Recent Features
‘Caligula’s Ghost: Why Cinema Needs Epic Failure More than Mediocre Success

Obscene, grandiose and artistically worthless -- such is the monstrous reputation of the 1979 art-porn blockbuster Caligula. Is this most shocking of Roman epics worthy of reappraisal?

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Cold Wars End, Betrayal is Forever: ‘Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy’

What is espionage if not getting into bed with people -- physically or ideologically -- for purposes of betrayal?

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Simon Reynolds Redux: A Conversation from the Past About Post-Punk

Simon Reynolds discusses Joy Division and The Ramones, sex and politics, and punk's blatant localism and latent racism around the time of the release of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.

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And Nothing but the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert

A funny and personal portrait of the comedian who became the headline-making, ground-breaking star of The Colbert Report.

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Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

From post-Dylan Greenwich Village, to arson-scarred South Bronx barrios where salsa and hip-hop were born, to Lower Manhattan lofts where jazz and classical music were reimagined, to ramshackle clubs like CBGBs and the Gallery, where rock and dance music were hot-wired for a new generation...

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Symbolic Weight & the Def Jam Aesthetic

A coffee table book about rap does not sound too "hardcore" or "gangsta", does it? Well, that's because it's not. What it just might be is sincere.

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‘Pulphead’: A Sharp-Eyed, Uniquely Humane Tour of America’s Cultural Landscape

An exhilarating tour of America’s popular, unpopular, and at times completely forgotten culture. Sullivan shows us—with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that’s all his own—how we really (no, really) live now.

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Before There Was ‘The Exorcist’, There Was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’

Once again, the film industry came in and took a perfectly creepy book and upped the sensationalism because nothing can ever be too shocking in Hollywood.

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Chic, Le Freak: Why Nile Rodgers Is the Guv’nor

Nile Rodgers is undoubtedly one of the architects of contemporary pop, yet the Chic man, über-producer and guitar legend has not always received full praise -- he's even had his records dynamited. However, according to Steve Jansen, Rodgers has never been anything less than the Guv'nor.

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The Beatles in Hamburg: The Stories, the Scene and How It All Began

When the Beatles went to Hamburg in 1960, in the company of gangsters and prostitutes they changed their sound, wore black leather, lost their bass player, sacked their drummer, developed a vast repertoire of raucous rock ’n’ roll songs, and fashioned a new hairstyle.

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24 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Rapper and Mystic: Two Sides of Charles Bukowski

Like all mystics, Bukowski felt strongly that man’s way of living was insane, that we are asleep if we accept, blindly, the pointless, soul-destroying, undignified, unmanly nature of the nine-to-five.

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Michael Moore vs. Jon Stewart: The Self-Destruction of the American Left

Michael Moore is a populist and Jon Stewart is an elitist. The blind liberal embrace of the superficial smugness of Stewart and detachment from the heroism of Moore is the most powerful and convincing illustration of the suicidal tendencies, moral bankruptcy, and spiritual decay of the American left.

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The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.

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A Rocket in My Pocket: The Hipster’s Guide to Rockabilly Music

This the story of rockabilly music, the primal ‘50s howl of rockin'rage. With roots in country, blues, folk, hillbilly, R&B, boogie-woogie and other Deep South forms it was young people's music, wild and primitive, and despised by adults and the country music establishment.

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19 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Geniuses Are People, Too

Creative geniuses don’t succeed despite their flaws, they succeed because they are flawed.

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Pavement Art: When Destruction Is as Important as Creation

While some celebrate art through its destruction, we can ponder the impetus to buy, sell, own and store art away.

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13 Oct 2011 // 9:00 PM

Beethoven in America

Beethoven is in American commercialism and the black power movements. He’s in film and theater, disco, country, rock and rap. To examine Beethoven on American soil is to examine America itself.

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Mohawks and Korans: Taqwacores Punk Mash-up

The Taqwacore movement seizes space in the punk narrative and social fabric, which allows Muslim voices to take root and explore their own version of rebellion.

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Red Rock: The Long Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll

From pivotal concerts by local legends to controversial visits from international rock superstars, clashes with state censors and government-sponsored rock festivals, this work encapsulates the thrills and frustrations experienced by Chinese rockers.

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20 Questions: William Shatner

William Shatner, Captain Kirk, Cultural Icon Extraordinaire. Shatner Rules. Like all great American actors – he’s not American. We’re not even sure he’s human. We’re certain, however, that he’s The Captain of Everything -- not least PopMatters 20 Questions.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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