Monthly Archives: January 2017

Are the Police Acting Like a Distributed Gestapo?

Originally posted on Writers Without Money:
Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddy Grey, and now Sandra Bland, I’ve seen this movie over and over gain. The screenplay rarely changes. A young black man, or woman, gets into a confrontation with the police. He dies under suspicious circumstances. For the first few days,…

Emmanuelle Riva: The Francesca da Rimini of French Cinema

Originally posted on Writers Without Money:
Many American street preachers will tell you that they get most of their converts from hecklers. Unlike people who walk by your fire and brimstone sermon without comment, hecklers are passionate, engaged. Even if they only want to prove you wrong, they’re still interested in what you have to…

A Republic, We Couldn’t Keep it

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, as he was leaving Liberty Hall in Philadelphia, a woman approached the elderly Benjamin Franklin. “Well doctor, what have we got,” she said, “a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin’s answer, which was recorded in the diary of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the […]

A Brief Note on Punching Nazis

Last Friday, shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States, a thirty-eight-year-old white supremacist, and Trump supporter, named Richard Spencer was giving an interview in downtown Washington. As Spencer, who has recently come to prominence for coining the term “alt-right,” tried to speak above an audience that seemed largely composed […]

Terror Management Theory and US Fascism

Per Baudrillard etc: The items/clothing/appliances we acquire/use are signifiers constructing our internal and external personas, through public display and the construction of our personal environment (the space in which we internally perform our “private” self.) The purchase of or refusal to purchase commodities is the primary means by which human identity is constructed in late […]

Trump is President

A few weeks after Donald Trump was elected President I received a summons informing me that I was obligated “to serve as a petit juror duty for two days or one trial starting January 18.” I was annoyed — I wouldn’t be able to go to DC to protest the inauguration — and even paranoid. […]

America, We Hardly Knew Ye

I’ve had this article in the pipeline for the last couple of weeks now. I’m not sure what it is about it, exactly, that I remain unhappy with; perhaps I’m just unhappy to have been reduced to this sort of tone. At any rate, I have many more thoughts on the election and what’s come […]

Sicario (2015)

If Zero Dark Thirty were a good film, it would look something like Sicario. Unlike Kathryn Bigelow’s bloated CIA propaganda, Sicario not only has intelligent, subversive politics. It has a tightly written script that keeps you guessing until the very end. It won well-deserved Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography (the takes in Sicario are […]

From Renee Smith to Sita Devi: Retrieving the Forgotten Enchantress of Silent Era

Indian cinema had birthed a fair share of visionaries even before the beginning of what later came to be termed as the Golden era. Under the reigns of the British Raj, certain Indian artists thrived upon the offerings that colonial engagements with art had to offer and used the political situation of the period to […]

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

In 1969, a thirty-three-year-old English director named Ken Loach released Kes, a fiery protest against the British class system, and the film that would define his career. Set in the northern mining town of Newcastle, Kes dramatized the life of a teenage misfit named Billy Casper, a young man from the lower working class who […]