The Cultural Gutter

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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Star Wars Anime

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A bit of Star Wars anime by Paul Michael Johnson, a.k.a. Otaking77077 (Thanks, Mortis!)

“Saying goodbye to a galaxy far, far away (for now)”

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At The AV Club, Sonia Saraiya bids farewell to Star Wars: The Clone Wars: “The Clone Wars is the best possible outcome of present-day Lucasfilm: a fun, engaging, and surprisingly serialized cartoon aimed at some interstitial demographic between children and adults—which, if we’re being honest, is what Star Wars always appealed to most.”

“Star Wars: The Marvel Comics Years”

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The Superhero Satellite has an overview of Marvel’s Star Wars comics–with a pretty sweet gallery. (via @BlackHoleMovies)

Candid Star Wars Set Shots

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Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) has been posting candid shots from the sets of Star Wars on Twitter.

Death to Life Day

swhs07

A lot of people my age have vague memories of a Star Wars holiday special back from some time in the 1970s, but beyond that their memories go blurry. Maybe they recall it had something or other to do with wookies, but specifics are difficult to drag up from the recesses of the mind — […]

“Anatomy of a Logo: Star Wars”

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Tenth Letter of the Alphabet examines the elaboration of the Star Wars logo–with an extensive gallery of images!

Star Wars Filibuster, Animated

Patton Oswalt’s multi-franchise super-movie described in his Star Wars filibuster from Parks and Recreation, animated.

RIP, Carmine Infantino

Comic artist Carmine Infantino has died. Infantino is most famous for his work on Barry Allen, The Flash, as co-creator of Batgirl and on the 1980s Star Wars comics, but he also worked as an editor, freelance artist and teacher.  Comics Alliance, The AV Club and Robot Six have obituaries. Gary Groth interviewed Infantino in […]

Leia, Amidala and Alison Bechdel walk into a Cantina

At Wired, Laura Hudson writes about the women of Star Wars and the dearth of female characters in film and television in general. she notes,  “Criticisms about representations of gender (or race and other diversity) are often countered in fandom by analyses attempting to explain why the inequality happens according to the internal logic of […]

Star Wars: The Radio Play

7 animation voice actors–including Tara Strong and Kevin Conroy–perform Star Wars at Emerald City Comic Con. (Thanks, Miguel)

Henry Plinkett Reviews Star Wars Episodes I-III

Lonely serial killer and film smarty Harry S. Plinkett reviews the Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Trenchant analysis aside, current favorite segments are his love advice to Anakin and “Citizen Vader”–starts here and continues. (Trigger warning for those sensitive to ladies held captive in basements […]

RIP, Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie has died. McQuarrie was an artist best known for his conceptual work for Star Wars. 24 Frames has a brief obituary with links to some of McQuarrie’s work. McQuarrie’s personal site has more galleries and a place for tributes.

Customer Support FTW

Videogame developer Ross Mills was concerned that a British educational toy store was selling Anakin Skywalker toys figures, given that Anakin had massacred a village of sand people, tried to kill his teacher and slaughtered a school of Jedi younglings. The Early Learning Centre responded with an excellent customer service letter.

A Magical Tour of Scary Chinese People

As a follow up to “The Yellow Curse,” Grady Hendrix has posted a gallery of images offering a tour of racist stereotypes of Chinese people from 1881 to the present.  

RIP, Bob Anderson

Olympic fencer, sword master, stunt choreographer, performer and actor, Bob Anderson has died. Anderson performed Darth Vader’s lightsaber battles in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Her served as sword master, fight coordinator and stunt performer in films such as 1953′s The Master of Ballantrae featuring a swashbuckling Errol Flynn, The Princess […]

“Fellow, Star-folk”

George Takei tries to broker a peace between Star Wars and Star Trek fans by asking them to join together against a common foe.

George Lucas Strikes Back

Imprisoned in one room for 20 years, George Lucas wants revenge. (Thanks, John!)

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI Compared

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI compared, simultaneously and in their entirety. Watch while it’s available. (via August Ragone)

10 Thankfully Deleted Scenes

Cracked presents 10 deleted scenes–with video clips–that would have ruined movies, from the very good, Alien, to the very bad, Revenge of the Sith.

Marcia Lucas and Star Wars

The Secret History of Star Wars writes about Marcia Lucas, the woman who made Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi better.   (via Geek Tyrant and Mike White!)

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Paleofuture, Matt Novak writes about Idiocracy‘s unpleasant implications: “Sure. As an over-the-top comedic dystopia, the movie is actually enjoyable. But the movie’s introduction makes it an unnerving reference to toss around as our go-to insult….Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951′s Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world.” (via The Projection Booth)

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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