The Cold War Origins of Interactive Cinema
The world’s first interactive cinema system, the Kinoautomat was the brainchild of Radúz Činčera, a Czech cinematographer.
The 1925 Dinosaur Movie That Paved the Way for King Kong
During a slow day at work, a young marble cutter named Willis O’Brien began sculpting tiny T-Rex figurines.
How Oscar Micheaux Challenged the Racism of Early Hollywood
The black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux was one of the first to make films for a black audience, a rebuke to racist movies like The Birth of a Nation.
The “Downton Effect” on the English Country House Tour
The show Downton Abbey spurred a renewed interest in English country estates.
Harold Lloyd’s Death-Defying Comedy
“With comedy, trouble is one of the greatest ingredients because there are so many variations to it,” the silent film actor told one scholar.
Jane Fonda Changed Fitness Forever
Jane Fonda's workout videos cracked open the idea of who exercise was for, but only to an extent.
Remaking Betty Boop in the Image of a Housewife
Betty Boop was literally designed to be a bombshell, but around 1935, her creators decided to change her appearance.
How “Carpe Diem” Got Lost in Translation
"Carpe Diem" doesn't actually mean "seize the day." The fact that we understand it that way suggests we are more traditional than we like to admit.
Franz Kafka’s The Trial—It’s Funny Because It’s True
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.
Frank Capra’s Not-So-Sunny Vision of American Life
Capra's films are known for being upbeat and sometimes cheesy, but beneath the surface are rather dark stories of American corruption.