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Thursday, July 26 2012

Tears in Rain: ‘Blade Runner’ and Philip K. Dick’s Legacy in Film

Thirty years after the release of Blade Runner, with a remake of Total Recall on the horizon, the work of Philip K. Dick continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?


Monday, July 9 2012

Stone Me, What a Life: Tony Hancock’s Lasting Impact on Comedy

Tony Hancock played an Every Man with the lovable charm and the infuriating selfishness of a know-nothing know-it-all. Like his character, most of us want what we don't have and the rest of the world, we believe, is responsible for our dissatisfaction.


Sunday, July 1 2012

Ruining Their Reputations: Pre-Code Movies Have a Naughty Reputation That’s Not Always Deserved

Not every pre-Code film is a Scarface or Baby Face; some are only mediocre faces.


Monday, June 25 2012

What It Means to Be Human: ‘Never Let Me Go’’

The film, Never Let Me Go, follows the book relatively well, although it eliminates some of the story, and isn't able to mirror the novel's careful and timed revelations about the mystery of Hailsham's students.


Sunday, May 13 2012

Systemic and Subjective: The Violence of ‘The International’ and the Global Financial Order

The weapons deals in The International and the back-door negotiations between corporate lobbies and Congress are two sides of the same coin; both use overwhelming systemic violence to further their ends.


Monday, May 7 2012

Jerks Are My Heroes, Thanks to ‘Jerks’ Like Steve Martin

My folks are probably still kicking themselves for taking a seven-year-old to see Steve Martin’s profane and ridiculous first film, The Jerk, because that was the day I gave up on strong, upstanding heroes and decided that I wanted to be like Navin Johnson.


Thursday, May 3 2012

In Defense Of ... David Simon and the Legacy of ‘The Wire’

In light of David Simon's recent comments to The New York Times on its intent to 'stir actual shit', we revisit how important The Wire should be to both popular culture and American society.


Wednesday, April 25 2012

‘Lord of the Flies’ Still Reigns

Fear and brutality inherent in the human condition and the drive to survive are themes that have never gone out of fashion. The stakes get even higher when those involved are children, and that's obviously a big seller.


Tuesday, April 24 2012

For Your Smoking Pleasure

Love and hate. Success and failure. Life and death. Cigarettes. You could get addicted to Brian Dooley's The Smoking Room.


Sunday, March 25 2012

The Cost of Success: When Lives Intersect With Fame

The Swell Season is one of the most intimate fly-on-the-wall peeks at the effects of stardom on two people at two very different points in their lives. It’s arguably the most accomplished music documentary of its kind since D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back.


Thursday, March 8 2012

Agitprop to Occupy My Time: ‘In Time’ for the Revolution

If fiction and reality could merge, the hero of the film In Time would benefit from listening to Real Time with Bill Maher, who said to the Occupy movement, "When you occupy anything for too long people do get pissed off."


Wednesday, March 7 2012

Identity and Desire: The Search for Emotional Realism in Cinema

The manifestation of jealousy and desire is subtle. It develops over time, and if set off, the act of aggression may just as likely be one of attachment and ardor.


Thursday, February 23 2012

Why I Dumped Ricky Gervais for Karl Pilkington (but Am Still Seeing Stephen Merchant on the Side)

Did the record breaking Ricky Gervais Show podcast give insight into the real people behind it? Or were they just three more brilliant comic creations?


Tuesday, February 21 2012

Twilight of the Toffs: ‘Brideshead Revisited’

Like Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited can be considered a requiem for the days of Empire and the unyielding class structure that governed British life pre-World War II.


Wednesday, February 1 2012

Prime Time Larceny: It Takes a Thief

Al Mundy (Robert Wagner) enjoys a reputation as a world-class thief, a glamorous burglar, a pickpocket's pickpocket. Too bad he landed in prison.


Tower Songs: Townes Van Zandt

I'll Be There in the Morning offers an affectionate but hardly rose-colored view of Townes Van Zandt and his influence on other songwriters.


Thursday, January 26 2012

The Tabloidization of Errol Morris

By the end of this film, the line dividing Tabloid from “the tabloids” thins to the point of imperceptibility.


‘Library After Air Raid’: On the Survival of Culture Amid the Barbarity of War

War is a science, science is an art and art, as Library After Air Raid attests, is everything.


Tuesday, January 24 2012

‘How to Make It in America’? Well for Starters, Don’t Make Hopeful Television

The HBO dramedy How to Make It in America, despite being one of television's best programs, could not make it because it was too hopeful and joyful to survive a culture of cyncism.


Monday, January 16 2012

Misery Loves Comedy, But Has It Killed the Traditional Sitcom?

Comedian Lee Mack believes that realism is the enemy of comedy. But his own series, Not Going Out, proves that the Old-School sitcom is alive and kicking.


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