In a scene near the beginning of Barry Levinson's Paterno, which debuted on HBO this past Saturday, reporters from Harrisburg Pennsylvania's Patriot-News huddle around a computer monitor to read the criminal charges filed against retired football coach Jerry Sandusky. As the camera shows the team glued to the screen, the back of the computer display … Continue reading Will E Corp Become the KLondike-5 of Corporate Branding?
The Writing on the Wall: New York and Philly in the Early 1970s Before the politically adroit stencils of Banksy, the beautiful calligraphic designs of Retna, and the clever humanoid figures of stikman, most graffiti consisted of simple tagging. Writing your name -- or, more commonly, your nickname -- on as many locations as possible … Continue reading Wall Writers: Graffiti in its Innocence
Several compelling horror films -- from Robert Wise's classic The Haunting to Jennifer Kent's terrifying The Babadook -- skate along an ambiguous boundary between psychological disintegration and truly supernatural horror. Apparition also explores this territory, with mixed success. Directed by Quinn Saunders from a script by Pete Cafaro and Andrew Kayros, Apparition is a portrayal … Continue reading ‘Apparition’: Haunted Guilt
The Maltese Falcon begins with the murder of Sam Spade's partner Miles Archer, a crime that takes place in a fog-shrouded San Francisco alley. As portrayed in John Houston's 1941 film, however, the location of the murder seems rather puzzling. After an establishing shot of a street sign -- the intersection of Bush St. and Stockton … Continue reading The Maltese Falcon: The Scene of the Crime
This article contains major spoilers for the movies Gravity and Cast Away. If you haven't seen both films, you may not want to read it. Based on the trailer and preview clips I had seen, the title of the Alfonso Cuarón movie Gravity perplexed me. Doesn't the entire film take place in outer space, where … Continue reading Movie Title Misdirection and Meaning: ‘Gravity’ and ‘Cast Away’
Second-Story Man, Neal Dhand's feature film debut, is a moody drama that, despite pacing problems and a somewhat meandering narrative, unfolds as a thoughtful meditation on morality. In cold, snowy upstate New York, Arthur Black (Christopher J. Domig) and his girlfriend Valerie Evering (Monique Low) commit petty robberies of small shops and liquor stores with … Continue reading Neal Dhand’s ‘Second-Story Man’
This commentary on the film Margin Call contains significant details about its plot. You may want to see the film before reading it. Economic thriller Margin Call is, in many ways, a difficult film to like -- and that's what makes it worth seeing. The movie's uncompromising look at desperate men (and one woman) in … Continue reading ‘Margin Call’: Quiet Desperation