Recent Features
Christianity’s Crisis in Medieval Japan Says a Lot About Cultural Dialogue Today

Shusaku Endo’s classic novel of faith, doubt, and intercultural communication, Silence, readies itself for a timely big-screen debut by Director Martin Scorsese.

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Kayaktivists’ Colorful and Effective Protests in 2015

The most elaborately staged spectacle of 2015 was performed by the “kayaktivists”, a group of environmentalists that successfully stopped oil giant Royal Dutch Shell from drilling in the Arctic.

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Should Hideo Kojima Just Go Make a Movie, Already?

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima uses the language of cinema in ways that are only possible in a virtual game.

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28 Jan 2016 // 2:00 AM

How Sia Kept Breathing and Became a Formalist

Although there are for Sia 1,000 forms of fear, if you will, there are only two formal conventions in her manual of pop songwriting.

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Is Eli Roth’s Quest for the Real in ‘The Green Inferno’ Successful?

Cannibal movies such as this question whether the protagonists are any better than those who are eating them.

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Anthropology’s Storyteller-Shaman-Sorcerer Strikes Again With ‘The Corn Wolf’

Michael Taussig’s work both attracts and angers other anthropologists. It also re-enchants a discipline that is in desperate need of it.

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You Don’t Have to Be Dissident: Stephen Coates on Late Russian Composer Mikael Tariverdiev

This is the story of how a British musician stumbled upon one of the most prolific Russian composers of the last century and became determined to bring his music to a new audience.

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Carsten Norgaard: The Mystery Man in ‘The Man in the High Castle’

It's tough playing a Nazi with a conscience, but veteran actor Carsten Norgaard not only lives up to the challenge presented in Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, but stretches far beyond what's expected of him.

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David Mamet and Al Pacino’s ‘China Doll’ Rat-a-Tats Without the Tat

There's an interesting play somewhere in the thin structure of China Doll, but not even a dutiful performance by Al Pacino can bring it to life.

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Eleanor Friedberger Channels Her Inner ‘70s for ‘New View’

The Fiery Furnaces’ member Eleanor Friedberger talks to PopMatters about her sublime third solo record.

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From Yugoslavia to South India: The Rise of Tamil Turbo-folk

Like its Serbian counterpart, Tamil Turbo-folk masquerades as ethno-nationalist resistance against the dislocations brought to bear by nation building, liberalization, and globalization.

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The Unique Blues Album That You Never Heard Of—‘Til Now

Cubist Blues is a stylistic departure; Alan Vega being best known for his work as one-half of pioneering electronic music Suicide, and Alex Chilton from the legendary power pop band Big Star.

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What Rod Dreher Ought to Know About Dante and Same-Sex Love

Getting Dante straight means getting him gay, as well.

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Tori Amos’ ‘Boys for Pele’: 20 Years of Fire

It’s been 20 years since Tori Amos slammed down the gauntlet and set her piano afire, willing and possibly eager to sacrifice anyone who spurned her to writhe in Pele’s eternal flames.

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I Was So Bored Watching ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’

Star Wars is the latest exemplar of a genre that's accelerating toward its own creative exhaustion. That genre, of course, is the Hollywood tent-pole.

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Ronald Jones, John Tesh, and Metallic Clouds: An Interview with Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne

Fresh off the massive re-release of the Flaming Lips' fan-favorite 1995 album Clouds Taste Metallic, frontman Wayne Coyne reminisces on its creation, its influence, and mystery surrounding former band member Ronald Jones.

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Showa Epic of Japan Concludes the Story of a Man and His Nation

Past and present converge in Mizuki’s conceptually rich manga.

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20 Jan 2016 // 2:00 AM

White Jumpsuits: Sci-Fi TV of the Disco Era

Despite skin-tight jumpsuits, dodgy special effects, and silly plots, "disco-era" sci-fi helped US TV became comfortable with ideas too big, too strange, or too disturbing for a "mundane" context.

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Celestial Sound: Thoughts on Mahler’s Third Symphony

To listen to Mahler is to claim your soul hasn’t been splintered by postmodernity -- even if you hate Mahler and disbelieve in the soul.

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19 Jan 2016 // 2:00 AM

The Tortoise Wins: An Interview with Dan Bitney

Tortoise's Dan Bitney talks about 25 years in post-rock, the band's latest collaboration with Chicago's free-jazz community and why it made sense to add vocals after all these years.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

In Motion: On the Emptiness of Progress

// Moving Pixels

"Nils Pihl calls it, "Newtonian engagement", that is, when "an engaged player will remain engaged until acted upon by an outside force". That's "progress".

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