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.

By read :::
Thursday, April 17, 2003
XXX - Triple-X


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.

By Triple J :::
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?

By Jeff Resnick :::

Other Recent Long Stuff

A Serious Man
Sympathy for the Devil
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers

Books to Phlog

Book cover of Walker Percy's the Moviegoer at FiftyWalker Percy’s The Moviegoer at Fifty: New Takes on an Iconic American Novel has just been released from LSU Press. This well-received collection of twelve new essays includes a contribution from Jonathan Potter and Read Mercer Schuchardt revisiting “The Moviegoer’s Cinematic References.”

This is the first critical work devoted solely to Percy’s debut novel. Coinciding with the centenary of his birth, this collection offers fresh perspectives that underscore the novel’s ongoing relevance.


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.)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link

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)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
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

philm shorts ::: from editor ::: Link
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.)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
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.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
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).

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link

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.”

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
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?” (’s Page 2, August 2002.)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link


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)

philm shorts ::: from editor ::: Link

Other Recent Phlogs

The Despecialized Star Wars
Summary Bug Creates Unintended Cinematic Beauties
See it live
Sizzling Bacon is HERE at Long Last
24 Things You Might Not Know About Fight Club
Tree of Life and the Lamb of God
Filming In Tongues
Martin Scorsese’s parents were aliterate
This Again—At A Theater Near You
Bollywood Directors and the “Cut To Switzerland”
The Constant Traveler
Save the Movies from Save The Cat!
Propaganda, A Primer
It may actually be long After Midnight
Dirty Wars playing, then disappearing, at a theater near you
Luke’s Change:  An Inside Job
What Does Hollywood Have to Do with Jerusalem?
There are only fourteen books worth reading each year
Why Are Foreign Films So… Foreign?
Tree of Life Shooting Locations in Smithville, Texas