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Monday, May 6 2013

Political, Pointed, and Peculiar: Armando Iannucci, Comedy Genius

Armando Iannucci's The Thick of It and Veep have solidified his legacy as a political satirist, but we mustn't forget the impact his other works have had on culture and comedy.


Sunday, April 21 2013

Django May Be Unchained, But America Is Never Unshackled from Its Racist Past

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is at its strongest when it problematizes America's racist past.The destruction of Candyland not only vindicates Django’s revenge-fuelled quest, but also implies that slavery itself has been wiped off the face of the earth.


Monday, April 15 2013

Do Women Have Sex? ‘The Chapman Report’

Everyone knows it's impossible for any woman to enjoy guilt-free sex with jazz musicians and delivery boys.


Wednesday, March 20 2013

Once More Unto the Beach: The Final Season of Jersey Shore

Post-Hurricane Sandy, the questions the final season of Jersey Shore raise are disturbing: Can we ever go back to the shore? Can we ever rebuild what was broken?


Monday, March 11 2013

‘How to Survive a Plague’: Critical Lessons for a New Era

How to Survive a Plague portrays an important era in LGBT history, a time when the gay community banded together in a way that politics or prejudice could never have fostered.


Tuesday, February 26 2013

‘Southland’ Offers a Fresh Take on Police Procedurals

Southland is both the epitome of a cop show and a substantial departure from traditional police procedurals.


Monday, February 25 2013

Retro Future: Reviving ‘Have Gun—Will Travel’ and ‘The Rifleman’

It looks like classic TV Westerns "Have Gun -- Will Travel" and "The Rifleman" might be on their way back to screens. Any chance the 30-minute drama might make a return, too?


Thursday, February 14 2013

The Ethics of Control: ‘Paul Williams Still Alive’

Having experienced decades in the spotlight, Paul Williams, a reluctant subject, is a more powerful opponent than his director suspects.


Sunday, January 20 2013

No More Words Nowadays: ‘The Qatsi Trilogy’

The Qatsi films are artistic ways of raising perceptions in the Irwinian sense: to change the world, we first must know what the world has become by our doing.


Friday, January 18 2013

Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It, Is to Watch ‘Mission: Impossible: The Complete Series’

As a window into the Cold War-era pop-culture past, Mission: Impossible is as entertaining as anything you're likely to find. If you can manage to suspend your disbelief, it's a worthy entry into the pantheon of espionage thrillers.


Wednesday, January 16 2013

I Shall Be ‘Bref’: France’s New Empire, the Shortcom

The best show on French TV is only three minutes long. And it only aired for one year.


Tuesday, January 15 2013

More Than Any Other New American Director, Francis Ford Coppola Reminds Me of Orson Welles

Lifted from over a 40-year period, the Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection showcases the director's flexibility under circumstances dire and ideal. It also confirms his auteurist consistency.


Monday, January 14 2013

More Murders Are Committed for Love Than for Hate: ‘Hawkins’

Both Billy Jim Hawkins and Perry Mason are defense lawyers, but the resemblance ends there.


Wednesday, January 9 2013

Movie Time Travel and the New Nostalgia

The new nostalgia signals the ultimate rejection of millennial anxiety, postmodernism, irony and the future. It longs for a post-industrial, green world. Of course, that suggests a vague and painful longing for something that never was.


Sunday, December 9 2012

Love-Drenched Gunfighters in ‘The Guns of Will Sonnett’

For a couple of rough 'n tough gunfighters, these guys sure do talk about love a lot.


Friday, December 7 2012

Are You in a Film or in Reality? Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Weekend’ Will Have You Wondering

Criterion's splendid edition of Weekend gives insight into the mind of visionary director Jean-Luc Godard, who aimed at nothing less than challenging the dominant social and cinematic paradigms of his time.


Tuesday, December 4 2012

A Show Divided: ‘Entourage’ as Satire and Misfire

Within Entourage's system of codependent relationships, individuals are treated as brands, women are treated as objects, committed relationships are discouraged, and one’s word means nothing unless a contract is signed and a check clears.


Wednesday, November 28 2012

If He Had a Hammer: Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer

TV's Mike Hammer could never be as violent and cynical as in the books; it wouldn't be allowed by censors.


Monday, November 19 2012

Color Television: What Diversity Looks Like in America Today

The buzz word from the 2012 presidential election is "diversity". It's a good story. The look of the Obama crowd had both the structure and randomness of a Jackson Pollock painting. It was the ol' melting pot writ large.


Thursday, November 15 2012

A View Out: The Search for Identity in ‘Cléo from 5 to 7’

In the works of many New Wave auteurs, a sense of alienation often leads to disillusionment. Unlike the pessimism of many of her contemporaries, Agnes Varda views alienation as a quest for identity, one that offers hope and freedom, no matter the uncertainties.


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