Recent Features
Hitchcock 101: Day Two, 1935-1938

In Day Two of our Director Spotlight series on the Master of Suspense, we revisit the four strongest films of Hitchcock’s British period.

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‘Blackmail’ and the Birth of the British Talkies

Originally conceived as a silent film, Blackmail was quickly converted to sound, making it the first British talkie. To accommodate theaters that were not equipped for sound, it was reissued as a silent film. The differences in the two versions are here compared.

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The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney: A ‘Suspicious’ Literary Biography

Marion Meade's new book begs the question: Are literary biographies necessary? Somewhere in the afterlife, Nathanael West is having a good chuckle.

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iPhone 4: Wherein Science Fiction Once Again Becomes Sad Fact

Aside from lightsabers, proton packs, warp drive and teleportation, many of my favorite sci-fi gadgets have become a reality. The latest: iPhone 4.

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Hitchcock 101: Day One, 1927 - 1934

In today's installment of our retrospective survey of Hitchcock's singular career we revisit his first major statements. Thrillingly, all of Hitchcock's trademark themes and signature moves are visible in these early masterpieces -- an uncanny talent, Hitch arrived, it would seem, fully formed.

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“Get Out of the Shower”: The “Shower Scene” and Hitchcock’s Narrative Style in ‘Psycho’

In Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock subverts the narrative expectations laid out in the early parts of the film, producing something very different from the suspense film that we anticipate.

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‘Psycho’: The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential, providing both a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

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Fruity Islands, Paw-Paw Bears and Gleaming the Cube: The Internet at Its Most Essential

Every utilitarian object in my home boasts an invitation to visit its website. Are there forums where pleased consumers come together to share their contentment about lip balm and adhesive bandages?

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“An Adult Person”: An Interview with Gareth from Los Campesinos!

In four years, Los Campesinos! have put out three albums, toured the world several times, and become critically-adored indie-rock darlings. So why is Gareth Campesinos! still obsessed with gloom and doom? Atheism, meeting fans expectations, and an aversion to their poppier early songs all make up this insightful interview.

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When Did Quitting Become the New “Staying the Course”?

Simon Cowell, like Sarah Palin, did the honorable thing and quit for the sake of the people. Really?!

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Raisin’ Cain: The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter

“There was always a line outside the Scene and lots of celebrities,” says Johnny. “Jimi Hendrix and all of the English bands who came to New York—once they left their gigs, they came to jam…"

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It’s Not Easy Being Green: Swamp Thing, Ecology and the (Sometimes Slimy) Nature of Being

Continuing the critical analysis of the Swamp Thing character as it transitions from creative control of Len Wein and Berni Wrightson to Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Jon Totleben.

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As ref, I began to pass my time on the court by rating the insults hurled in my direction. The predictable epithets earned one star. Some of the more unique combinations of verbs, idioms, and profanity, however, would earn higher marks.

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Funny Enough: An Interview with Tony Martin

Memoirist and comedian Tony Martin talks about commercial radio dumbasses and explains just what it is that makes Running with Scissors so darned unbelievable.

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‘Shutter Island’: The Fragile Intersection Between Sanity and Insanity

Shutter Island concerns the surrender of one’s own subjective memory and identity to another individual or institution. In order to make that choice -- to become a passive player in someone else’s version of reality -- must one be sane or insane?

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What’s the Write Word? Part 4: Ned Raggett to Bill Wyman

Over a 100 music scribes are confronted with this not-so-simple question: "If an eager young writer cornered you and asked 'What's the best advice you could give me?' what would you have to say?" The final installment of our advice to aspiring music writers from music writing professionals.

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Don’t Call Her a Gypsy: The Grace Potter Interview

Known for her dynamic concerts with her band the Nocturnals, Grace Potter is reinventing the blues-rock hybrid by letting other influences bleed into her energetic music.

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Freeze Frame: How Best to Capture Film in a Comic Book?

For both writers and artists working on adaptations of movies and TV shows, the challenge is to find a working space wherein one's own sensibilities can be effectively meshed with the look and feel of the original text and into a book that works for readers.

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New Theories of Everything Prompted by Guided by Voices Appreciation Night, or, Good News

Tonight I will go belly-up in some kind of mental cloud, a meandering consideration of what tribute shows are really about, and why Guided by Voices deserves one, and what they were really about -- and that will lead to thoughts about prophecy and nihilism and Ralph Waldo Emerson and postmodernism.

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Viewing the World at the Level of the Snail’s Lowly Trail

"... I have crawled most of the way through life. I have crawled downward into holes without a bottom, and upward, wedged into crevices where the wind and the birds scream at you until the sound of a falling pebble is enough to make the sick heart lurch."

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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