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Film

"I'll See You Later": Repetition and Time in Almodóvar's 'All About My Mother'

There are mythical moments in Almodóvar's All About My Mother. We are meant to register repetition in the story as something wonderfully strange, a connection across the chasm of impossibility.

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Books

'When All Else Fails', Rely Upon Your Wit

Rayyan Al-Shawaf's When All Else Fails is politically complex, and its humor is razor-sharp.

Books

Nora Krug's 'Belonging' Could Serve as a Model for Understanding Collective Responsibility

In graphic novel Belonging, Nora Krug takes a single idea – her family's involvement in the Second World War and Nazi Germany – and pursues it with relentless, forensic determination.

Film

Social Media and Identity Formation in Bo Burnham’s Film, 'Eighth Grade'

Rather than moralize, critique, or make grandiose statements about "digital natives", writer-director-wunderkind Bo Burnham brilliantly visualizes what it means to live in a world in which social media is omnipresent.

Books

Loss of Memory and Divided Identities in Psychological Thriller 'I Know My Name'

It's risky to build the success of a genre psychological thriller on the incorporation of psychological therapeutic techniques. But in Cooke's hands, it works.

Books

How the Nobel Committee and the Great American Read (Among Others) Got Philip Roth Wrong

A sense of bitterness remains for those of us mourning the loss of this final great literary lion of the 20th century.

Books

The Deconstructive Irony of Ortberg's 'The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror'

This collection gives us Ortberg's trademark gender-swapping, flipping of accepted norms of good vs evil even while blurring the line between them, and startling backstories that do not always reveal underlying motivations but definitely add dark, ironic humor.

Film

Do We Dream of Electric Sheep Like Blade Runner's Corporate-produced Replicants?

The isolation of Blade Runner 2049's inhabitants continually reinforces and enlivens their deep need for genuine connection, communal relationships, which the divisive effects of global capitalism actively undermines.

Books

Male Sexual Fluidity and Undue Complexity in Mostly Straight

Mostly Straight is a mostly inadequate answer to the question of male sexual fluidity.

Film

Film and Reality in Flux: Interview With A Fantastic Woman's Sebastián Lelio

"... (I)n a way we are all trans, we are not fixed beings, we are not one thing, we are constantly changing."

Books

'Yellow Negroes' Draws the Plight of Undocumented Lives

The liminal state between immigrant and citizen becomes the permanent experience of undocumented people.

Books

'What Is Sex?'

Psychoanalytic theorist and philosopher Alenka Zupančič provides a brief, difficult, yet ultimately rewarding look at the "otherness" of sex as an act, as identity, as communication.

Books

'1997' Explores Laying the Groundwork for Brexit and Beyond

Richard Power Sayeed's fascinating look at the optimism of New Labour and Cool Britannia in 1997, and the subsequent agony which followed.

Comics

Coming-out Narratives in Comics

My Brother's Husband, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, and Generations illustrate how comics artists continue to excel at depicting complex, meaningful coming-out narratives.

Books

Literary reactions to cultural implosion

After Ireland considers the changing culture, the changing identity, and a fast-changing Ireland in the varied voices and languages of its literature.

Books

For People of Color, 'Real American' Is a Memoir with Big Questions

Julie Lythcott-Haims gives a voice to the internal dialogue—the self-loathing, really—of living a life as a biracial woman who, for most of her life, wasn't quite sure if she was allowed to call herself black.

Games

Personal Identity and Gaming in Today's Political Landscape

Video games have made me used to inhabiting the skin of others. For many of us, this is one of the biggest reasons we play games.

Games

'Virginia': Masks, Identity, and the Horror of Our Own Reflection

Virginia suggests that material evidence implies interpretations and conclusions that don't necessarily always align, as we would like them too, with certainty and proof.

Games

Teenage Suicide and the Extinction of Identity in the Persona Series

Sometimes growing up can feel a little like killing yourself.

Games

A Question of Immanence: Louis Vuitton, Lightning, and Our Virtual Selves

Clothes make the heroine, just as they do in real life or as they do in our virtual lives

Games

The True Dogs of War: Nation, Language, and Identity in 'Valiant Hearts'

Valiant Hearts challenges the barbaric connotations of the appellation “the dogs of war” by making a dog, the only creature blind to the “essential” identity markers of nationalism and language, the hero.

Games

“One in a million, that is you”: 'Device 6' and the Decentralization of Player Identity

Games seem like the medium that might best challenge the authority of the author, given as they are to allowing the player to manipulate their “texts", to build within their systems, and potentially to break, rearrange, or reorder them in some personally satisfying way. Games seem like that.

Games

No More Mirrors: Reflecting the Reality of Unreal Lives

The oddest detail in a game world that concerns itself with including shampoo bottles, cereal boxes, and VHS tapes is the fact that the house that you occupy in Gone Home is missing one item so common to human experience and so common to domestic spaces. This is a home that contains no mirrors.

Games

Identity Crisis: The Search for Character and Self in Videogames

Modern games seem intent on treating our imaginations as if they were as hostile as the projections in Inception.

Johnny Kilhefner
Film

A View Out: The Search for Identity in 'Cléo from 5 to 7'

In the works of many New Wave auteurs, a sense of alienation often leads to disillusionment. Unlike the pessimism of many of her contemporaries, Agnes Varda views alienation as a quest for identity, one that offers hope and freedom, no matter the uncertainties.

Culture

Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.

Events

Summer Is Electric With Electronic Music Festivals

Fans of electronic music will find a lot of massive events going on around the US this summer. Here are a few to look out for.

Books

I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett

By saying Not is not Sidney Poitier, the reader is tempted to compare him to Sidney Poitier just as the characters do, when the author is pointedly saying that we shouldn’t.

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Reviews

Identity (2003)

As James Mangold neatly puts it, these characters are running along 'a kind of Möbius strip of hell.'"

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

Identity (2003)

Amanda Peet, not incidentally, throws some fine, even sublime, attitude.

Cynthia Fuchs
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