As a sports fan, I am well aware of games’ ability to bring people together and create disharmony. For every story of cooperation across racial and ethnic lives, we hear about violence at international soccer matches in eastern Europe or post-game violence between parents after their kids’ baseball game. Clint Eastwood‘s latest film, Invictus, reveals [...]
Archive for December, 2009
Unless you’ve been in a coma for over a year, you are probably familiar with James Cameron‘s latest film, Avatar. Touted as the most expensive film ever made, it has received rave reviews for its 3D special effects and stunning other-world scenery. Unfortunately, the plot is as thin and heavy-handed as its effects are beautiful.
I recently took a break from my Christmas movie bonanza with all its images of love and peace and togetherness to watch Gomorrah, a brutally realistic film about the Camorra, one of the the largest criminal organizations in the world. I am well aware of the debates over and problems with violence in film, but [...]
Hollywood has spent billions of dollars to visualize global destruction through natural and man-made disasters. Religious filmmakers have spent millions trying to visualize the rapture and the apocalypse. Conrad Ostwalt distinguishes between the two as secular and sacred apocalypses in an interesting chapter of his book, Secular Steeples. In preparing for a lecture on blockbuster [...]
Throughout this semester, I have frequently referenced an NPR interview with film scholar David Thomson in which he discussed how desperate times often birth great works of art. Think of the films that released during the Great Depression (or about it) for example. Hopefully, these tough economic times in which we find ourselves will be [...]
Check out Richard Lindsay’s review of Hedwig and the Angry Inch after the jump.
Roland Emmerich’s disaster films are escapist fantasies that imagine how we humans will respond in the face of certain (almost) global destruction. As I mentioned in a review of 2012 yesterday, they often present an emotional utopia of family togetherness against this dystopic background. Another recent film, the post-apocalyptic story, The Road, unfortunately presents a [...]
There’s an interesting thread to Roland Emmerich’s disaster films. Against the backdrop of alien invasions or global warming is the story of geographically or emotionally separated families reuniting with one another. The same plot can be seen in his third attempt to destroy the planet in 2012.