Kit MacFarlane has a PhD in English Literature, Film and Popular Culture, with a thesis that covers topics from Euripides, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe to John Huston, Lon Chaney and Batman (all stitched together with Douglas Hofstdter, Slavoj Zizek and Jacques Lacan). He also writes cultural criticism, commentary and relentless tirades, with occasional diversions into fiction and academic analysis, and has published regular cultural and higher education commentary in Australian media. He spends the rest of the time teaching English, film and media as a freelance academic. His main cultural interest lies in exploring resonances between traditional literature and popular culture. Even when off the clock, he continues this noble endeavor by shouting at the TV incessantly.
Unassuming high school chemistry teacher faced with insurmountable medical expenses turns to manufacturing illegal drugs to make ends meet? Sorry Bryan Cranston, Angie Dickinson and William Shatner got there first.
02 Oct 2013
Forget the Brooding 'Man of Steel', Here Are Five Ways to Have Fun with a Lighter, Brighter Superman
Man of Steel was more concerned with surly brooding than Superman's more endearing traits. I think we (and Superman) should lighten up.
29 Jul 2013
It looks like classic TV Westerns "Have Gun -- Will Travel" and "The Rifleman" might be on their way back to screens. Any chance the 30-minute drama might make a return, too?
25 Feb 2013
You think Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is compelling? Try upping the ante with Crime Classics: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
12 Feb 2013
I Can Hardly Wait stretches the Three Stooges' "chaotic neutral" alignment into an uncomfortable fever dream of pointless violence with an undertone of sadistic cruelty. A failed Stoogesperiment in literary naturalism? or just a bad day?
08 Aug 2012
It'd be a shame if the endless emphasis on youth results in a lack of "grown-up" concerns in pop culture. Here are five examples of the old kicking ass and refusing to give way to the young in mainstream pop culture.
31 May 2012
The Avengers may be awesome, but that doesn't mean it's any good. The new standard for superhero films seems to be that they don't suck as opposed to actually containing any ideas of interest.
27 Apr 2012
Precocious cherubs and wise-beyond-their-years savants are a Hollywood staple, but they don't really reflect the state of actually being a kid. Here are a five good, great, or interesting films that are far more effective in portraying that being a kid is a really weird thing to be.
28 Mar 2012
Every generic hero on TV can finish a poetic quotation or identify a poignant quatrain (down to the line numbers). But few can spit Tennyson or Yeats with such venom as these guys.
25 Oct 2011
Matthijs van Heinjningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing summons the chilly vibe and the cinema-sexual psychoanalytic undertone of the best of '80s genre cinema. It's only the generic modern "female empowerment" story that seems dated.
13 Oct 2011
Oddly missing in histories of the "found footage" genre, Jean-Teddy Filippe's "Forbidden Files" offers intriguing glimpses at horror and fantasy flickering into an uneasy camcorder reality, ten years before The Blair Witch Project made it fashionable (and lame).
06 Oct 2011
Mainstream culture's failure to examine professional wrestling seriously -- in this case, workplace safety issues -- lets the WWE get away with all kinds of ridiculous villainy that no other media organisation could. And pocket a tidy profit while doing it.
30 Sep 2011
Retro Remote nominates Sex Kittens Go to College as Transformers' true precursor. The problem with Tranformers-type franchises is that the criticisms can only annoy people by reminding them of what they have chosen to ignore.
28 Jul 2011
Viewing the world through a haze of vaguely remembered TV shows, tough-guy dialogue and TV jingles, the news about Osama bin Laden’s death quickly turned thoughts to The Unit, the TV series created by once-great writer David Mamet.
19 May 2011
The Fleischer Studios' Betty Boop cartoon Barnacle Bill embraces the pleasures of the perpetrator far more than the fate of the victim, where a cute cartoon pup gets to be a sexual predator and stoke our prurient interest in the 'joy of punishment'.
30 Mar 2011
With the WWE's biggest event of the year on the horizon, fans and sponsors might want to take a closer look at its blatant homophobia and reconsider the wisdom of handing over their money to a bigoted and retrograde institution.
30 Mar 2011
La Femme Nikita's miserable and corrupted world of moral dead zones and US-sanctioned torture forces its hero to make a real-world choice between pragmatic collusion or principled, perhaps doomed, resistance.
21 Feb 2011
'Frankie Goes to Hollywood' on the Commodore 64 is a surrealist nightmare in 16 colours, where GTA-style freeform roaming rules, and the band's sexual imagery forms a hedonistic scavenger hunt for aponia, the Epicurean absence of pain.
10 Jan 2011
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