Monthly Archives: September 2011

Five Film Favorites: Films about Films

French philosopher Jacques Derrida became famous (by philosophy and academic standards) for discussing the theory of deconstruction.  While I know that my rather curt and probably inaccurate explanation of Derridian deconstructionism will court harsh critiques from colleagues (current and former) and professors, … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Film, Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Missing the Ball

Baseball fans have always loved to imagine the great “what-ifs” of the sport. What if Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio had been traded? What if Buckner hadn’t let that ball go through his legs? What if the Red Sox signed … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animation Recommendation: The Illusionist

I suppose that people rarely desire to feel sadness or seek out that particular emotion. Yet there exists much art that instills that very feeling.  So maybe we do desire it.  We might not ever want to be sad at any … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuck in Neutral

Drive, Danish film director Nicolas Winding Refn’s first American movie (starting today at the Bow Tie Cinemas), opens with one of the most assured sequences I’ve seen in movies in a long, long time. Ryan Gosling plays the Driver (a … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Five Film Favorites: Openings

When I teach writing, one of the things that I repeat in nearly every class is that introductions and openings matter. They matter quite a bit. I inform my students that if they lose a reader in the introduction, chances grow … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Film, Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The American Disease

It starts with one person, as I suppose it always does. Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an executive at a multinational headquartered in Minnesota. She is returning from Hong Kong, has a layover in Chicago and is fighting a cough. … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Five Film Favorites: Obscure Oldies on Netflix

Although Netflix has allowed me to catch up on a bunch of movies I had missed over the last 20 years, and at some point I’ll write about some of them, this time I want to put the spotlight on … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Film, Lists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Avoidable Mediocrity of the Harry Potter films

In late August, I finally found myself bored enough to go and see the final installment of the Harry Potter film franchise: Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2 (my, that is an unwieldy title).  The desire to see … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Film, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

For the Salt of the Earth

There are lots of great films one could pick as a way to mark Labor Day, but the one that came to mind immediately, in part because it’s in the public domain and available in its entirety via the Internet … Continue reading

Posted in Documentary, Film | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Strange Case of L. B. Jones

There is a fascinating opinion piece by Professor Patricia A. Turner in a recent edition of the New York Times. In it, she argues that the current hit film The Help perpetuates “dangerous white stereotypes”–that the only racists that existed … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment