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

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Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013
Still, within a genre that sees few actual affronts, it's nice to acknowledge when intelligence is applied to the ridiculing of religion.

There are certain taboo subjects that polite social society hates to address. Politics is one, especially in light of our modern desire to divide completely along ideological and electoral lines. Enter a party spouting the latest liberal nonsense or equally offensive Tea Party talking points and you’re bound to face a fierce rebuff. Religion is another hesitant topic, though the reasons are slightly less unilateral. Everyone assumes a belief in God (or a one way trip ‘down below’ for those that don’t), it’s just how they choose to believe, and what they do in said Higher Power’s name, that causes commotion. For some, all Muslims are violent fundamentalists. For others, Christians have just as many insane skeletons in their closed confessionals.


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Friday, Apr 26, 2013
After nearly a decade in the DVD wilderness, Jim VanBebber's incredible The Manson Family is being roadshowed around the country. In this interview, the filmmaker talks about his past, his present, and his propensity for film.

It represented the end of the ‘60s, a sour send off to the whole ‘peace and love’ vibe consuming the country.  The Tate-LaBianca Murders in Southern California spawned hysteria in the region, the famous and the not so known cowering over who would be next in the sights of these the unknown spree killers. When it was finally discovered that a failed musician and his hippie commune “family” were behind the crimes, the press and pundits had a field day. They blamed everything on the leader, a diminutive demon called Charles Manson, (no matter who actually essayed the slaughter) and thus a legend was born.


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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013
The rocker turned filmmaker is just as genuine, and just as good, as his Oscar winning counterpart and for many of the same cinematic reasons.

Like a lightning bolt striking an aging edifice, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs hit Hollywood…hard! It signaled the arrival of a new voice in cinema, one that would cement its import in 1994 with the arrival of the international smash Pulp Fiction. Since then, Tarantino has become a solid cinephile talking point, a love-him-or-hate-him example of originality or outright stealing, depending on your particular penchant. Most of this comes with success. You can’t have a resume that includes two Oscars, legions of rabid fans, and films like Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained and not experience a bit of the old jealous blowback.


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Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013
Not much. Or put another way, not much that we didn't already know. Yet, the MTV Movie Awards have argued that, more than any other mainstream celebration of cinema, they have their finger on the pulse of the under 30 populace.

They’re supposed to be the hip alternative to the Oscars and the Golden Globes, a better cultural gauge than the People’s Choice and a last man standing survivor amongst the many Spike/Blockbuster wannabes. It’s had categories like Most Desirable Male/Female, Best Dance Sequence, and Best Sandwich in a Movie. Currently, among all the mainstays, it addresses choices like Best Gut-Wrenching Performance, Best Scared as Shit Performance, and Best Kiss. Indeed, over its 21 years in existence, the MTV Movie Awards have argued that, more than any other mainstream celebration of cinema, they have their finger on the pulse of the under 30 populace.


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Monday, Apr 8, 2013
So you don't like the new Evil Dead remake because it's not funny enough? Really? What Evil Dead are you thinking about?

It’s the same thing about remakes. You hear it over and over again. “Why bother…the original was perfect,” or “How dare they rape/sully/insult my childhood/geekdom/fanboy fascination with (insert name of movie here).” The answer, of course, is money. John Carpenter more or less mortgaged his mythos allowing people like Rob Zombie (Halloween) and Rupert Wainwright (The Fog) to revisit his massive back catalog. The same with George Romero (Dawn of the Dead), Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes) and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist).


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