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Table of contents

Doctor strange 4

The desperate humanism of our popular spectacles

But I do not want to leave you with the impression that Marvel, the spearhead of popular culture & the measure of show business success–both in movies &, increasingly, in online series–has nothing but race-class-gender moralism to offer, in some unstable mix with the worship of tech-scientific […]

Doctor strange 3

The possibility that the market will extinguish the sources of story-telling

Our is an age of glamour, which is a fine word for an ugly thing–polished mediocrity. Glamour is what one feels for beauties seen on screen or the covers of magazines, as opposed to what one feels for one’s lover. It does not […]

Doctor strange 2

The class structure of heroism

Look back a generation to Die hard, which typified, while elevating, the action-comedy of the Eighties. John McClane, played by Mr. Bruce Willis, is a working class man from New York: his wit is coarse, his manners are not quite up to middle class standards, & he gradually turns […]

Doctor strange

Doctor Strange is the new normal: & three disturbing thoughts conservatives should be taking seriously about popular culture

Disney is the biggest money-maker in American show-business & the only studio that’s wildly successful in a time of strange technological changes. With movie audiences still decreasing & studios competing over fewer & fewer money-making franchises, […]

Cave of forgotten dreams 2

The cave of Werner Herzog

Mr. Herzog lets us know at some point that a child’s footprint had been impressed next to a wolf’s. He says, we can never know whether the wolf stalked the child; or they walked together; or they were separated by ages. These are the three ages of men–man was […]

Cave of forgotten dreams

A documentary filled with anthropological speculations about the character of our imagination

This is Werner Herzog’s most political film. After private men searching for caves discovered in a cave in France very old paintings of animals, after they presumably made the discovery public, the French state declared the cave a secret, closed it to […]

Allied

BRAD PITT & MARION COTILLARD

Casablanca plus The English patient equals another Oscar drama?

It’s Oscar season & I’ve had the chance to attend an advanced screening of Allied in Seattle, where Paramount’s security men assured us we’d enjoy the show & that they would, too–having night vision goggles, they’d be all over us […]

Arrival 2

Witness the apotheosis of the atheist woman who averts the war of the end of the world

The story comes down to hearing John Lennon tell you, at the end of Abbey Road, that the love you take is equal to the love you make. After the smoke in the smoke & mirror show […]

Arrival

Wisdom & the end of striving

A pretty lady whose kid died & who seems to live in utter luxurious ignorance of the world, but with the kind of fame as a linguist that recalls the beginning of some 19th century story about academics-adventurers, turns out to be exactly who the government or the […]