Inside Out: Why Can’t We Be Friends and Why Should We Read Medieval Literature?

Warning: Spoilers!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! Inside Out, a 2015 film that is both allegorical and naturalistic, dives into the consciousness of its main character, in ways both innovative and drawing on a 500 years old dramatic tradition. Let’s start with the film’s Emotion characters, who are embodiments of feelings–in other words, concepts depicted as characters. When I first started watching Inside Out, I was … Continue reading Inside Out: Why Can’t We Be Friends and Why Should We Read Medieval Literature?

Abraham Lincoln, “a natural born piggy-backer”: Why “It Happened One Night” is a classic.

I recently learned that a pun I came up with was already well established in the puniverse. You see, my pun went something like Frank Capricorn; it was going to involve a film director, someone born between December 21st and January 20th, a hot dog, and candy corn. But to my chagrin, the term capricorn has been around quite a while, and it refers to … Continue reading Abraham Lincoln, “a natural born piggy-backer”: Why “It Happened One Night” is a classic.

Election: Ambition, it’s a blessing . . . and a curse

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!! Tracy Flick is one of those characters whose notoriety exceeds the boundaries of the story they are a part of. There are so many characters who fit this description, including The Artful Dodger, Scarlett O’Hara, Big Bird, Archie Bunker, The Fonze, and The Dude. These are figures who seem to break free of their narrative landscapes. We remember them, … Continue reading Election: Ambition, it’s a blessing . . . and a curse

The Brady Bunch Movie: Those Were The Days Then and Now, and Jan Finally Gets Her Due

The television show, The Brady Bunch seems anachronistic even for its time. Even in the late 60s, the type of wholesome American family of shows like Make Room for Daddy or Father Knows Best seemed passé. The Brady Bunch debuted in 1969, and consider some of the other programs that were on that year that were far edgier. The most popular show was Rowan & … Continue reading The Brady Bunch Movie: Those Were The Days Then and Now, and Jan Finally Gets Her Due

YouTube Channels Worth a Gander

At one point, there was NBC and CBS. Then along came ABC. Slowly people started to gain access to cable television, an invention that first developed to help people in the valley get access to stations when geography prevented a broadcasting signal to be picked up. With cable television came dozens, then scores, then hundreds of channels. Now there’s streaming shows on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, … Continue reading YouTube Channels Worth a Gander

Clue, the Mere Exposure Effect, the Costanza Gambit, and the Musical without a Song

Warning Spoilers!!!! Warning Spoilers!!! Warning Spoilers!!! Warning Spoilers!!! The Perils of A Favorite Film In the following post, I’m going to argue something a bit odd about a movie I love. I’m going to argue that Clue (1985) can be thought of–or at least discussed in terms of–a musical, even though none of the characters sing. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “but Clue … Continue reading Clue, the Mere Exposure Effect, the Costanza Gambit, and the Musical without a Song

Family Friendly Films: Deep Loves, Deep Cuts, and Might Be’s

I’ve been asked by my friend and colleague, Alana, create a list of family friendly films. Now, this challenge is both easy and hard. It’s easy because there’s no shortage of family friendly films. But that abundance of options is what makes it hard. How does one pick from such a plentiful list? Another challenges comes the way memory erodes our impressions of these stories. … Continue reading Family Friendly Films: Deep Loves, Deep Cuts, and Might Be’s