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Monday, June 18 2012

The Mammy Image: What’s Christie Love Got to Do With It?

Depictions of black women in popular culture have long surpassed the 'mammy' archetype. Let's talk about Teresa Graves in Get Christie Love (1974), for starters.


Thursday, June 14 2012

The Zombification Family Tree: Legacy of the Living Dead

Deemed a "culturally significant" (if "sadistic" and "culturally irresponsible") film, how did 'Night of the Living Dead' redefine an entire genre and spawn more unofficial sequels (over 30) than 'James Bond' did official ones (22)?


Thursday, May 31 2012

No Contract for Old Men: 5 ‘Old Folks’ in Pop Culture That Are 5Xs Tougher Than You

It'd be a shame if the endless emphasis on youth results in a lack of "grown-up" concerns in pop culture. Here are five examples of the old kicking ass and refusing to give way to the young in mainstream pop culture.


Monday, May 28 2012

Epic Ideas, Epic Images: Adapting Comics to Film

Superhero comics have become eminently exploitable resources for filmmakers seeking images, characters, and concepts that can be matched to the scale of the theater screen.


Thursday, May 17 2012

Sergio Leone: Something to Do with Death

Britain’s pop culture knight, Christopher Frayling, offers the definitive biography and interpretation of the Spaghetti Western maestro, Sergio Leone.


Monday, May 14 2012

Like All Movie Stars, Even ‘War Horse’ Joey Needs Make-up

One of the most challenging aspects for Ali Bannister, head of the equine hair and make-up department on the set of War Horse, was keeping artists safe when applying mud to the rear ends of over 80 horses.


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.


Tuesday, May 8 2012

Classical, Lyrical, Circular, Interweaving: Breaking Form In Short Films

Once the calling card for young filmmakers, short films offer a chance to explore concepts of form and structure that Hollywood would not touch—at least not until it proved profitable.


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.


Sunday, May 6 2012

International Beats: The Desire for the Foreign in Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’

With the film adaptation of On the Road just a month away, it's important to once again define what characterized the Beat movement: an infatuation with the foreign.


Monday, April 30 2012

It Must Feel Good to Be as Bad as Gordon Gekko

Why are bad guys like Gordon Gekko, Tony Montana and Patrick Bateman so beloved? Because we can’t act without guilt, and what’s worse, we can’t even admit that we want to.


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.


Monday, April 23 2012

Comics to Film (and Film to Comics): The Two-Way Street Between Page and Screen

Movies like The Avengers are better thought of as character adaptations than adaptations of specific books. When seen that way, we recognize the characters as transmedia creations.


Sunday, April 22 2012

It’s Deja Vu: ‘Network’ Still Has a Finger on the Pulse of Culture, 36 Years Later

If you were to tell women in 1976 that, 36 years later, women who work exclusively in the home and those who also work outside the home would be pitted against each other, they wouldn’t have believed it.


Monday, April 16 2012

The Enduring Legacy of ‘21 Jump Street’

How I learned to stop worrying and love TV show remakes.


Sunday, April 15 2012

Reluctant Gunslingers and Incorrigible She-Devils

Can classic Hollywood films help us navigate today’s environment of political apathy and cynical media saturation?


Wednesday, April 11 2012

In Defense Of… The Year In Film: 2011—That’s Right, the Entire Year

The more films fail to perform at the theater, the easier it becomes to instinctively write off the entire 12 months as a whole. But 2011 wasn't all that bad, right? Right?


Thursday, April 5 2012

Not Gonna Lie: ‘The Hunger Games’, Twitter, and Reverse Victimization

Would it matter at all if Katniss Everdeen, a white teenager in the book The Hunger Games, had been portrayed in the film by a suitably teenage and female, black actor? For the young racists who have gone berserk on Twitter about the supporting character Rue being portrayed by an African-American actor, apparently the answer is yes.


Wednesday, April 4 2012

Meet the Filmmakers: Promoting Indie Films the Q&A Way

We need to talk: Q&As have become very important to independent filmmakers as a way of raising their profile and gaining new audiences.


Wednesday, March 28 2012

Go Play in Traffic: 5 Movies About Kids That Are Better Than ‘Hugo’ and ‘True Grit’

Precocious cherubs and wise-beyond-their-years savants are a Hollywood staple, but they don't really reflect the state of actually being a kid. Here are a five good, great, or interesting films that are far more effective in portraying that being a kid is a really weird thing to be.


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