Friday, April 18, 2003
Jack Nicholson in The Shining

The Shining

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

One man’s struggle to support a family on one income in an economy that’s moved beyond his worldview.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003
XXX - Triple-X

XXX

Three Strikes, You’re Out

The new James Bond for the Maxim era sets off the decline and fall of the American Empire. Now playing at a political theater near you.

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Saturday, April 05, 2003
Hugh Grant in About a Boy

About a Boy

The Art of Bore

Hugh Grant stars as the last hero of the dot-com era, the Sun-Tzu of Nothing, the one who lived the Seinfeldian Dream. Can the dot-commers join the grown-up world?

Other Recent Long Stuff

Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Watchmen
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers
Reading Inland Empire

Books to Phlog

Understanding Jaques EllulUnderstanding Jacques Ellul, by Greenman, Schuchardt, and Toly, will be of special interest to Metaphilm readers as Jacques Ellul understood cinema as one of the chief tools of propaganda used by the state to distract the masses from that which matters.

Metaphlog

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Higher Powers

A discussion of the summer film crop, films “populated by mutants, messiahs and superheroes who covertly propose new ways to interpret religion and reality.” Suggesting that as “the superheroes of the ‘X-Men,’ ‘Terminator,’ and ‘Matrix’ sequels entertain us with their physical feats, they also fill metaphysical needs.” Includes some interesting quotes. (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, 27 April 2003.)

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Wide Angle Tie-ins

Today’s pop culture isn’t just another set of cultural messages; it’s a mass medium, too. Remember how the Star Trek crew had ‘universal translators,’ who could turn any alien tongue into English? Pop culture has become just such a device for fans, who are increasingly inclined to interpret everything from religion to philosophy through the lens of their favorite program.” A review and news piece that mentions Taking the Red Pill among several other innovative movie tie-ins. Fodder for someone’s Amazon wish list. (By John-Michael Maas, Publishers Weekly, April 21, 2003)

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Friday, April 18, 2003

The Shining

Another interpretation on the Kubrick suspense classic: “But The Shining is not really about the murders at the Overlook Hotel. It is about the murder of a race—the race of Native Americans—and the consequences of that murder.” Bill Blakemore, “The Family of Man,” San Francisco Chronicle, 1987, now on the web at drummerman.net.

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Friday, April 11, 2003

Philosophers and The Matrix

Perhaps we’re on to something, here. “War, pestilence, bankruptcies—I don’t know about you, but I have had all the reality I can handle. It’s time to reenter . . . ‘The Matrix.’” A columnist discusses the newish Philosophy Section on the official Matrix site, where 14 big names (for philosophy) talk about the meaning behind the movie in preparation for its May sequel. (Alex Beam, “Of a mind over ‘The Matrix’,” The Boston Globe, 10 April 2003.)

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Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Monsters from the Id

Agree with the author’s premises or not, this book’s original interpretations of Alien and Frankenstein, among several others, make it of great interest to Metaphilm types. Beliefnet review. Amazon listing. Publisher’s listing with excerpt on Dracula.

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Friday, April 04, 2003

Welcome to the New Metaphilm

Welcome to the new Metaphilm. There are lots of new features, notably more opportunity for your pheedback, and we’ll be adding new stuff in the next month or two. (Our old site structure is still there in the background for a while, but not forever, so update those links!) Bear with us as we finish tweaking.

Note that you need to join the site to post comments online, but you can add or remove yourself from the mailing list without becoming a member. (We’ve imported our old mailing list too).

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The End (of Movies as We Know Them)?

Ty Burr takes a big swipe at traditional film in the cover feature of the March 23, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine. “Time and again, a certain group of modern films studded the lists, the same disreputable new classics I’d been hearing about.” . . . “The canon has been changing over the last decade, and what makes a classic of cinema is now drastically different to discerning young moviegoers than it has been to their teachers or to the critics or to Leonard Maltin. The implications of the new canon are vast, much bigger than the specific films themselves, and they speak to the ways in which a new generation perceives history, reality, and even perception itself.”

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Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Is this heaven? No, it’s a sports movie

Kevin Shields asks (and answers) the question: “Why, despite knowing how formulaic these films are, am I invariably moved when watching them, often to the point of tears? What story are they telling that appeals—at least to me—on such a primitive level? And how can the same story get told—why does the same story need to be told—over and over and over?” (ESPN.com’s Page 2, August 2002.)

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Halloween

Madeleine Brand talks with Pat Gill, professor of Media Studies at the University of Illinois, about her forthcoming paper on slasher films. Her premise is that slasher movies caught on for a generation growing up with divorce, which gave kids a strong sense of having to save themselves. (“Slasher Movies and the Family,” NPR Morning Edition, Friday, July 26, 2002)

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