Recent Features
Revolution in the Mirror: Life Imitates Art in the Middle East and North Africa

Mass uprisings were sweeping the Middle East and North Africa just as Sergei Eisenstein’s 86-year-old agit-prop masterwork, Battleship Potemkin, commenced a multi-city US tour.

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Passing Me By: African American Women and ‘Passing’ As a Film Genre

Caught between two worlds, standing on a near-literal precipice with one foot in the African American experience, the other firmly in majority white culture, the protagonist of the passing film is confronted with an impossible choice: live in truth as a person of color or risk “passing” for white to gain societal advantage.

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The Last Time I Saw Paris

Paris Benjamin is a working actor in Hollywood, a long way from her acting roots in France and the UK. Her recent experiences on the sets of TV series and films shine a spotlight on the US and European entertainment industry.

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TV’s Grim Reaper: Why Joss Whedon Continually Kills the Characters We Love

Among Joss Whedon's greatest contributions to television has been the invention of the Body Count, the willingness to kill off recurring characters in order to ratchet up the narrative tension and create a sense of danger. This is the first of two essays examining Joss Whedon as a televisual mass murderer.

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‘Cinema’—That’s Italian for Cinema

New DVD provider RaroVideo USA is coming out of the gate with two lavish Criterion-worthy releases: The Clowns and the Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection. One is nominally "arty" and the other "lowdown", but the lines deserve to be blurred.

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Betty Boop and Bimbo Get Into a Sexual Tangle in ‘Barnacle Bill’

The Fleischer Studios' Betty Boop cartoon Barnacle Bill embraces the pleasures of the perpetrator far more than the fate of the victim, where a cute cartoon pup gets to be a sexual predator and stoke our prurient interest in the 'joy of punishment'.

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National Theatre Live Shocks ‘Frankenstein’ Back to Life

Why did you create me? The plaintive question adorning National Theatre Live posters may echo critics’ question about the need for yet another in a long line of Frankensteins. Previous Frankensteins and monsters have been entertaining but less socially relevant. The National Theatre’s production, as directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle, to use a cliché, is Alive!

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Five Hot Chicks and the MPAA, Why Can’t This Be Europe? Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’

PopMatters was in Beverly Hills for the Sucker Punch press junket, and sat down with among others, Director Zack Snyder, Producer Deborah Snyder, and stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung.

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Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love: The Films of Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley's films bridged the world of art school vibes and workplace routines, elite snottiness and pedestrian punches, suburban angst and critical thinking finesse, and mixed-up politics and prolonged personality crises.

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Flash Over Substance: ‘Broadcast News’, Redux

As in real life, the TV news industry in Broadcast News looks less like a small pond and more like shark-infested waters.

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A Postcolonial Provocation: ‘Serenity’

Joss Whedon's Firefly and its film sequel Serenity achieved acclaim for their generic hybridity, a sci-fi western offering a dystopian vision of the future. Here Serenity is positioned as a postcolonial text.

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18 Mar 2011 // 4:41 AM

Joss Whedon 101: Serenity

Although Joss Whedon's Sci-Fi Western Firefly was cancelled after the completion of only 14 episodes, DVD sales and fan support was so exceptionally high that Universal Studios acquired the rights to make a film sequel, Serenity.

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‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ at 34: Still Thrilling After All These Years

What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind stand out to this day is that it isn’t the usual UFO tale of “us vs them”, like Spielberg’s later remake of War of the Worlds; rather, it's very much a story about Earthlings.

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‘I Am Number Four’: Vampires, Aliens and the Art of Movie Recycling

I Am Number Four, a PG-13 science-fiction-slash-teen-romance movie, is so faithful to the Twilight template that it could have been assembled by marketing software.

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“Alien Resurrection”, the Unproduced Script That Shaped Joss Whedon’s Career

Prior to gaining fame as one of the foremost pop cultural creators, Joss Whedon gained fame within the film industry as a screenwriter and script doctor. But of these early efforts, it was his script for Alien Resurrection that contained themes that dominated much of his later work.

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Joss Whedon 101: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: The Movie

Proving that from small things great things come, the path breaking, critically adored 1997 television series was preceded by the critically abhorred, terminally silly 1992 film.

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Digital Ghost: Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul Recalls Uncle Boonmee

Celebrated film director and visual artist "Thai Joe" talks to PopMatters about the cost of transmigration, hybridity and fantasy, as his Palm D'Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives finally bows stateside after traveling the long and winding roads of the international film festival circuit.

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Hatchet II: Interview with Adam Green, Kane Hodder and Tom Holland

Horror film is the purest genre, as it taps into our emotions directly, without the pretense of art. "It never takes me long to get into character. It's a good thing that I have the type of job where your criminal record has no bearing on your success." -- Kane Hodder on playing Victor Crowley [Hatchet I & II]

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Punk Rock? It’s a Black, Jewish, Southern Thang

Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.

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‘America Lost and Found: The BBS Story’: A Cinematic Open Road

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story leaves no doubt that BBS Productions was one of the most important players in a cinematic revolution. These seven films make a case for keeping the canvas wide and the road open.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

On Truth and Dark Turns in 'Tickled'

// Short Ends and Leader

"The tickling wormhole seems to be getting deeper...

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