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Film

'Captain America: Civil War' Mirrors Another Kind of American Civil War

In the Russo Brothers' Captain America: Civil War, friend turns on friend, and no easy resolution is reached. It's rather like the toxic online fan culture that followed the film's release.

Recent
Music

Music As Control: Phase Fatale on 'Scanning Backwards'

Berlin-based techno producer, Phase Fatale discusses how music can operate as a means of control and how technology has entered the most intimate of human affairs.

Music

Tipping the Swear Jar: How mewithoutYou Used the F-Bomb to Say More Than the F-Word

Lyricist Aaron Weiss of post-punk Christian band mewithoutyou used the F-word in a song and it got banned from radio and the album got pulled from record stores. Meanwhile, his fans ponder his parodying of cultural mores.

Books

'Switched on Pop' Schools the Academy

The first book from Switched on Pop hosts Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan leans into the podcast's academic tendencies, as it makes the case for music fans to take all music a bit more seriously.

Film

In Appreciation of Camille Billops and Her Films

Camille Billops moved beyond predictable and well-tread ground to open up space for new narratives in her films—about Black families, Black women, and Black middle-class life—that pulled on her distinctive and unapologetic worldview.

Film

John Badham's 'Dracula', the Rock Star

On John Badham's Dracula. Because the director of Saturday Night Fever is the first person you would think of to direct Dracula, right?

Books

To the Vector the Spoils: On McKenzie Wark's 'Capital Is Dead'

In a brave new world dominated by platforms such as Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, and marked by anxiety in the Age of the Anthropocene, McKenzie Wark's Capital Is Dead eschews digital utopianism for a sense of urgency that recognizes things have gotten serious.

Culture

From Zeus to Superman: Why Do Superheroes Keep Coming Back?

Why, despite all the knowledge we've gained and the technology we've harnessed, do we cling to our mythologies?

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No Sanctuary in the Light: The Story of Temple Drake

The Story of Temple Drake grapples with the unbidden, unsettling force of emergent sexuality.

Music

Rush Drummer Neil Peart Passes Away at 67

Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, one of the most technically gifted rock musician of his - or any - generation - passed away from brain cancer on 7 January, leaving behind an incredible legacy.

Film

In Defense of Enjoying Tom Hooper's 'Cats'

Critics and audiences have made much fun of Tom Hooper's Cats. The laugh is on them.

Music

Punk Hybrids: Back in the Garage

Punk's idea(l)s may have been fostered in Art schools, but its musical foundations were cultivated in garages.

Music

Every Win on The Wrens' 'Meadowlands' Is Hard Won

After suffering through the pressures and losses of years past and laboring on their album in practical anonymity, the Wrens have hit the ground running.

Film

There'll Always Be An Ealing: Postwar England's Little Studio That Could -- and Did

The Ealing name has been revived in the new century, but film buffs will always regard its incandescent era as that period when it held up a scrappy and schizoid mirror to postwar England's depressions and aspirations.

Books

Sam Wasson's 'The Big Goodbye' Puts Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' in Its Place

Social historian Sam Wasson's The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, is a graceful and compelling elegy to both Roman Polanski's landmark film, and the end times of old Hollywood.

Music

Joni Mitchell's Fearless Jazz Debut, 'Ladies of the Canyon' at 50

Joni Mitchell's foray into jazz was not an impulsive change. Rather, jazz has been the constant, undulating beneath industry demands and topical concerns that called for the acoustic guitar or the Appalachian dulcimer.

Film

The Last Laugh: Everything You Think You Know About 'Joker' Is Wrong

Todd Phillips has planted a tantalizing trail of clues throughout Joker to upend viewers' most basic assumptions, presenting a film whose contradictory structure can cause as much mayhem as its titular character.

Film

Domesticity Marks a Deeply Fraught Terrain in Ida Lupino Films

The early Ida Lupino films hold a particular nuance for female characters and the textures of their everyday lives, which has rarely been exhibited in classical Hollywood filmmaking.

Music

R&B Dynamo Parisalexa on 'Songland', Billboard and Ambition

Rising R&B songwriter Parisalexa talks about pitching a song on NBC's Songland, how she writes music, and what it takes to get to the top.

Music

Leaving Room: Ryley Walker and Charles Rumback on Collaboration and Listening

Little Common Twist, the latest improvisatory album from Ryley Walker and jazz drummer Charles Rumback, sounds like listening. The two musicians are locked in intuitive communion that confines neither guitar nor drums to their pigeonholes. We ask them how they do it and why.

Television

'The Simpsons' Plus-Size Marathon Is Aging Me All Over Again

For a show that so cynically pokes holes in the inanities of our plastic, apathetic world, The Simpsons' rough-edged bedrock of brilliantly conceived sentiment can cup a heart without compromising comedic integrity.

Film

'X-Men: Apocalypse': The Apocalypse of Comic Book Films

The filmmakers' attempt to mask X-Men: Apocalypse's lack of purpose and thematic unity with a stunning density of characters, plot lines, and fan service. But we see behind the mask.

Books

The U.S. Anti-Fascism Reader [By the Book]

Donald Trump's rise in American politics is not a resurgence of fascism, argues professor Enzo Traverso in his essay, "Trump's Savage Capitalism" -- it is something else. Traverso's essay is published in this excerpt from The U.S. Anti-Fascism Reader, courtesy of Verso Books.

Enzo Traverso
Books

The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts Matters, Dammit! An Interview with Biographer Mike Edison

Mike Edison's biography on the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, Sympathy for the Drummer is a full-throated assault on the notion that, in music, more is better, and that perfection is a friggin' virtue.

Books

Canada Has an Anti-Blackness Problem

From national origin myths to austerity policies, racism permeates the fabric of the world's 'friendliest' nation, argues Rinaldo Walcott and Idil Abdillahi in their work, BlackLife.

Film

Debut Sci-Fi / Fantasy Film, 'The Vast of Night' Revels in Mystery

Andrew Patterson's debut film, The Vast of Night, compels its audience to listen to a radio conversation and watch a mysterious play. Interview with director Andrew Patterson and actors Jake Horowitz and Sierra McCormick.

Film

When Real Life Begins: On Fellini's 'The White Sheik'

Fellini is the master of blurring the lines between the real and the surreal, demonstrating the overriding imbrication of the familiar and the fantastic. In The White Sheik, currently playing at NYC's Film Forum, he inspires wonder and bemusement.

Music

The Reason for the Season: A Christmas Chat with Dionne Warwick

Following the release of her latest album She's Back, the legendary Dionne Warwick delivers another musical gift with Dionne Warwick & the Voices of Christmas.

Books

Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design (By the Book)

In this gorgeously illustrated collection of airline route maps, Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design, Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts look to the skies and transport readers to another time. Enjoy this excerpt, courtesy of Penguin Books.

Mark Ovenden and Maxwell J. Roberts
Film

Oh, That Tiger!: Fritz Lang's Indian Epics

Fritz Lang's The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb are hothouse flowers of cinema with gyrating dancers, man-eating tigers, pagan magic, groaning lepers, and mythic moments. Has Lang ever come up with more desperate, mad, or heroic symbols of futile struggle?

Film

Surreal Visions of a Girls' Boarding School in Jacqueline Audry's 'Olivia'

The world always has a reason why sex is wrong, so perhaps the most subversive element in Jacqueline Audry's Olivia is its refusal to condemn.

Music

On the Raydio: An Interview with Ray Parker, Jr.

With a documentary and new album slated for 2020, GRAMMY-winning legend Ray Parker, Jr. reflects on his career from Motown to "Ghostbusters" and beyond.

Books

Music History, the Conspiracy Theory: On Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History

Although enjoyable in that sweeping big picture kind of way, there is nothing subversive to be found in Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History.

Film

Venus as a Boy in Silent Film 'Little Old New York'

Sidney Olcott's silent film Little Old New York falls into a tradition of men who find themselves strangely attracted to boys that turn out to be girls in disguise.

Music

Yeezus vs Jesus: Kanye West's Faith in 5 Songs

Kanye West's rap is rooted in gospel right from The College Dropout days. These five songs, which explore the relationship between Yeezus and Jesus, show that his recent album, Jesus Is King, isn't an aberration.

Music

A Pact to Be Tender When the World Is Coarse: Stewart Lupton and Jonathan Fire*Eater

With the release of the expanded edition of Tremble Under Boom Lights, the 45-page chapbook of the poetry of Stewart Lupton, and the re-release of Wolf Songs for Lambs, Jonathan Fire*Eater are ripe for reappraisal.

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'Shapeshifters' and Other Trans-forming Humans

Supernatural Historian John Kachuba deftly demonstrates in Shapeshifters: A History that change is the only constant in life.


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