Columns > Film

Wednesday, January 6 2010

The Matrix: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

If the first act of The Matrix calls to mind eXistenZ, with Pikel licking Allegra’s bio-port and sucking gristle and skin from a gun, its third act is as antiseptic as a bad Star Trek rerun.


Monday, January 4 2010

New Moon: Wherefor Art Thou Edward?

Bella and Edward's longing for each other is what makes the series so appealing. It fully encapsulates the bliss and agony of first love or any love that would make you lie down and die for the other person.


Wednesday, December 16 2009

The Best of Slugging Santas and Fightin’ Father Christmases

Sliding down chimneys in the middle of the night is not without its risks, which is why Santa needs to be one tough elf with survival tactics and fighting skills.


Wednesday, December 2 2009

Little Women: Brilliant Book, Flawed Film

A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.


Tim Burton Exhibit at MoMA: Publicity Ploy or Actual Art?

With over 700 works on display spanning his artistic life, MoMA's Tim Burton career retrospective is more than a commercial appeal, but an example of art for popular culture.


Tuesday, December 1 2009

Looking Back at the Avant Garde

These two new DVDs help us take a look back at forward thinkers, and although no one will like all these films equally, the whole is an experience not only edifying but, at its most radical, even pleasurable.


Tuesday, November 24 2009

Are We All Mythtaken About Star Wars?

Fans are mistaken about Return of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker (dismissing the Ewoks, and Skywalker is deemed a wuss). Might they also be wrong about the prequel trilogy? And how.


Thursday, November 12 2009

An Education: Carey Mulligan Comes of Age

Danish director Lone Scherfig spares audiences the trite clichés of a young woman's coming of age, directs a magnificent cast of actors, and defends her film against allegations of inappropriate sexuality.


Sunday, November 8 2009

PopShots: The Lighter Side of Swine Flu

Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.


Monday, November 2 2009

The Ghostbusters Twinkie Defense

More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.


Wednesday, October 28 2009

In from the Fog: Monstrous Fishermen in Popular Culture

To paraphrase Nietzsche, when fighting monsters one should be careful not to become one, but that’s a major reason why many people fish: to slay the proverbial dragon.


Tuesday, October 27 2009

A Ghost Story of Dubious Origins

No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.


Monday, October 26 2009

Frightful Rome

Profondo Rosso, the Dario Argento store in Rome, hints at a dramatic cultural shift taking place in Italy regarding the appreciation and analysis of classic Italian horror films.


Monday, October 19 2009

Pete Kelly’s Blues

Jack Webb's glum radio series 'Pete Kelly's Blues' is a sigh of a tribute to the roaring '20s, a melancholic parade of blistering jazz and the pointlessness of its own nostalgia.


Thursday, September 24 2009

Hal Ashby: Hollywood Rebel

Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.


If You’re Going to San Francisco…

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival perfectly captures the dangerously unstable compound called rock music right before it exploded and permanently altered the American cultural landscape.


Sunday, September 20 2009

Horrifyingly Close to Reality

Western culture’s perspective of torture is complex and paradoxical; it's considered immoral, illegal, primitive, and indecent, yet it's shocking to see that torture methods continue to be used in the interrogation of prisoners of war.


Thursday, September 17 2009

Comic Re-Imagining

Not all comic book adaptations are created equal, especially not when comparing our own imaginings with what actually happens when books are moved from print to screen.


Monday, September 14 2009

Captain Obama and the Final Frontier

Obama's four-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new kinds of political confusion; to boldly go where no rational health-care reformer has gone before.


Wednesday, September 2 2009

Buster Keaton: The Sound of His Obsession

Bill Frisell's ambient, fuzzy, meandering guitar doodles sound like they're trying to approximate the sad stillness blowing through the corridors of Keaton's mind.


//Blogs

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.

READ the article