Ultimately, Gravity is made for where the money’s at, and that money is no longer stateside.
The planets have realigned and America is no longer at the center of the Hollywood universe. Imaginative outsiders are heading west to mine California gold, and in true Invasion of the Body Snatchers style, foreigners now pull the artistic strings inside the behemoth studio system. Take for example that feat of spectacular special effects and cinematography prowess known as Gravity, an Avatar-rivaling blockbuster helmed by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, which draws a line in the sand, giving us a glimpse into what the future marriage of art and commerce will look like.
Mastodon’s response to criticism shows a sad attempt to retroactively imbue a racist, sexist image with a hipster know-it-all attitude.
U.S. metal band Mastodon found itself embroiled in controversy late last week after they released a limited edition Thanksgiving-themed shirt for sale on their website. The shirt, emblazoned with the band’s name and the words “Happy Thanksgiving,” depicts a scruffy, grinning pilgrim aiming a musket at a scantily-clad Native women, who kneels before him while offering a fully-cooked turkey. Many of the band’s fans were not impressed, and took to Facebook to voice their concerns about the shirt’s artwork. Some fans, such as Native activist Erica Lee, posted further commentary on the shirt’s many issues on Tumblr. Some Native communities on Facebook were also quick to point out the racist and sexist implications of the shirt’s imagery.
“all important stories are minority stories.”
For co-directors Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, their 13-years-in-the-making “American Promise” may have fulfilled every indie filmmaker’s American Dream. Since winning the Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the doc – which trails this upper-middle-class black couple’s own son Idris and his friend Seun as they learn to navigate the majority white world of NYC’s prestigious Dalton School – has nabbed prize after prize, including the top award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and most recently, at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. It was there in Hot Springs that I finally got to catch the flick – and, as good luck would have it, moderate a Q&A via Skype with the Brooklyn duo. And since there’s rarely enough time post-screening to adequately address questions in depth, I asked the filmmaking couple for a repeat performance here at Global Comment. (“American Promise” will premiere on PBS in February – but if you simply can’t wait, go to www.americanpromise.org to request a screening near you.)
I never thought I’d actually say this, but: well done, Mr. Moffat.
For the first time in Steven Moffat’s run on Doctor Who, I found myself actually enjoying one of his episodes, even if it was marked by his usual tendency to radically rewrite history, canon, and everything else. In this case, that rewriting was very deliberately undertaken, and rather brilliantly done: the whole point was the complete restructuring of everything we know about the Doctor.
Needless to say, my dear, spoilers lie ahead.
It is this sort of grassroots organizing that packs a heavyweight punch in the fight for workplace safety.
A year ago, on November 24, 2012, the garment industry’s dirty little safety secret was thrust into the global spotlight: 112 people jumped to their deaths or were burned alive in a fire inside an apparel factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Most were women and girls who worked inside the factory; 1800 more were injured. A follow-up report in the Wall Street Journal in December showed that clothing bearing the Wal-Mart brand Faded Glory was found in the factory after the fire. This suggests the factory had been making clothes destined for the retail giant even after a 2011 safety inspection carried out for a Wal-Mart supplier showed that “exits and stairwells at the factory were blocked, workers were unaware of evacuation routes and the factory lacked some firefighting equipment.” Though it has tried to distance itself from the facility, a WalMart spokesperson had to admit that controlling safety conditions for workers throughout the supply chain was “a challenge.” But now, garment workers are speaking out to demand that their workplaces be made safer.
Already, the implementation of Obamacare has been troubled.
The woeful state of health care in the United States has made the country into something that would be a laughingstock, if the stakes weren’t so high. While most other Western nations have managed to create functional (though by no means perfect) systems for ensuring that residents are connected with health services, the United States flails within a system that primarily benefits private insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospital conglomerates. Attempts at reform under the Obama Administration have proved difficult. While residents were never promised single payer healthcare (the most obvious solution to the country’s troubles) to begin with, the actual level of health care reform differs radically from that advertised.
Ahead of the New York revival of The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford to be shown at The Museum of the Moving Image on December 7th, Mark Farnsworth pays tribute to a masterpiece of modern cinema.
The Western is violence. The Western is death. “Death is the predominant element of the westerner’s world view, death of a certain kind, that is, death understood in a certain way,” states Peter A. French. What kind of death does the westerner seek? Which Homeric end could claim his life? The heroic showdown, the bloody last stand, or the ignominy of being gunned down like a dog in the street?
TV comedy has a woman problem.
TV comedy has a woman problem. The representation of women in comedy in general is depressingly low, and it’s especially obvious on television, where most of the faces people see on screen are not only male, but white. In 2010, women’s site Jezebel called out The Daily Show for the lack of women on screen and in the writer’s room, arguing that while the show was progressive, groundbreaking, and hilarious in many ways, ultimately, the lack of women was a noticeable and profound slap in the face. The show’s female staffers responded publicly, but their response didn’t address the larger issue: why were so few of the show’s correspondents women?
New songs by Say Lou Lou, Sky Ferreira, Tennis, VV Brown and Trouble Maker
Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself”
American electropop singer Sky Ferreira has had quite a journey getting to her debut album. Still, Night Time, My Time has finally arrived after teaser singles for an interminable three years. It is, sorry to say, a bit of a mixed bag, but “I Blame Myself” is pure pop perfection, featuring a crisp breakbeat and lyrics critiquing the audience for equating art with the person itself. A bold move for a debut album, but perhaps unsurprising given its long gestation. “I blame myself for my reputation” finds Ferreira hoisted by her own petard, and beautifully so.
Why hasn’t food security become a major rallying point for feminism and social justice movements in the United States?
Could you eat on a budget of just $1.40 per meal?
On 1 November, one in seven people living in the US woke up to a dramatically changed food budget, courtesy of the expiration of an aid extension in the Relief Act of 2009. People relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) found that they would be receiving much less per month, with the possibility of even deeper cuts in the future depending on Congressional wrangling. Cuts ranged from $11 USD to $36 USD, depending on family size, which may not sound significant to those with stable incomes living in a state of food security, but could mean the world to low-income people.
Global Comment © 2012 | Design & Developed by : Slate