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

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Jul 20, 2012
As the World's Greatest Detective is set to triumph at the box office yet again this weekend with the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Sound Affects shines a Bat-Signal on one of the most essential components of any Batman film or TV series -- the music.

From his inception, Batman has always been a very cinematic character. Though borne of and forever linked to the comic book medium, his early exploits drew liberally from filmic inspirations ranging from noir to German Expressionism to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, cribbing their odd camera angles and generous shadows to convey, drama, dread, and excitement on the four-color page. So it should be no surprise that more than any of his superhero peers, Batman has become an icon on both the big and small screens, one who has starred in everything from low-budget serials to summer blockbusters to stylized animated adventures.


As the masked vigilante is poised to conquer movie screens worldwide once again this week with the release of the much-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, Sound Affects would like to shine a Bat-Signal on one particularly essential component of any Batman film or TV series—the music. Be it strum und drang orchestrations or the latest pop sounds, the music that accompanies the Caped Crusader’s extra-comic exploits has always played a key role in crafting the right atmosphere, upping the stakes, and punctuating the narrative developments—not to mention the on-screen fisticuffs. Quibble all you want with the make-up of the final list (Hans Zimmer’s formless and indistinct score for the Christopher Nolan films is nowhere in sight, and Shirley Walker’s character motifs for Batman: The Animated Series would assuredly have numbers 11 and up all sewn up if this article was doubled in size). But if you are going to take anything away from this countdown, it should be confirmation that Batman, perhaps more than any modern fictional hero, has proven to be a steady source of inspiration for a wildly divergent array of great theme music for well over half a century.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Hannibal Buress is blowing up: a new special on Comedy Central, a show on Adult Swim, and -- of course -- answering PopMatters' 20 Questions, revealing why he may wear the same pair of jeans for two weeks, wonders what a conversation with a drunken President Obama would be like, and how he'd love to see what cell phones would like like 50 years in the future . . .

Hannibal Buress is three things: 1. Funny; 2. Somewhat mysterious; and 3. Gradually becoming omnipresent.


The first part is pretty obvious: Buress—who grew up in Chicago and now calls New York City his home—has slowly been working his way through the comedy scene, honing his writing skills by working on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock and premiering his own material on late night programs like The Late Show with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live! after putting out his debut album, My Name is Hannibal, in 2010. His observational humor comes more from the outrageous than it does the mundane, like when he was pitching his surrealistic, conceptual sketches to Lorne Michaels to virtually no response.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Feb 3, 2012
Soul Train creator/host Don Cornelius will be remembered--and should hereafter be celebrated--for giving a voice to Black America, and he should also be acknowledged—and praised—for making White America less white.

A genuine American icon has left the planet.  People born during or after the ‘80s might know Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius mostly from name-checks in interviews, songs, and clips on YouTube. And there is nothing wrong with that. But for us older folks, we knew the man. Some of us grew up with him.


If a picture can sometimes speak more eloquently than words, a video can function as a truth bomb that tells you all you need to know. Check it out:




I only have a handful of comments. The Hair. The Glasses. The Shirt. The Pants (did you see those Liberty Bell Bottoms flowing when he moved up that line?). And The VOICE.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.