Recent Features
Portrait of a Family in the Throes of Freudian Panic

An electrifying story of deadly obsessions and poisonous pedagogy, Pin captures perfectly the dread and unease of '80s American suburbia.

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Black Widow and the Burden of Being the Female Avenger

All too often, when you have a token female in a story, that character's primary super power is simply that she's a girl.

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‘Rocky IV’ Is a Cold War Montage With a Robotic Heart

Rocky IV is a Cold War-themed fairy tale, with a hero who overcomes monumental trials and defeats evil monsters so that we can all live happily ever after.

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A Tale of Two Ill-Fated Hollywood Stars

As Hollywood hopefuls Gig Young and Inger Stevens would learn, Hollywood is a dream factory; but it produces nightmares, as well.

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Looking Into the Future of Cinema with Director John Boorman

The iconic Academy Award-winning director John Boorman discusses what may very well be his final masterwork, Queen & Country.

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Hollywood Creative Accounting, or, How to Hide a Hit and Still Profit From It

From Batsuits to Lawsuits, Hollywood Studios have a long history of hiding profits to claim that enormous hits were actually flops. How do they do this, and why?

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Jóhann Jóhannsson on Composing as Storytelling

PopMatters talks with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson about his role in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, for which he won a Golden Globe.

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Calling Mr. Aldrich: The ‘50s-era Fisticuffs of ‘World for Ransom’ and ‘Ten Seconds to Hell’

Robert Aldrich favors the classical presentation of angry cynical characters given to violence and grotesquery, which means he's often "tasteless" and discomfitting.

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The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview - May 2015

The popcorn movie season starts in earnest with efforts from the Avengers, Mad Max, the ladies of Pitch Perfect 2, and Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, among many others.

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Deconstructing the Star Beast: How the ‘Alien’ Saga Went Wrong

Alien was a planned B-Movie that transcended its genre and spawned the rare sequel that is neither imitation nor complete deviation. Then the saga went to hell.

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“The Only Good Bug Is a Dead Bug”: ‘Starship Troopers’ and the Politics of Science Fiction

There's little a remake of Starship Troopers could add to the original's deceptively deep insights into the nature of social organization.

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The Ethics of Death-Defying Media

Furious 7's path to the screen is emblematic of the ways in which film and other media defy (and define) death as images develop lives of their own.

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Great Movies With Terrible Sequels: Laughable Sequels in Action

Not even the combined might of Superman, Batman, Predator and James Bond can save their respective series from sinking like an ocean liner into the Bay of Pigs!

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20 Apr 2015 // 2:10 AM

The World Is Ready for ‘Star Wars Episode VII’

All signs point to the upcoming seventh installment of Star Wars remediating the follies of the prequel trilogy and returning the series to its original glory.

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Still Life: The Portrait of Time in ‘Boyhood’

Boyhood sets itself the daunting task of reflecting the breadth of a human adolescence, but it instead reveals that it is in life's minutia that we find the most meaning.

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Laughing Through the Great Depression With ‘Sullivan’s Travels’

The real charm of Sullivan’s Travels is the way it exposes Hollywood’s mediation of the Depression and the trauma it inflicted.

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Death in the Land of Smiles

A recent biopic about the last executioner in Thailand explores the extremes between killing and redemption.

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2 Apr 2015 // 3:00 AM

‘Get Hard’ and Get Angry

The Left is veering uncomfortably close to the Right in its half-informed demonization of individuals and artworks, as response to Get Hard illustrates.

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Remember Death: Passage of Time Through Linklater’s Lens

Richard Linklater's Before trilogy is a rare work of cinema that lives up to the true spirit of memento mori: remembering that we all will die.

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‘The Voices’ Gets to the Very Essence of the American Nightmare

Disturbing, funny, alluring and repulsive in a uniquely American way that no one likes to admit, The Voices should trouble you.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Measuring Success: The Unsatisfying Notion of "Good Endings" and "Bad Endings"

// Moving Pixels

"Sometimes stories need to end badly in order to be really good.

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