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Music

Is Brilliant Appropriation a Contradiction? On Gillian Welch and Pastiche

The historical references the virtuosic instrumental work, and the stunning close harmonies all took intelligence and skill to master, but that doesn't mean that Time (The Revelator) should be beyond critique.

Recent
Music

What Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' Is Really About

At the core of Neutral Milk Hotel's highly acclaimed 1998 album is an exploration of love and the process of unity and separation.

PJ Sauerteig
Film

Splitting Hairs (of Identity) in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

James Gunn's epic borrows from the mythologies of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but its characters are on a much more contemporary quest for identity.

Film

May the Force (of Narrativity) Be With You

The Star Wars universe is a microcosmical example of the long-standing battle over the necessity of narrativity in shaping our lives.

Steve Neumann
Television

Lucifer Is Free to Roam: (In)Justice and Retribution in 'Hannibal'

Hannibal, unlike much-hyped pulp revival shows like True Detective and Fargo, refuses to give its audience neat answers on matters of right and wrong.

Ryan Peters
Television

'True Detective' and the Conventions of Morality

In the realm of moral ambiguity they occupy, Rust Cohle and Marty Hart become a microcosm of Lawrence Kohlberg's three stages of moral development.

Derek Lazarski
Film

'I'm Not the Fox I Used to Be': Wes Anderson's Changing Seasons

Far from style over substance, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox fixates over objects to show its protagonist's inability to handle the oncoming winter.

Kia Rahnama
Film

Cinema as Rorschach Test: 'The Master'

Much like the kaleidoscopic design of The Master’s theatrical poster, the way one perceives the film -- indeed, all films -- is reflective of the prism through which one views the artform itself.

J.C. Sciaccotta
Music

Forgetting the Roots: Does It Matter Who Makes Folk Music?

The authenticity trap: How did folk music end up in such a paradoxical place?

Taylor Coe
Film

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.

Aaron Knier

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