Latest Blog Posts

by Cary O'Dell

31 Mar 2014

Bear with me, this will take some explaining…

I work for the motion picture, broadcast and recorded sound division of the Library of Congress. Inside our facility, located in Culpeper, Virginia, there is a specially-built, well-appointed, and beautiful theater that seats just over 200.  Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we show, for free, “vintage” films pulled straight from our vaults. Last month alone we showed A Hard Day’s Night, Moonstruck, “and Harold and Maude.

by Bill Gibron

13 Mar 2014

It’s getting a bit old. As a matter of fact, with the way Messageboard Nation and its far more blunt 140 character cousin, Twitterville react, you’d swear it was Selma in the ‘60s. Racism has gone underground thanks to social media, the anonymous soapbox giving everyone and their bigoted 15 minutes the kind of fame you don’t necessarily want. This week’s subject was the upcoming Annie remake featuring an ethnically diverse cast including Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz, and in the role of the title orphan (now a more PC-friendly “foster kid”), Beast of the Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhané Wallis. When the trailer premiered last week, it elicited a mixed response from the various opinion-sharing outlets. While many agreed the actual update looked (and sounded, thanks to obvious use of autotune) awful, the biggest stink occurred when the typical intolerant tweets started making the rounds.

by Bill Gibron

15 Jan 2014

Let’s just suppose, for the moment, that Woody Allen is a raging pedophile. Let’s pretend that everything that the Farrow clan—Mia, Dylan, and possible Sinatra-son Ronan—accuses him of is more than true. Let’s say that, for decades, we the people of the United States of America laughed at jokes made by a man who secretly enjoys the sexual company of minors. Let’s say that the infamous case back in 1992 ended with him brought up on charges, tried in a court of law, and found guilty of the crime (or crimes) that so many in the media and in the moviegoing public believe he committed. Right now, the aging auteur would be no such thing. Instead, he would just be a forgotten name in film history whose previous efforts are now wholly marginalized by his uncontrollable desire to deflower children. He’d be a nobody. Or better still, he’d be Victor Salva.

by Bill Gibron

4 Nov 2013

The film version of Ender’s Game, which just opened this past Friday to decent box office results, is based on a beloved, award winning science fiction novel by someone named Orson Scott Card. It tells the story of a young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin who becomes the savior of mankind. In the book, two major wars are fought against an alien race wanting to establish a colony on Earth. Convinced that a third battle will break out, the military create a cadet school for young children to train them in the art of defeating this extraterrestrial menace. Through many simulations of possible combat scenarios, Ender becomes the most brilliant candidate among the many, and ends up leading our high tech troops in proposed strategies against the “Buggers.” Of course, it turns out that (SPOILER ALERT) these were not practice drills, but actual skirmishes that end with thousands dead and a planet destroyed.

by Bill Gibron

28 Oct 2013

For dedicated horror fans, it’s the hideous Holy Grail, a cup runneth over with as much minced body parts and juiced marrow as possible. It’s the icing on a particularly nasty cake, a filling so foul in a pastry so vile that simply sampling its entrails-laced spice will send your palette to purgatory… forever! Since its popularity as a means of pushing the exploitation film into a new, non-nude dynamic, to its post-millennial pose as a redefining hardcore homage, gore has given the movie macabre its surreal, sacrilegious fascination. It’s also elevated the craftsmen behind the scenes—the make-up artists and effects technicians—to the level of gods, beings given over to unbelievably realistic interpretations of human death and dismemberment.

//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