Recent Features

23 Jun 2011 // 3:00 AM

Obsession As the Driver Behind the Road Movie

Since Jack Kerouac's On the Road, the notion of hitting the road to "anywhere but here" speaks to us not of grand rolling landscapes, but of an emergence into a truer, freer, state of being than our everyday routines allow.

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To Be Or Not to Be Isn’t the Only Question: The Nature of Being in ‘Synecdoche, New York’

By desperately trying to create an authentic piece of art, Caden Cotard, the central character in Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, ends up dooming himself to live what Heidegger calls an inauthentic life.

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19 Jun 2011 // 10:00 PM

Where’s Woody?

What does an artist the caliber of Woody Allen do when he’s reached the pinnacle of his artistic accomplishment -- while only in his early 40s?

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Zombies, Like Punks, Have Been Sedated & Sold, Prepackaged As Pitiful Empty Signifiers

Dr. Logan of Day of the Dead says that zombies can be domesticated and conditioned to behave – that’s exactly what some parents of punks believe, too.

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In Search of the Endless Summer: Surf Films

Surfing is a spectacle of sheer uselessness and excessive pleasure that most of us can only dream about. It provides an ideal image of how we desire to live -- devoted solely to a thrilling and utterly innocent pleasure.

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Cooking Up Amazing Stories: ‘Third Star’ Director Hattie Dalton

To help ensure the perfect recipe of cinematic ingredients, Third Star director Hattie Dalton goes far beyond shooting beautiful scenery and capturing the actors' performances.

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Harlem Nights: Eddie Murphy and the Original Gangsters of Black Comedy

After a decade of uninterrupted success, Eddie Murphy ushered out the 1980s with an ambitious but shaky vanity project. Here is how the director, producer, writer and star of Harlem Nights bit off more than he could reasonably chew.

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5 Jun 2011 // 10:00 PM

Once a Monarch, Always a Monarch

Why do the same British actors always play Kings and Queens and their underlings? There are, it seems, a handful of interchangeable actors tasked with portraying a finite set of monarchs in new and dizzying combinations of age and relation.

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‘Third Star’, Making the Festival Rounds, Pits Benedict Cumberbatch Against a Taboo Topic

With a difficult theme and a challenging landscape, Third Star, an official selection for film festivals around the world, takes the characters and audience on the road trip of a lifetime.

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Trouble in Wonderland, or The Crisis of the Fairytale in Film

Live-action fairytale adaptations are more popular than ever, with Red Riding Hood just out and four others -- including two Snow Whites in the works. But film and the source texts do not effortlessly go together, and children emerge as the losers.

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They Won’t Stay Dead: The Changing Guises of Horror Film and Censorship

The controversy surrounding A Serbian Film is symptomatic of an ominous development in the horror genre's combative relationship with the censors.

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25 May 2011 // 10:00 PM

“Where Will We Live?”: Terrence Malick’s Fugitive Edens

Again and again, Terrence Malick’s films rehearse, in ways both literal and figurative, one of the oldest and most abiding stories in myth and literature.

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25 May 2011 // 10:00 AM

Bridesmaids and Broom Jumpers

This year's crop of wedding-centric romantic comedies offer up some things old, a few things new, and a lot of things borrowed (but not much blue).

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Comics Superheroes Leap Across the Great Cultural Divide

Bounding from the pages of comic books onto the screens of films and TV, our superheroes unite formerly divided interests -- comics geeks vs. everyone else.

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When Greed Is Good

The economic system has only one purpose, which is to create wealth. In the market’s language, this is the only “good". If evil exists, then it must be loss, which is the opposite of the good. For Gordon Gekko, this is the only morality which exists.

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You Only Go Around Once: Death and Nostalgia in the Films of Woody Allen

On the eve of the release of Woody Allen's newest film Midnight in Paris, opening May 20 in limited release, PopMatters examines the director's fondness for deftly employing nostalgia as a cinematic language throughout his career.

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Godard’s Invisible Cinema: The Neglected Genius of Late-Period Godard

By ignoring or outright dismissing Jean-Luc Godard's post-New Wave work, we’re denying the cinema the opportunity for advancement that he alone can provide.

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The Wonder Year: Inspiring Soul with 9th Wonder

The RiverRun International Film Festival showcases a moving portrait of a man in his element, standing at the transformative intersection between hip-hop, education, and craft.

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Dy(e)ing to be White: Whiteface Performance in Postracial America

On the surface, whiteface performers often exaggerate widely recognized and aesthetically pleasing aspects of white people and culture from a minority viewpoint: light eyes, light colored hair, swanky clothes, snobbish attitude...

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Lucky Penny Makes Movies in Michigan

Michigan extras have to run for their lives as giant flying robots tried to kill them and buildings exploded around them. Trying to avoid being trampled by Transformers is easy compared to the bigger threat to Michigan’s film industry.

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Thoughtful Absurdity of 'Spaceplan'

// Moving Pixels

"Spaceplan is a goofy game that still manages to pack a potent emotional punch.

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