Recent Features
Pedro Almodóvar’s Quintessentially Pansexual Oeuvre

Almodóvar’s insistence on pushing boundaries and transcending confining definitions of acceptability, gender, sexuality, and narrative structure place his body of work amidst (among others) a queer cinematic canon that acknowledges and appreciates his placement of queer bodies and characters in essential strands of the narrative structure.

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Referencing & Recycling

A true passion for cinema is something that effortlessly shines through the work of the greatest filmmakers. We've seen homages to classic films, in this year alone, in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, Judd Apatow's Funny People and Lee Daniels' Precious, but no contemporary director references film history as commandingly as Almodovar.

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15 Nov 2009 // 9:00 PM

Pedro Almodóvar 101

Almodovar 101 takes a look at some of the Spanish auteur's greatest hits - from Pepi, Luci and Bom up through Volver, a crack team of PopMatters film writers/Almodovar experts from New Jersey to Madrid are on hand to guide readers through the vivid world of the director.

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An Education: Carey Mulligan Comes of Age

Danish director Lone Scherfig spares audiences the trite clichés of a young woman's coming of age, directs a magnificent cast of actors, and defends her film against allegations of inappropriate sexuality.

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Yin and Yang: The Beatles - ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ vs. ‘Help!’

Aside from such obvious aspects -- including the difference between black and white and color film stock -- the back and forth between the films was also reflective of their burgeoning creative output.

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PopShots: The Lighter Side of Swine Flu

Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.

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Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir

These five films from the golden-era of the legendary Nikkatsu studio shows off the never-ending ways Japanese filmmakers were able to combine the best elements of pulp and epic Japanese storytelling.

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The Ghostbusters Twinkie Defense

More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.

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Agonies of an ‘Antichrist’: Lars von Trier in the Forest of Unreason

Despite the efforts of some to dismiss it as a prank, Antichrist is a serious film and its disturbing extremes speak of broad and deeply felt moral, social, and ultimately, political anxieties.

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In from the Fog: Monstrous Fishermen in Popular Culture

To paraphrase Nietzsche, when fighting monsters one should be careful not to become one, but that’s a major reason why many people fish: to slay the proverbial dragon.

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A Ghost Story of Dubious Origins

No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.

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26 Oct 2009 // 8:59 PM

Frightful Rome

Profondo Rosso, the Dario Argento store in Rome, hints at a dramatic cultural shift taking place in Italy regarding the appreciation and analysis of classic Italian horror films.

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Bored New World: How the Zach Braff Prototype Is Slowly Killing American Music

Natalie Portman popped headphones onto Zach Braff's head and said, "This song will change your life." The resulting sound was not only that of carefully composed dullness, but of a million wealthy white kids investing in dull acoustic music to soundtrack their own romantic melodrama.

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The 47th Annual New York Film Festival

There were plenty of films in the New York Film Festival that captured similar redemptive moments and there is nothing esoteric, depressing or arduous about that.

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“They’re All My Children”: An Interview with Ennio Morricone

The legendary Italian maestro is responsible for some of the most iconic film scores in history, and at 81 years old is still going strong.

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19 Oct 2009 // 9:00 PM

Pete Kelly’s Blues

Jack Webb's glum radio series 'Pete Kelly's Blues' is a sigh of a tribute to the roaring '20s, a melancholic parade of blistering jazz and the pointlessness of its own nostalgia.

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One of Those Faces You Can’t Help Believing: Anthony Perkins in ‘Psycho’

The "shower scene" in Hitchcock's Psycho has become woven into our pop cultural backdrop, but it's the “dinner scene” that shines a narrow light on the character of Norman Bates.

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20 Questions: Aziz Ansari

Named Entertainment Weekly’s top 12 future stars of comedy, Aziz Ansari has a voracious appetite for performing, eating, and… just about anything else that is subject to an appetite.

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8 Oct 2009 // 9:00 PM

“Paranormal Activity” and the Pinocchio Complex

Author and horror enthusiast Stephen Graham Jones explains how in mixing a range of sub-genre conventions into one film, Paranormal Activity could be this generation's Exorcist.

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24 Sep 2009 // 9:00 PM

Hal Ashby: Hollywood Rebel

Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.

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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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