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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.


Thursday, February 4 2010

Orson Welles: A Man of a Certain Ego

“The chief proof of a man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. It argues... a power of comparison and of appreciation which is in itself proof of nobility.”


Wednesday, January 27 2010

The Ice Storm: America Out in the Cold

Ang Lee captures the '70s on film the way Rick Moody captures the era in the book The Ice Storm. It's the midst of the sexual revolution, the Watergate scandal is erupting, and the country's social consciousness is changing.


A Little Human Magic in Recent DVDs

Either by coincidence or because I just happened to watch these all on a cold day when I needed a little warmth, the magic of the human condition emerged as a trend in these new DVD releases.


Thursday, January 21 2010

Designing Consent

Industrial design aspires to the commanding heights of consumer society, building its policy prescriptions and dogmatic assumptions about what makes us happy directly into the objects available to us.


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