Mae West Belle of the Nineties

The End of American Film Censorship

The Hays Code, a censorship system that saw movies as "business, pure and simple," kept Hollywood on a short leash... until a 1952 Supreme Court decision declared it unconstitutional.
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown

Murphy Brown, Motherhood, and “Family Values”

Murphy Brown represented a threat to “family values”—a position that inherently placed her on the side of the families of color whose single family structures supposedly threatened the white, middle-class status quo of the 1990s.
rainer werner fassbinder

Why Do Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Films Still Resonate?

A miniseries directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder finally has its U.S. premier 45 years later and reminds us of the phenomenon of this great German director.
Fifty Shades affective labor

Fifty Shades of Affective Labor for Capital

Fifty Shades of Grey sells an absurd fantasy version of a romantic relationship—as between man and woman, so between capitalism and female workers.
America Under Communism

How Hollywood Thrived Through the Red Scare

A young Richard Nixon started asking studio executives why they didn't produce anti-Communist movies. The studios quickly responded with anti-Red films.
BLADE RUNNER 2049

Do We Have Moral Obligations to Robots?

The recent film Blade Runner 2049 engages with questions raised by Karel Čapek and Isaac Asimov: What do we owe our creations (and what do they owe us)?
Casablanca poster

Casablanca at 75

On the 75th anniversary of the premier of Casablanca, let's revisit the art and politics of this venerable American classic.
Mommie Dearest

Are Mothers Monsters? Revisiting Mommie Dearest

On the surface, "Mommie Dearest" is a portrait of vanity and self-obsession. Dig deeper, and it reflects society’s discomfort with mothers and single women.
Gaga poster art

What Lady Gaga Teaches us about Pain and Gender

What does GAGA: Five Foot Two teach us about pain? The documentary challenges viewers to consider how female pain is often perceived or diminished.
Young Pope

Why The Young Pope Matters

Has anything like the events depicted in The Young Pope ever happened before? The answer, you may be surprised to learn, is yes.