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Film


Peace Among the Monsters

I’ve never seen Bigfoot myself (other than when he guest-starred on The Six Million Dollar Man). But when I was in kindergarten, I was convinced, more than once, that he would be, at any given time — particularly at night — looking through my bedroom window. The fact that my bedroom was on the second […]

Captain Marvel-less

Recently I had a dream that I could fly. This isn’t an unusual dream, though not as common as the one where I find I haven’t completed my dental school requirements — naked — and am racing against the clock to save my career (which I am not currently practicing, btw). It’s also mentioned around […]

Psychic Disintegration in Jordan Peele’s “Us”

Unfortunately, there is no doubt about the fact that man is, as a whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. – Jung Nighttime: inside a secluded beach house, a family […]

Swimming with Killer Whales, and Cars that Go Up, Up, Up

It is a scientific fact that there exists a space in the human gut that functions purely to process stories. We’ll call it the Story Organ. You hear a particular story and at once there begins this churning and grinding, like one of those plastic rock polishers you get from the nerd stores. Said Organ […]

Shock Value

This one was written by Nathan F. Elmore. Se7en, David Fincher’s 1995 somber thriller, showcases my third-favorite villainous film character. It’s a dubious ranking, to be sure. Nonetheless, for me, in second place: Heath Ledger’s terroristic turn as the kind of Joker who is not kidding about burning it all down in Christopher Nolan’s Batman […]

Into the Spider-Verse: Anyone Can Wear the Mask but Web-Slinging Is Another Matter

Thrilled to share this review from superhero expert Jeremiah Lawson: Last week, Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for best animated feature film. Of the contenders, even though I loved Incredibles 2, I would be willing to say that for sheer fun Spider-Verse deserved its win. The film is a high-octane sugar-buzz film with a dense, complex array […]

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 2: The Birth of (Cybertronian) Tragedy: The Cyclic Deaths and Rebirths of King Optimus Prime

Thankful for this one, the second part of a series by Jeremiah Lawson. Don’t forget the first part! In The Golden Bough, James Frazer proposed that ancient kings died and were reborn in cycles in fertility religions. Nothing can die and be reborn quite like a robot. Surprisingly, one of the most prominent examples of […]

PZ’s Podcast: Tip for a Happy Marriage & Surprise, Surprise

EPISODE 264: Tip for a Happy Marriage Justin Hayward is a sort of archivist for romantic relationships. He is 72 and still going strong. Two ‘Live’ performances book-end this cast, which is intended as fresh therapy towards a happy marriage. Appeals to grace, forgiveness, and empathy in relating to this impossibly different person with whom […]

Optimus Prime and the Religion of Toys, Part 1: The Total Work of Art as a Transformer of Culture

This one comes to us from Jeremiah Lawson, the first in a three-part series! First and foremost, play is self-presentation. – Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method About forty years ago an animated program began that helped revolutionize the way some Americans enjoyed and thought about popular culture. Thanks to changes in FCC regulations during the Reagan […]

The Mirror Has Way Too Many Faces

This past New Year’s Eve marked the first one for my husband and me to actually go out in Sydney — though, with two kids and middle age defining our lives, “going out” consists of joining friends at the North Sydney Olympic Pool for a family night of swimming and fireworks. And, it turned out, […]

2001: A Space Odyssey as Cultural Icon, Cinematic Masterpiece, and Modern Myth, Part 2

This second installment picks up where Part 1 left off. A Re-enchantment of Modernity In his essay “Science as a Vocation,” Max Weber famously wrote, The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from […]

TOP FILMS OF 2018

2018 has come and gone, and we’re a bit late on getting you our favorite flicks to hit the big (and small) screen this year. That’s just the type of year it was, though. Am I right? But this past year wasn’t all that bad. Superhero fans witnessed the Marvel Cinematic Universe grow EVEN BIGGER. […]