Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia (2011)
“The Latitudes of Home” Southern Illinois is abuzz with anticipation of two total solar eclipses, the first to take place on August 21, 2017. Indeed, the greatest duration of this eclipse will pass almost directly above my house in Makanda. I am just as excited as anyone else, but perhaps for very different reasons. Southern ...

The Martian (2015)

The Martian (2015)
“An imitation of an action that is (not) serious?” In a petulant snit in accordance with the boy-men in his movies, director Judd Apatow recently whined about The Martian winning a Golden Globe award for best comedy. The strange categorization of science-fiction was a clever marketing maneuver by 20th Century Fox to allow Ridley Scott’s ...

Zootopia (2016)

Zootopia (2016)
“Gulls Gone Wild” At the heart of my study of the films made at Pixar Animation Studios is the figure of the trickster, a mythological figure who fights corrupt power with thievery and cunning. I derive this tradition in American animation from the works of Dr. Seuss, who used an autobiographical lad to express his ...

Suffragette (2015)

Suffragette (2015)
“Because They Are Right and We Are Wrong” A surprising twist in “The Abominable Bride,” the most recent episode of Sherlock (BBC), Steven Moffat’s contemporary re-working of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, is that the conspiracy uncovered by the work of Sherlock Holmes is the work of suffragettes. I found this curious given the fall ...