hysteria over Harding and Kerrigan.

See PopMatters’ review.

by Jessy Krupa

4 Feb 2014

The Super Bowl is often the highest-rated event on television, and part of the reason why so many tune in to see it is the new commercials. Advertisers spent an estimated $4.5 Million for their thirty seconds of airtime, and many of them tried to surprise us, be inspiring, or just make us laugh. 

While it was far from being the best Super Bowl ever, this year’s crop of ads can best be divided into certain themes. Here is PopMatters’ guide to great moments, big laughs, and some completely overblown time-wasters.

by Isaiah Wooden

3 Feb 2014

There are two dynamic, exceedingly bright boys from Brooklyn at the center of Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s American Promise. The documentary chronicles the lives of Brewster and Stephenson’s son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun. Hoping to avail them of the many opportunities and privileges that an expensive, private school education often affords—and wanting, too, to equip them with skills to counter a world that frequently elides black maleness with criminality—Idris and Seun’s parents enroll them in Manhattan’s tony Dalton School for kindergarten.

by Jessy Krupa

3 Feb 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII was the highest rated event in the history of television, meaning that a lot of people who don’t watch football on a regular basis were watching. While we don’t know this year’s numbers yet, but the average musical performances, (mostly) underwhelming commercials, and stilted game probably left many viewers feel a little cheated.

Not everyone was able to see the full event, however, so here is PopMatters’ recap of what happened when.

by Jessy Krupa

27 Jan 2014

The 2014 Grammys was a night where newcomers were rewarded and legends were worshipped, where simple, intimate performances battled it out against major productions, and where there were too many flashing lights and stripper-dancing. All in all, it was three and a half hours that demanded your attention.

If you happened to miss any of the night’s performances, PopMatters has you covered. Here are videos of what went down and how great it was (or wasn’t), arranged in order from best to worst.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article