“I like The Smiths—but not Morrissey” is a common music take, usually attributed to two phenomena: the loss of Johnny Marr’s inimitable guitar and Morrissey’s perceived lean to the right. The songs of The Smiths are about love, loneliness, and left-wing political causes (anti-meat, anti-monarchism, antireligion, anti-school, anti-capitalism, feminism, etc.), making them acceptable by modern … Continue reading London is Dead
The Man Who Wasn’t There often gets lost in the folds of the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre. Flanked on one side by towering cult classics like Fargo and The Big Lebowski and acclaimed art films like No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, and Inside Llewyn Davis on the other, it comes off as a … Continue reading The Man Who Wasn’t There, Explained
The first thing we get in Eyes Wide Shut, out of the blue, is nudity: Hardly an erotic shot. You need to build up to erotic nudity, just as you need to build up to orgasm—dropping it out of nowhere is more surprising than titillating. Kubrick is telling us that for this couple, Bill and … Continue reading Eyes Wide Shut, Explained
Whenever a comedian gets in trouble for their material, the reaction is polarized. On the one side are the comedian’s critics, who claim the jokes were promoting a bad ideology or were promulgating negative stereotypes. In stark contrast stand the comedian’s defenders, who themselves are outraged at the outrage. The defenders can be found with … Continue reading The Myth of Pure Comedy
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is known for the fact that the main character is killed halfway through the movie. In 1960, when the film was released, this was an unprecedented dissection of a traditional character arc – conflict set-up, drive to accomplishment, resolution. However, it is not just innovative as a story structure; it is innovative … Continue reading The Psychology of Serial Killer Movies
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