Buster Keaton’s Comic Brilliance

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

Tenet Will Not ‘Save’ Cinema or: How to Talk About the End of Cinema Without Reactionary Positing

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

Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory and “Indian Camp”

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”

The Life of Bud Powell

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 The Life of Bud Powell

Marrying Guido to the Spectator: 8½ and Fellini-Spectator Verification

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

Isolation and Western Perception in Satrapi’s “Persepolis”

Oppression and misplaced representations of Iranians as foreign ‘Others’ led Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian in exile, to publish Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; a graphic novel released in Western countries to communicate the unknown virtues of Iranian culture. These virtues unknown by Westerners, Americans specifically for this essay, include the perception of Iranians as … Continue reading Isolation and Western Perception in Satrapi’s “Persepolis”