The Czech science fiction comedy I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (Zabil jsem Einsteina, panove) starts off with a fairly shocking scene, even by the standards of today: two bearded men locked in the throes of a passionate kiss. It’s a fake-out, we soon learn, a way to introduce both the central premise of the plot — the future has been ravaged by radioactive fallout that has caused women to grow beards — and the fact that this movie is going to have a grand time tweaking its nose at gender expectations, stereotypes, and comfort zones. The comedy is a mix of subtle and slapstick, something like Monty Python meets Charlie Chaplin meets the Marx Brothers, with a bit of Benny Hill-esque sex farce thrown in. Sadly, no one ever pats an old man on the head, though I’m sure Karel Effa (who should have teamed up with HK comedy actor Richard Ng) would have been up for it. Continue reading…
At Salon, Nathan Rabin apologizes for coining the phrase, “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” “I remember thinking, even back then, that a whole list of Manic Pixie Dream Girls might be stretching the conceit too far. The archetype of the free-spirited life-lover who cheers up a male sad-sack had existed in the culture for ages. But […]
“For quite some time I thought that being a colossal prick on the Internet was great sport. I thought that everybody else was doing it, and that I could do it better than most. I also had some idea that it was my duty to call bullshit on everyone who I thought was propagating bullshit. […]
NBC-Universal is closing down Television Without Pity and the archives of episode recaps from the 1990s on will no longer be available. At The Vulture, Margaret Lyons writes, “How Television Without Pity Shaped Pop Culture.” Caitlin Kelly writes about being “Raised on Television Without Pity” at The New Yorker. At USA Today, Jayme Deerwester writes […]
“As much as you think ‘We Built This City (On Rock And Roll)’ or Spandau Ballet might be bad, you don’t even know bad, buddy.’” Jon Hunt writes about guilty pleasures, critical faculties, good and bad music, but his thoughts can easily be applied to other mediums. (via @popshifter)
Sociologist and Cultural Theorist Stuart Hall has died. The Guardian and Art Review have obituaries. At Flavorwire, Brie Hiramina writes, “Why Stuart Hall’s Groundbreaking Work On Culture And Identity Still Matters.” There is an interview with Hall at Radical Philosophy. You can watch a documentary about Stuart Hall, The Stuart Hall Project, here.
Indiewire talks to TV Club‘s Todd VanDerWerff about television criticism: “The way we’ve been selling ‘review’ versus ‘recap’ is ‘Should I watch this?’ versus ‘What did I just watch?’ The move toward episodic criticism has been a good thing for TV criticism on the whole, I think, but it’s started to run roughshod over the […]
This Cage Is Worms has some thoughts on Grand Theft Auto V, and Grand Theft Auto in general: “By making fun of ‘everything,’ GTAV is trying to convince us that it is above any real commitment to an ideology.” (via @bombsfall)
Emily Nussbaum writes about the complexity of one phone call in Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias” episode.
At The AV Club, Stephen Bowie makes, “The Case Against Breaking Bad,” while at The New York Times, A.O. Scott examines how <i>Breaking Bad</i>’s Walter White “found his inner sociopath.” and the beloved antiheroes of television’s current Golden Age.
Todd VanDerWerff spends a day in San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H and has some interesting observations about the film industry, fan culture, sexism and “Worshipping in the Ultimate Movie Church.”
At Teach Me Tonight, Kate Laity writes about Joanna Russ’ 1985 essay, “Pornography by Women for Women With Love”: “While the entire collection makes fascinating reading, I want to focus on the chapter “Pornography By Women For Women, With Love” as it provides some interesting roots for the ongoing academic dissections of romance writing today […]
The Ferroni Brigade considers how Lau Kar-Leung brought comedy to kung fu as well as scrutinized the kung fu film tradition that had come before him. David Bordwell writes about Lau and how sometimes stylized action captures the real better than “realism.”
NPR’s Monkey See blog shares a look at Adventure Time. “Adventure Time insists on emotional honesty.” (via @profmdwhite)
At Vern Reviews The Films Of Cinema, Outlaw Vern offers “one Seagalologist’s perspective on the ‘vulgar auteurism’ debate”: “The practitioners are trying to bring recognition to artists who they think are marginalized, but they’re accidentally creating a ranking of ‘vulgar auteur’ beneath ‘actual auteur.’ And that also shines a spotlight on the idea’s most glaring […]
“In a column just as true today as it was at the time of its writing, this reprint from the February 1998 issue of Game Developer magazine by game designer J.C. Herz blasts the industry conservatism and the retreading of familiar ideas.” Read it at Gamasutra.
Hey, everybody, Comics Alliance is back! (via @World_Of_Hurt)
At the School of Visual Art, Greil Marcus delivers a commencement speech discussing “high art” vs. “low art,” art, and influence. (Thanks, Andrew!)
At The Comics Journal, Joe McCulloch speaks to the legacy of Comics Alliance. The Beat‘s Steve Morris writes about what Comics Alliance meant to him. ” If Comics Alliance was known for anything – aside from the much-needed essays on prejudice and progression, aside from discussion of Batman punching people with car parts, aside from […]
Jim Emerson collects and breaks down the criticisms of Room 237, a documentary of people who obsess over Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. And Drew Morton created a visual essay in response to the film.
“Room 237 is like an act of revenge from a filmmaker upon the critics,” writes Robert Greene in his review. And The Verge’s Adi Robinson interviews Room 237 director Rodney Ascher on The Shining, interpretation and conspiracy theories. “[Room 237 is] about what happens when the movie leaves the filmmaker’s hands, and the audience is […]keep looking »