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Tuesday, June 8 2010

‘Shutter Island’: The Fragile Intersection Between Sanity and Insanity

Shutter Island concerns the surrender of one’s own subjective memory and identity to another individual or institution. In order to make that choice -- to become a passive player in someone else’s version of reality -- must one be sane or insane?


Thursday, May 27 2010

Perry Mason Knows: Anyone May Be Guilty, Evil Lurks Just Beneath the Mask of Respectability

Perry (Raymond Burr) remains a heroic cypher, cool and professional, sometimes jovial but with a cut and thrust when confronting witnesses.


Tuesday, May 25 2010

Pete Seeger’s ‘Rainbow Quest’: The Anti-TV, TV

Somewhat awkward, clunky and charming on his TV show, Pete Seeger seemed to trust the viewers in the same way he recognised that TV's priorities don't represent the priorities of the people he meets in his travels.


Tuesday, May 18 2010

Essential Female Melodrama: ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant’

Endorsed by the esteemed Susan Sontag as among the best films about women, Fassbinder's unique approach to the feminine psyche remains as daring today as it was when released in 1972.


Monday, May 17 2010

Fear of a Rap Parody

Underrated in the annals of hip-hop cinema, Rusty Cundieff's Fear of a Black Hat is biting and unflinching, and forces hip-hop fans to stare soberly at the culture's flaws and to revisit their own reasons for loving the music.


Tuesday, May 4 2010

Submarines and Androids: The Comfort Movie Phenomenon

Is there a certain film that, if you come across it flipping channels randomly, you feel compelled to watch yet again? Even though you've seen it 34,000 times? Even if it's on the Spanish-language station and you don't speak Spanish?


Wednesday, April 28 2010

Robert Culp: From ‘I Spy’ to ‘Hickey & Boggs’

Robert Culp and Bill Cosby's wit and warmth in I Spy also established a foundation of fragility and fatalism for Culp's despairing Hickey & Boggs.


Tuesday, April 27 2010

The Goldbergs: The Most Jewish Show on Television

This show is an example of "melting pot" art from the tail end of the Ellis Island era in popular culture, when the wide variety of accents heard in city streets was reflected on the vaudeville stage, on radio, in comics, and wherever pop culture served the mythology of the mainstream.


Monday, April 26 2010

The Illusion of Identity in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist

Lars von Trier suggests that the terrible and the horrific are not to be found in the abnormal behaviour of an outsider, but within our relationships, and the play of domination and submission in everyday life.


Sunday, April 25 2010

Cracking the Spine: The Lovely Bones

The author's 'heaven' is a concrete and unexpected place with"lumbering women throwing shot put and javelin"; whereas the filmmaker's interpretation changes 'heaven' to something like a garish, 3-D Hallmark card.


Thursday, March 25 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Even if its pleasures outweigh its disappointments, Where the Wild Things Are is another in a series of Spike Jonze’s ambitious but flawed projects.


Sunday, March 21 2010

Georges Melies: The Most Important Filmmaker You’ve (Probably) Never Seen

It’s tempting to say that without Melies, there would be no Avatar, no vampire movies, no Star Wars or Star Trek, no special-effects extravaganzas, no docu-drama like Erin Brockovich, no animation, no Walt Disney, and no porn.


Wednesday, March 10 2010

‘Girls’ Gone Wild

While following a storyline about the trials of a mother and daughter may not be demographically the most masculine thing in the world, neither is my unabashed enjoyment of ABC Family original movies.


Thursday, March 4 2010

Reality with a Pinch of Salto

Salto, a masterpiece of Polish cinema, seems to contain much of Poland's tradition in distilled form, as well as being a perfectly Konwickian construction.


Tuesday, March 2 2010

Memorabiliaphilia: Nationalizing a Pastime

Baseball looms large, the way anything in a magnifying glass seems to gain size and importance.


Wednesday, February 24 2010

Ghost Hunters: Paranormal Pop Culture for Normal People

Amongst the familiar mythologies in all of reality television, Ghost Hunters ranks in the top 10. Love the show or loathe it, it is popular culture and has earned a spot in the reality TV pantheon.


Monday, February 22 2010

Chéri: Out of the Boudoir

Frears and Hampton puts the viewer into Chéri in a very real and sensual manner, paying homage to Collette's luxuriant corporeal details.


Thursday, February 18 2010

I Love You, Buddy Man

If the gift industry can create Valentine's Day, why can't the Rockist found Buddy Day? Prepare yourself for a weekend of 'Buddy Movies' and brotherhood.


Wednesday, February 17 2010

Pop Gluttony

I am choosy about what I eat, but continue to chow down on an unfettered pop culture diet as the last great excess that won’t kill me.


Sunday, February 14 2010

The Simpsons, ‘Radio Bart’ Part 2: ‘Ace in the Hole’ and Jessica McCllure

'Radio Bart' may not offer any solutions, but it manages to compress an extraordinary amount of media history, compassion, manipulation and cynicism into a sharp, quick and funny 20-minutes or so.


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