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The Myth of Pure Comedy

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

Pain in Japanese Cinema

A strange moment is buried near the end of Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Two sister-in-laws, Kyoko and Noriko, are chatting and airing their grievances when Kyoko interjects, “Isn’t life disappointing?” Noriko smiles back at her. “Yes,” she nods. “Nothing but disappointment.” “Well I should get going,” says Kyoko. “Goodbye, then,” responds Noriko. They smile at … Continue reading Pain in Japanese Cinema

The Psychology of Serial Killer Movies

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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