Tagged: cinema

Primum Non Nocere

Film scholars have commented upon the native power of the documentary medium to convey the impression of unmanipulated reality. The intimation of ‘truthiness’ – Steve Colbert’s delectable mot – becomes especially pernicious in a thankfully rare subgenre I’ll call the ‘ill-intentioned’ documentary. Here, the maker’s attitude towards some painful psycho-social problem is subverted by the […]


Monster: Based On A True Story (2003), written and directed by Patty Jenkins. Aileen Wuornos: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003); The Selling of Aileen Wuornos (1992), directed by Nick Greenfield. From 1989 to 1990, a ragged drifter, Aileen Wuornos, murdered seven men along a stretch of central Florida freeway. Her MO bore the […]

Video games, violence, and a false premise

Politicos and media experts of various stripes and credibility have predictably implicated violent video games in the Sandy Hook tragedy. In fact, it’s far from clear what, if indeed any role violent games, TV, or movies have played in the wave of public massacres besetting America – including the Sandy Hook slaughter. A complex cybernetic […]

‘Mike’ Taps Into a Complex Subculture

Taking it off, taking it all off, whether for eros, profit, art, or any combination thereof might just be the world’s fourth oldest profession. Throughout history in song and story, it’s usually an infernal female who works her wiles upon some hapless male, by shedding her duds. To the West, Salome is arguably the most famous belly […]

‘Compliance’: First, Do No Harm

Film scholars have commented upon the native power of the documentary medium to convey the impression of unmanipulated reality. The intimation of “truthiness”– Stephen Colbert’s delectable mot– becomes especially pernicious in what I’ll call the “ill-intentioned” documentary. In this thankfully rare subgenre, the maker’s attitude toward some painful psychosocial problem is subverted by the very images […]

Good News From ‘The Newsroom’

Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning screenplay for “The Social Network“ featured a collection of duplicitous wonks backstabbing their way to the top of the Internet heap. (A more accurate, if less artful, title would have been “The Unsocialized Network.”) Sorkin’s script was blessedly free of the cumbersome liberal pieties – and I write as an impious liberal – […]

Rodriguez: The Question Is the Answer

“Sugar man, won’t you hurry ’Cause I’m tired of these scenes For a blue coin, won’t you bring back All those colors of my dreams…” –Sugar Man, from the album “Cold Fact” Going back to the Ragtime era, every great American city – and cities like London, Paris, and Berlin – had popular music clubs, […]

Mere Anarchy

It’s still far too early in the aftermath of the lethal game which James Holmes played out in an Aurora, Colorado multiplex to get more than a shadow of a read about his motivation. his narrative. Psychoanalysts possess a native madness to interpret – it’s in our blood. Few verified details have emerged about Holmes […]

Celluloid and Psyche

From his earliest researches, Freud frequently ground his clinical theories in the recognitions of art, liberally crediting the intuition of the artist that preceded psychoanalytic insights. Freud’s followers were quick to follow the master’s lead. Variably accurate versions of analytic theory soon spread to respectable and “fringe” artistic circles. Studies of art by analytically inclined […]


After enduring a child’s cruel death, the composer/hero of Thomas Mann’s Dr. Faustus is moved to write a piece which will subvert the ebullient optimism of the “Ode to Joy” and “take back” Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony Mann’s oddly potent phrase springs to mind after viewing Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, the sixteenth film of an uneven but […]