PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.
Bruce Lee's fight scenes evoke Gestalt theory: actual perception is a response to a provocation. Consider this philosophy while watching the films in Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits and you too can become the water.
In a strange kind of way, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know is about two competing notions of "forever" in relation to love.
While philosopher Stanley Cavell endeavors to show that we must mean what we say in a very important sense, Godard's Bruno Forestier of Le Petit Soldat suggests that we simply cannot and must not mean what we say.
While all films project a world that might be, certain films and certain filmmakers, like Karel Zeman, come closer than others in bringing to the surface the underlying phantasmagoric essence of cinema.
Reading Dressed is rather like the experience of wandering through a department store or a friend's well-curated closet.
Bong Joon-ho's scathing Parasite reflects Montesquieu's critique that the decline of civic virtue causes great social inequality, which then incurs greed, envy, and violence.
In her 1970 avant-garde short Fly, Yoko Ono works within the same parameters as directors like Alfred Hitchcock or Takashi Miike. Yet, she posits the intermixture of her celluloid images as reconstructive effort, not a destructive one.
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.
What is the meaning of diversity in today's world? Russell Jacoby raises and addresses some pertinent questions in his latest work, On Diversity.
Mark Fisher's insights are often obscured in Matt Colquhoun's personal/academic hybrid, Egress, which ranges far and wide over philosophy and pop culture.
Many fantasy writers have incorporated the visual footprint of the Third Reich into their fictional worlds. Few, however, have done so as extensively as the creator of Attack on Titan, who revisited this terrible chapter of history not to find inspiration for a fearsome antagonist, but to excavate the divisive ideas that lay buried there.
Polymath Girolamo Cardano was beaten, imprisoned, survived a plague, and was banned by the church. Yet his work in medicine, engineering, mathematics and more is present in our lives today.
What happens when you put an Arizona dirtbag, a human turtleneck, a narcissistic monster, and the dumbest person you've ever met in the same room? They become good people, sure, but more importantly, they become a group.
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.
Mister Rogers and Philosophy considers reality, fantasy, and our philosophical role in both worlds of the long-running PBS children's program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Escaping abjection's usual confines of psychoanalysis and aesthetic modernism, the contributors to Abjection Incorporated examine a range of media, including literature, photography, film, television, talking dolls, comics, and manga. Enjoy this generous excerpt, courtesy of Duke University Press.
Graduate school, everyone? The glory of Jordan Alexander Stein's Theory is that it unmasks both the utility and the futility of theory.
Bellocchio's best work, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca) is key to understanding the stark shift Italian cinema experienced in moving from the post-realism phase of the 1950s into the experimentalism, social commentary, and surrealism of the 1960s.
Eric Schwitzgebel's excellent and accessible philosophy in A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures would be great at parties—just open up to any random three-page essay, read it aloud, and let the conversation flow.
Who is man? Who is monster? Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomies are at play in the video game series, The Witcher, soon to be a Netflix series.
Legislation, the vehicle of idealists, is bereft of ideas in the times of Trumpism. We are left to fend for ourselves.
Critic Mark Fisher never stooped to suckle the masses; nor did he fluff the pillows of academics. Colleagues Simon Reynolds and Darren Ambrose provide insight into Fisher's posthumous book, k-punk, and his intriguing legacy.
There's a lot of anger in the ugly, infuriatingly stupid, and implacable discourses of our political culture, to say nothing of the distorting, amplifying, and accelerating effects new media has for our anger. Perhaps it's time to revisit Martha Nussbaum's Anger and Forgiveness.
It is the impossible demand placed on the woman that drives the engine of Agnès Varda's One Sings, the Other Doesn't.
Luchino Visconti's oft-misunderstood Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia) tenderly explores how beauty stares back at us and demands that we accept and acknowledge its terrible contradictions.
Ingmar Bergman's Shame is one of his few films so blatantly concerned with the impositions of the external world,as opposed to the internal, subjective aspects of life.
Marq De Villiers' readers will readily discern where -- aside from abysses -- Hell and Damnation: A Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment is headed: someplace unexpectedly fun.
As far as The Handmaid's Tale and Philosophy is concerned, Trump et al are the exact bastards you're not supposed to let grind you down.
In After Certainty, Robert Pasnau constructs a history of knowledge and concludes that most theories of knowledge aren't up to par. But, he says, we can hope.