Preliminary Marxist Critique of Superheroes

[What follows is from a class assignment for a critical theory course I took in graduate school.  It’s in idea I’ve been mulling over for awhile.  It is not a complete idea: just the seed of something for the future.] I’ve been mulling over this idea for a while: how to conduct a Marxist critique to understand our Western society’s relationship with the hero mythos, … Continue reading Preliminary Marxist Critique of Superheroes

Fear the Virtual World?

I must make a confession up front: I would never have watched The Ghost Whisperer if it was not for my involvement with the Virtual Worlds Research Project at Roskilde Unviersity.  I’m most certainly not a Jennifer Love Hewitt fan, and the idea of the series never captured me.  Especially since it was on Friday nights, and that was usually my veg out with movies … Continue reading Fear the Virtual World?

Clinical Therapy with Buster Keaton

Well, no, not really. I never met the man, the genius, the one of four comedians who can be considered the founding fathers of American comedy films. But I did write an intake report for him as if I was his therapist. Buster Keaton was born October 4, 1895 as Joseph Frank Keaton, Jr. He was born into entertainment to a family of vaudeville actors. … Continue reading Clinical Therapy with Buster Keaton

A Night with Cinematic Titanic

Before DVDs existed and brought us the director commentary track, this group of men and women were providing an alternative audio track to movies that perhaps didn’t even deserve to have a primary audio track — or to even exist. But, then again, if these B-movies, C-movies, and Z-movies had not existed, a pop cultural phenomenon wouldn’t either. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (or MST3K to … Continue reading A Night with Cinematic Titanic

The Shadow: The Place for the Crimefighter in American Life

Back in 1997, I was a freshman in college, at the venerable University of Wisconsin at Madison. I went into college pre-med — I had even attended a surgery during high school at Oconto Falls and did not faint. I thought I was meant to be a doctor. I was going to earn my degree and work to make sure more kids did not lose … Continue reading The Shadow: The Place for the Crimefighter in American Life

The Story of The Dark Knight and Its Brethren

Back in the spring of 2007, like other Batman fans who loved Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, I was eagerly awaiting his follow-up, The Dark Knight. When the “I Believe in Harvey Dent” website went live in May, I was there with others. However, not long after the original website went live, some digitally scrawled graffiti all over it, in a style highly reminiscent of Batman’s … Continue reading The Story of The Dark Knight and Its Brethren