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The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) was founded in 1922 as a trade association by the Hollywood studios in order to protect their interests. Because of the increasing concern over government control by government regulation and influential religious leaders organizing mass boycotts, the MPPDA published the Motion Picture Production Code in 1930,…… Continue reading Trouble in Censoring: Lubitsch v. Hollywood?
The Brass Man and Other Stories by John Borneman contains nine separate short stories that follow the thread of different science-fiction themes and world-building. But rather than relying on science-fiction to tell the stories, Borneman provides the futuristic details nonchalantly, which for me works well in grounding each of the stories well within reach of human…… Continue reading Book Review: The Brass Man and Other Stories
Unless one were to cheat and do quick research into the content’s reality in the fictional novel, The Museum of Innocence (Masumiyet Müzesi) by Orhan Pamuk, it would take reading 700 pages to return to the ambiguous conclusion of, maybe? Although that middle ground of uncertainty is troubling, that is the skill to which the…… Continue reading Book Review: The Museum of Innocence
Visual humor from the silent-era cinema, like other forms of humor (stand-up, sit-com, etc.), is hard to dissect because of the adage that explaining a joke ruins the joke. Like a metaphor that defines something through an oblique comparison to something else, comedy functions in this angled alignment. Therefore, in looking at what makes Buster…… Continue reading Buster Keaton’s Comic Brilliance
Most of the reviews for Christopher Nolan’s new film, Tenet, argue that its supposed to be the savior of cinema because its the first blockbuster release post-lockdowns. While they largely cite Nolan’s Washington Post op-ed from March, which correctly argues that cinemas are socially vital and need our help in hard times, the reviews naively…… Continue reading Tenet Will Not ‘Save’ Cinema or: How to Talk About the End of Cinema Without Reactionary Positing
Kate Chopin’s first published story, “Emancipation. A Life Fable,” sets up the theme to which guides her fiction: freedom from repression. In the story, an animal finds himself bound in a cage where he is given the provisions of a comfortable daily life. One day the door is accidentally left open, but the animal is…… Continue reading Athénaïse’s Ironic Awakening
The Iceberg Theory Ernest Hemingway only made passing references to his ‘iceberg’ theory in the first decades of his writing. In 1932, he made his first reference to the theory: If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the…… Continue reading Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory and “Indian Camp”
Earl “Bud” Powell was undisputedly one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, if not the best according to Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, and the author of Dance of the Infidels, Francis Paudras. Monsieur Paudras, French by birth, idolized Bud throughout his formative jazz piano training. After learning of Bud’s European tour in 1959,…… Continue reading Book Review: Dance of the Infidels
Federico Fellini composes 8½ according to the limits of his own subconscious, giving his spectators an interesting take on the inside of a director’s mind. The film weaves between dream and reality, sometimes confusing the two, but other times introduces a surreal fantasy that projects an unconscious vulnerable to Freudian speculation. The spectator is stuck in…… Continue reading Marrying Guido to the Spectator: 8½ and Fellini-Spectator Verification