Columns > Film

Sunday, July 21 2013

Between the Omnivore and the Hermit: Reducing Religion to a Cult of One

The bad film cultist sacrifices his selfhood to the group; the sophisticated film cultist, wary of any residue of fascism, desires alternative groups but keeps them at arm’s length to preserve the integrity of his ego and the pristine beauty of his narcissism.

Monday, July 15 2013

How to Best Handle Controversial, Racially-Charged Art? Talk It Up, or Shut It Down?

If Disney's Song of the South is as innocuous as its adherents claim, they need to think long and hard about why it’s out of official circulation.

Sunday, July 14 2013

How Does It End? Narrative Closure in the Marvel Universes

In Marvel's comics, narrative closure is always deferred, every ending a new beginning. Iron Man 3, with its now world weary characters and aging actors, draws attention to how live action is different from comics.

Thursday, July 11 2013

To Live Is to Die: Clint Eastwood’s Dangerous Oeuvre

These 20 films are a journey through the social and political conditions of America and a broader history of human violence that crowns no winners and knows no end.

Monday, July 8 2013

Living Inside the Cliché: ‘Spring Breakers’

Although one might condemn the girls of Spring Breakers for descending into the lustful materialism of St. Petes, it seems hypocritical coming from avid cinemagoers who also like to immerse themselves in the debauchery of horror films, musicals, melodramas, and the like.

Monday, July 1 2013

What Happens When Hollywood’s Critical Acclaim Fails to Match Box Office Receipts?

Oscar's favorite studios and films often face bankruptcy and financial ruin, while Worst Picture Razzie winners have (more than once) earned billions of dollars at the box office. Why this disparity between financial rewards and Academy Awards?

Thursday, June 13 2013

Warning! These Films Contain Madness

Attempts to update horror icons by recasting them as mere 'mistreated monsters' risk bringing them too far out of the paradoxical isolation that fuels their monstrosity.

Wednesday, May 29 2013

The Great Gatsby Re-Incarnated a la Don Draper and Barack Obama

It’s human nature to Gatsby-ize others, whether it’s for the pleasures of unsatisfied curiosity, or slander, or just plain sport.

Tuesday, May 28 2013

Superman and the War Against Anachronism

The impulse is to "update" Superman, to make him "relevant". But what could be more deadening than making an enduring cultural icon "relevant" to passing trends?

Thursday, May 23 2013

Creepy Myths, Curses and Urban Legends of Hollywood

From deep within the shadows of Hollywood's backlots crawl the creepiest rumors and legends: a hanged Munchkin, the Superman Curse and... Ted Danson in a top hat!

Wednesday, May 22 2013

In Defense of New Orleans Gospel Music

Despite its rich tradition, the future of gospel music in various parts of the world has been an issue of contention and heartbreak in recent years.

Sunday, May 12 2013

How Do Film Adaptations of Books, Such As ‘The Great Gatsby’, Affect an Author’s Literary Status?

Many people assert axiomatically that "the book is always better", while others have suggested that bad books make good movies and good books make bad movies. But do films adapted from books, good or bad, give books a longer shelf-life?

Thursday, May 9 2013

‘Spring Breakers’, ‘Pain & Gain’ and Postmodern Folly at the Movies

Rather than exercise judgment or critical perspective on crime and punishment, Spring Breakers and Pain & Gain share their characters’ self-indulgence, making narcissism seem like a palatable or practical means to achieve goals.

In Defense of Going to the Movies

The popcorn. The posters. The previews. The audience camaraderie. What's not to love?

Wednesday, May 8 2013

When Everything Changed: Memory, Nostalgia and the Tragic Turning Point

Popular culture creates its own nostalgic image of a time period that is both fact and fiction. When combined with the shaky foundations of our own memories, who can really tell what happened? How will pop culture translate the tragic events of today?

Thursday, April 25 2013

Books of the Dead: The Followers and Clones of ‘The Evil Dead’

Initially a disaster of an experimental horror film, The Evil Dead went on to become an acclaimed and influential movie that launched careers and spawned sequels and copycats, not to mention a string of cash in faux-sequels. Who were these pretenders to the Deadite throne?

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.

Thursday, April 4 2013

In Defense of Hip-Hop Receiving the Respect It Deserves

In Ice-T's 2012 documentary, Something from Nothing, he asks why rap music doesn't garner the same amount of respect afforded to jazz and blues music.

Wednesday, April 3 2013

A Cirque Du Soleil Performance in Hollywood Evokes Memories of the Circus of Hollywood

What do Dracula, The Pink Panther, Rocky Horror, The Exorcist, Thomas Edison and Danny Elfman have to do with Cirque Du Soleil? The Next Reel explores the 'Two Billion Nickelodeon'.

//Mixed media

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.

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