Black Panther and Double-Consciousness
Double identity, present in both Marvel's Black Panther and in the critical race theory of double-consciousness, enables black American viewers to see their two identities played out on screen.
Why Queer Eye Still Matters
Underneath the home and personal makeovers, is "Queer Eye" political?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 at 75
On the 75th anniversary of the premier of Casablanca, let's revisit the art and politics of this venerable American classic.
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.