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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.


Monday, March 26 2012

In Defense Of… Adapting Books, Such as ‘The Hunger Games’, to Film

As The Hunger Games phenomenon fills movie theaters, we are reminded of the age-old idea that the book will forever be better than the movie. Or will it?


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.


Monday, March 19 2012

Deriding Desire: Dorothy Dandridge and the Raced and Gendered ‘50s

In 1957, Academy Award-nominated actress Dorothy Dandridge found herself at the center of a smear campaign that betrayed the patriarchal and racial politics of Hollywood and the US at large. The '50s were far from calm.


Tuesday, March 13 2012

Get a Leg Up: The Power of Angelina Jolie’s Pose

The impassioned reaction, both negative and positive, to Angelina Jolie and her leg proves the power of the strong and independent woman, and demonstrates the discomfort such female power provokes.


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.


Tuesday, March 6 2012

The Guerrier Brothers: Learning to Make a Killing in Films

Cleaning Up takes audiences on the job with assassin Mr. Jackson, and teaches Simon and Thomas Guerrier the finer points of making a hit.


Monday, February 27 2012

‘A Moveable Feast’ in ‘Midnight in Paris’

Ernest Hemingway compared Paris to a moveable feast because no matter what time it is, Paris is always the magnificent city of lights. Woody Allen expands upon Hemingway's testimony in the magical Midnight in Paris.


Thursday, February 9 2012

And the Academy Awards Nominees Are… Straight

Films about LGBT people that are aimed at mass audiences win awards; films about LGBT people that are aimed at LGBT audiences… not so much. So, here's the Queer, Isn't It? Best Pic nominees.


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