The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

RIP, Sid Caesar

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Comedian, actor and writer Sid Caesar has died. The New York Times and Variety have obituaries. Time has gathered clips of his work. The Archive of American Television has an interview with Caesar here.

RIP, Run Run Shaw

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Film and television producer Run Run Shaw has died. Sir Run Run founded Shaw Brothers with his brother, Run Me Shaw. They produced hundreds of films in all genres, but were best known for their revolutionary kung fu and wuxia movies. Shaw also produced myriad television programs for TVB. The South China Morning Post remembers […]

Operation Scraping Netflix’s Data

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“This database probing told me three things: 1) Netflix had an absurdly large number of genres, an order of magnitude or two more than I had thought, 2) it was organized in a way that I didn’t understand, and 3) there was no way I could go through all those genres by hand. But I […]

“Two Easy Steps To Make Hollywood Less Sexist”

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Geena Davis has two suggestions for making films and television shows less sexist. They’d work well for increasing diversity of all kinds.  

“If it wasn’t them, they’d be playing their song”

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Stephen Colbert talks about Daft Punk, among other things, on the Paul Mercurio Show: “Well, I’m beginning to see why they don’t do TV.”

“Michelle Rodriguez Made Me Cry At Comic-Con”

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Kate Conway writes about how powerful she found the Women Who Kick Ass Panel in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall C. “These dudes onstage weren’t selling themselves to me; they didn’t even care what I thought. Here we were, in the biggest room at Comic-Con, and I only felt disgust. And then, out came Michelle Rodriguez.”

RIP, Jane Henson

Muppet performer, designer and producer Jane Henson has died. Henson collaborated with Jim Henson to create The Muppets. The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. Here is a rare interview with Henson.

The Latest Whovian Feminist News

The Feminism of Dr. Who Tumblr rounds up the news: “First, it suddenly seemed to strike the media this week that Doctor Who is severely lacking in female writers….Second, the sequel for ‘The Bells of Saint John’ premiered this week.” Click through for a discussion of female writers in science fiction in general and a […]

50 Wonderful Things in 2012

Linda Holmes shares 50 wonderful things at NPR’s Monkey See blog.

Recapping The Jetsons: “Elroy’s TV Show”

At Paleofuture, Novak watches The Jetsons and the debates about television depicted in the episode, “Elroy’s Tv Show”: “The episode highlights the perennial debate over the role of TV programming in the American home. The latter half of the 20th century saw numerous fights over the regulation of TV programming and the battles were especially vicious […]

“Vasquez Always Dies”

Ever wonder why the competent and kickass action ladies always die? TV Tropes examines why “Vasquez Always Dies.”

Heroic Trio

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Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month, Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about stars of action cinema. I like ladies of asskickery, women who can throw a punch or wield a sharp pointy weapon, preferably both. Since it’s April and we mix things up here at […]

Interview with Stuntwoman Bridgett Riley

Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill talks with Bridgett Riley about going from boxer to stuntwoman: “Women get minimal pads if any at times and high heeled shoes are sometimes a must depending on camera. Wardrobe sometimes makes us shoes that are stunt friendly. I like these wardrobe people. It just depends on the shot. The […]

Remembering Wong Tin-Lam

Johnnie To Kei-Fung and Ring Lam Ling-Tung remember their mentor in the Hong Kong television and film industry, Wong Tin-Lam.

RIP, Wong Tin-Lam

Veteran Hong Kong actor, producer, writer and director, Wong Tin-Lam has died. His work in tv and film spans the 1950s through the 2000s. Gutter readers are probably most familiar with Wong’s work for Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai like The Mission and Election (as well as comedies like Fat Choy Spirit and My Left […]

Mission: Kill the Werewolf King

Writers receive the sanction to assassinate a troublesome actor’s character, The Werewolf King in the 1980s tv show, Werewolf.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n'roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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    Architecture Daily has an excerpt from City of Darkness detailing the development of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. “By the 1970s, the City had filled out to its maximised form, with buildings of up to 14 storeys in height, and virtually no ground level daylight penetration save at its centre. Its density was estimated to have reached a mere 7 square feet per person. The yamen area had somehow remained an exception to the vertical development, leased to a missionary society in 1949 for use as an almshouse and old people’s home. Eventually, it defined the sole substantial void within the Walled City, with visible sky above it.”

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