Columns

Tuesday, June 2 2015

Neoliberalism Is Changing Our World Without Our Even Noticing

Wendy Brown charts the ‘stealth revolution’ that’s transforming every aspect of society -- and now has democracy in its sights.


Monday, June 1 2015

In ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, Meryl Streep Proves She Is the Author of Her Films

It takes a superior actress to convey a character’s entire history in one scene, and in this film, at least, Meryl Streep does it masterfully.


Thursday, May 28 2015

Let the Face Speak for Itself: Hard Features in ‘The White Buffalo’

The mortal authenticity of Charles Bronson’s face needed no surgical denials or plastic justifications, unlike the onscreen stars of today's image-obsessed culture.


Wednesday, May 27 2015

‘Inside No. 9’: The Beautiful Horror Continues

Series 2 of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's Inside No. 9 provides a perfect balance of tragedy and comedy.


Tuesday, May 26 2015

On Denaturing Racial Elements in Two ‘50s-era Films

Two fascinating bits of Americana, Black Gold and Face of Fire, are defined by racial themes, yet tackle the subject quite differently.


Friday, May 22 2015

How Are Sci-fi TV Shows and Their Starships Like Canadian Cities in Winter?

Two Canadian forays into sci-fi television, Ascension and The Starlost, bear interesting parallels to modern life in Canada.


Thursday, May 21 2015

Portrait of a Family in the Throes of Freudian Panic

An electrifying story of deadly obsessions and poisonous pedagogy, Pin captures perfectly the dread and unease of '80s American suburbia.


Wednesday, May 20 2015

Black Widow and the Burden of Being the Female Avenger

All too often, when you have a token female in a story, that character's primary super power is simply that she's a girl.


Tuesday, May 19 2015

Is Online Trolling a Reflection of Our Social Values?

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things confronts the interrelation between subversive trolls and mainstream ideas, and opens up conversations about post-internet politics, activism, and human relationships.


Monday, May 18 2015

Ubiquitous Grooves: A Vinyl Obituary

Perhaps these days our real choice is not between buying vinyl or digital, but between listening and not listening.


Thursday, May 14 2015

A Tale of Two Ill-Fated Hollywood Stars

As Hollywood hopefuls Gig Young and Inger Stevens would learn, Hollywood is a dream factory; but it produces nightmares, as well.


Wednesday, May 13 2015

The Story of Billie Holiday’s Life Shouldn’t Overshadow the Power of Her Music

To say that Billie Holiday's songs remain memorable because we know she lived a hard life does her artistry a most insulting disservice.


Tuesday, May 12 2015

Hollywood Creative Accounting, or, How to Hide a Hit and Still Profit From It

From Batsuits to Lawsuits, Hollywood Studios have a long history of hiding profits to claim that enormous hits were actually flops. How do they do this, and why?


Monday, May 11 2015

Where Did All the (Action Figure) Girls Go?

The scarcity of the Black Widow action figure on toy shelves has me thinking about what we think we know about gender identity in play, be that play with toys or play in video games.


Friday, May 8 2015

Jóhann Jóhannsson on Composing as Storytelling

PopMatters talks with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson about his role in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, for which he won a Golden Globe.


Thursday, May 7 2015

Calling Mr. Aldrich: The ‘50s-era Fisticuffs of ‘World for Ransom’ and ‘Ten Seconds to Hell’

Robert Aldrich favors the classical presentation of angry cynical characters given to violence and grotesquery, which means he's often "tasteless" and discomfitting.


Wednesday, May 6 2015

Spectacle of Empty Gestures: Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”

The problem isn't that Rihanna's "American Oxygen" fails as political art, it's that we might consider it a success instead of a mere gesture.


Tuesday, May 5 2015

Covering Cover Songs

Cover songs don't have to be all that bad. Just listen to what Becca Stevens and Jason Moran have been doing lately, and you'll see.


Monday, May 4 2015

Deconstructing the Star Beast: How the ‘Alien’ Saga Went Wrong

Alien was a planned B-Movie that transcended its genre and spawned the rare sequel that is neither imitation nor complete deviation. Then the saga went to hell.


Monday, April 27 2015

The Ethics of Death-Defying Media

Furious 7's path to the screen is emblematic of the ways in which film and other media defy (and define) death as images develop lives of their own.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article