My June and July Publications

Toward the end of June, I got hired as a writer at two online outlets. The first position is writing feature articles at MovieWeb, an entertainment news and opinion website that has been around for almost 30 years. The second is writing movie and TV news articles at GameRant, a prominent video game news andContinue reading “My June and July Publications”

The Olympics, Unfortunately, Have Many Flaws

I love the Olympics. I love the cornucopia of sports. I love the way it brings the world together, in a rare opportunity to see other countries presented in a positive light on TV. I recall, for example, Pyeongchang 2018, where the North Korean figure skating pair received a standing ovation for their beautiful performance.Continue reading “The Olympics, Unfortunately, Have Many Flaws”

The Early Sound Film in Japan

The first film to include both image and sound (before which was only the silent film) is considered by historians to be The Jazz Singer (directed by Alan Crosland, 1927). This remarkable achievement, the result of years of technological research and experimentation by Warner Bros, quickly inspired others to replicate it and ushered in theContinue reading “The Early Sound Film in Japan”

“Bone Tomahawk” and Political Extremism

A few white ne’er-do-wells out in the desert of the American southwest stumble upon, and then desecrate, a small burial site. In retaliation, the nearby Native American tribe kills two of the drifters and tracks the last to a small settler’s town, where they abduct him as well as a sheriff’s deputy and a localContinue reading ““Bone Tomahawk” and Political Extremism”

John Cage’s Experimental Painting about Chess

In 1944, experimental musician John Cage produced an artwork for the “Imagery of Chess” exhibition exploring influential artist Marcel Duchamp’s interest in the game. Cage’s artwork, entitled Chess Pieces, is a painting depicting 64 light and dark squares (in the pattern of a chessboard), with a series of light and dark lines superimposed on top.Continue reading “John Cage’s Experimental Painting about Chess”

Book Review: “Horror Film Aesthetics” (2010)

Despite its name, Thomas M. Sipos’ Horror Film Aesthetics (2010) is essentially a general film style textbook that just happens to give examples from horror movies. It spends way too much time defining basic terms that any 2nd year film student will already be familiar with (that said, if you’ve never read any other bookContinue reading “Book Review: “Horror Film Aesthetics” (2010)”

The Responsibility of Teachers and Intellectuals

What responsibility do intellectuals and teachers have to their community? As I finish up my Master’s degree and search for teachings jobs at community colleges across the country, this is something that’s been on my mind. To what activities should I devote my attention as an aspiring teacher/intellectual myself in the coming decades? In theContinue reading “The Responsibility of Teachers and Intellectuals”

Art and Science: Mars Perseverance Rover Photos

In early 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover began transmitting images from Mars. Although these were not the first photos we’ve seen from the planet, they remain tremendously interesting. One of the first things that struck me about the new photos was their similarity to abstract art. Most of them are directly shot from above, either fromContinue reading “Art and Science: Mars Perseverance Rover Photos”

Early Fiction Films: “A Trip to the Moon”

Whereas the work of the Lumiere Brothers was a progenitor of documentary film, another French pioneer, George Méliès, created the first fiction films. His pictures were full of fantasy and wonder; a stage magician in his day job, Méliès seems to have been the first director to cut multiple shots together and to use specialContinue reading “Early Fiction Films: “A Trip to the Moon””