Monthly Archives: July 2015

Madame Bovary (2014)

If the new film by French American expatriate Sophie Barthes is a rather dull movie, it is also an effective deconstruction of the middle-brow English costume drama. The Merchant Ivory film, she suggests, is often just another expression of the consumer society. Thinking about luxury goods, and big budget films, financed on credit can even […]

The Reddit Shadow Work Strike Pt. 2: Neoliberism and the Breakdown of Non-Gender Binaries

The Reddit strikers have won. Ellen Pao has resigned as company CEO. And with the exception of my previous essay, nothing I’ve encountered has called it a strike. A NY Times op-ed by two of the /r/AMA moderators came close, at least framing it in terms of unpaid labor and using the word “protest”. Besides […]

Privilege (1967)

That Privilege, a faux documentary about the rise and fall of an English pop star, can be preachy and heavy-handed was probably inevitable. Peter Watkins, who had just watched his second film, The War Game, get banned by the BBC, was a bitter, angry old man at the ripe old age of 31. A black […]

The Reddit Shadow Work Strike

Much of popular internet content aggregator Reddit was blacked out last week by unpaid moderators to protest the firing of Victoria Taylor, best known for coordinating the website’s popular “Ask Me Anything” features. No reliable sources have confirmed why the firing occurred, but the popular theory on the site is that she refused to go […]

Matewan (1987)

Like many good westerns, John Sayles’ semi-fictional account of the Battle of Matewan ends with a gun fight. It’s hard not to cheer when Sid Hatfield, the Wyatt Earp of Mingo County, faces down the Stone Mountain Coal Company’s Baldwin-Felts detectives in the center of the small town of Matewan, West Virginia. It’s two men, […]

Lion of the Desert (1981)

General Rodolfo Graziani, a member of Mussolini’s inner-circle, was one of the 20th century’s worst war criminals, but he paid little price for his crimes. Unlike the Germans and Japanese, the Italians were not subjected to Allied military tribunals, so he wasn’t hanged at Nuremberg. What’s more, even though an Italian military tribunal did find […]