Latest Blog Posts

by Diepiriye Kuku

23 Apr 2010

Twenty-ten’s Cop Out is chock full of age old western mythology told through the same bunch of modern consumerist stereotypical figures: the loud Negro side-kick, the estranged hard-working dad, the well-positioned step-father, the wife who still loves the guy…and his defeat of some random enemy that somehow proves his love for his daughter. How many times have we seen this movie? Ever notice how little agency women have in these films- just pawns. Indeed, this could describe far too many Hollywood blockbusters that I have seen over the past 30 years. So why all the rehashing?

In Cop Out, we see some of the classic stereotypes play out, and here’s why it’s important to speak about race, because it provides a frame to look at how all characters are rendered abstract for the sake of art. But is it really abstract? Not really. These are noticeably thin stereotypes around gender, class AND race, so to pick out any one characteristic would be disingenuous. For example, the caricature of ‘working class white guy’ into which Bruce Willis seems to fit neatly, is always a dumb brute of a dead-beat dad. Further, we’re asked to sympathize with the sacrifices he makes on the job, so we romanticize daddy’s absence. But the explosions and gun shots too often distract viewers from seeing how ridiculously men are portrayed on screen. For example, in this flick, why wasn’t Willis’ man enough to accept the damn money from the rich freak! Is his ego really so grand as to need to ‘give’ away his daughter with his last penny, even if it kills him? Obviously so, since that ego forms the plot of most of his flicks.

And why are we still so tied to gender-roles that few seem to question giving away a young maiden? How can she attain any independence in her conjugal relationship if she has no respect from her own folks!?! Isn’t this really why Alice chose Wonderland? Moreover, (and interestingly, both in the case of Alice as well as Willis’ daughter in this skin flick), this had nothing to do with daddy love. Neither men had the child’s welfare in mind, and the mom seemed to go where the money rules; here, just like in Taken and hoards of other movies, she is effectively Oedipus’ mother Jocasta, a wealthy queen unable to make any real decisions for herself, including the welfare of her own kids. Isn’t that a classic feminine stereotype? This had everything to do with a dick fight, and the women and children were the prizes. Seen 2012? Seen Taken? Seen so many of these flicks, it’s critical.

by Jennifer Cooke

22 Apr 2010

This video clip is a nice little glimpse of one of the greatest voices in pop music, at home, with a piano, and no bells or whistles. Sometimes I forget that when you’re as good as Tracey Thorn, that’s really all you need. “Oh, the Divorces!” is the first single from Thorn’s upcoming album, Love and Its Opposite, due May 18th on Strange Feeling Records.

by Benjamin Aspray

22 Apr 2010

Kids have been going bananas over Sunn 0))) for a few years now, when they’re not getting all worked up over the new High on Fire album or continuing to suck in bong-loads of Electric Wizard. Far be it from me to discourage such noble apotheosis, but considering how much this style of slow, sludgy heavy metal is indebted to the past, I’d say a little history is in order. Before forming Sunn 0))) (and starting Southern Lord Records), Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley were part of Burning Witch, which only survived for two 12” releases over a handful of years in the late ‘90s. In that brief period, they played an intestine-bursting performance on the now-defunct Seattle public-access show, 29 Live. Everything about this video is FTW: the searing feedback, the unapologetic thrash fashion, the low end somehow remaining brawny through the tinny VHS recording, and above all else, the agonized shrieking of vocalist Edgy 59 (who now spends his time imitating Trent Reznor for Sinisstar). Doom metal would get slower, heavier, and more sophisticated in coming years, but never would Sabbath riffs be as punishing or raw.

by John Lindstedt

22 Apr 2010

One of our founding fathers just got an extreme home makeover. Here’s a surprisingly showy video from the Federal reserve showcasing the new hundred dollar bill (aka “The Benjamin”), which features a “3D security ribbon” and a color changing ink well. That’s cool, right? Presumably so. Being the most frequently counter fitted note, extra security measures were needed, as well as literal bells and proverbial whistles (the Liberty Bell changes from copper to green when tilted). Circulation is set to begin in 2011.

by Alex Suskind

21 Apr 2010

In honor of the late Gang Starr emcee, who passed this week after a lengthy cancer battle, we have collected clips of some of his greatest rhymes.

“I come with mad love and plus the illest warlike tactics
The wilderness is filled with this; so many people
searching for false lift, I’m here with the skills you’ve missed
The rejected stone is now the cornerstone
Sort of like the master builder when I make my way home
You know my steez…”
—Gang Starr “You Know My Steez”

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2015: 'Dark Echo'

// Moving Pixels

"Dark Echo drops you into a pitch back maze and then renders your core tools of navigation into something quite life threatening.

READ the article