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What’s in a Name: The Exceptionalism of Rooney Mara

“Did you know there are more people with genius IQ’s living in China than there are people of any kind living in the United States?” “That can’t possibly be true.” “It is.” “What would account for that?” “Well, first, an awful lot of people live in China. But here’s my question: how do you distinguish … Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: January 29

Welcome to the first edition of Weekly Roundup, a new feature I hope to publish each weekend that will give me a chance to react to the week’s industry news and provide some quick thoughts on the films and TV shows I’ve been watching (and give people some idea of how much stuff I watch!). … Continue reading

Le Voyage dans l’esprit

The theatre was dark and cold, as it always seemed to be. We sat patiently in our seats as we waited for the image to appear on the screen. I could tell that some of the others were distracted or disinterested, but I knew what was coming, and I was riveted. Finally, the image appeared: … Continue reading

An Idiot’s Guide to Correctly Predicting the Oscars (and Winning Your Oscar Pool)

Our culture loves winners. Whether it’s the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Academy Awards, people rarely remember the runners-up. It’s this obsession with rewarding excellence that has propelled the Oscars to a level of prominence in pop culture that has almost no equal. The Academy Awards are almost always the second most-watched TV … Continue reading

…a Dish Best Served Cold

In a year with so many high-profile disappointments on the network TV schedule – the dead-on-arrival The Playboy Club, the impossibly bad Charlie’s Angels remake, and the show for people who’d like to watch Mad Men but can’t stand subtlety, Pan Am – ABC’s Revenge has been a surprise hit. It’s got a lot of … Continue reading

When Historians Become Film Critics

I’m about to do something profoundly stupid: I’m going to criticize certain parts of a statement issued by the Association of Black Women Historians. To put this is context: I’m a young, relatively privileged white guy, about to disagree with a group of esteemed scholars who have issued a statement rooted in their considerable knowledge … Continue reading

Media Addiction and the Wheel of Kyle MacLachlan

For a while now, I’ve had this pet theory. It’s not exactly scholarly, nor is it particularly profound or original, but it goes something like this: the more you experience something, the more you come to like it, even if it’s pretty crappy at first glance.

Something Always Brings Me Back to You: Community’s Exercise in Interactive Television

If you’re not watching NBC’s Community, you’re missing something special. It will quickly become one of your favorite TV shows. Or you might hate it. That seems to happen a lot, actually. Rarely does a show come along that is as polarizing as Community, and judging by its anemic ratings (anemic for a network TV … Continue reading

Life as a Descendant

Watching movies is frequently a social experience. We sit in theaters or at home with our friends and listen as other people react to what they’re seeing at the same time we do. This experience shapes how we perceive a film by placing it within a specific context – a place, a time, and a … Continue reading

Take Me Away: Efficient Editing & Emma Stone

If you’re like me, you have a crush on Emma Stone. I have yet to meet anyone – man or woman – who doesn’t love her. She’s talented, she’s funny, she’s gorgeous, she’s a ginger (or at least presents herself as one in public) – she’s got everything. But our culture’s sudden obsession with all … Continue reading