The Dissenter’s Top Films of 2013

By: Sunday December 29, 2013 8:58 am

The ten films I selected for 2013 are not ranked in any order, however, I will single out two films made by first-time filmmakers as being the films that had the greatest effect on me this year: Wadjda and Fruitvale Station.


President Obama Says Kindness Covers All His Political Beliefs

By: Friday November 29, 2013 10:10 am

At a speech before some of his richest donors at DreamWorks, President Barack Obama quoted late film critic Roger Ebert to say “kindness covers all of my political beliefs.”

The Humanity of Roger Ebert: Teaching Us How to Love (and Hate) the Movies

By: Friday April 5, 2013 10:59 am

Film critic Roger Ebert taught us to love the movies. He taught us to love movies for over forty years, as a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Off-Screen Violence of an NYPD Shooting in Times Square

By: Sunday August 12, 2012 1:00 pm

The introduction for the New York Timescoverage of a police shooting in the commercially decadent hub of New York known as Times Square is the following, “When the tourists and shoppers thronging Times Square on Saturday afternoon first saw the police officers, guns drawn, confronting a knife-wielding man, many thought they had stumbled onto a movie set.” The scene, however, ended with shots being fired that killed a man who had been chased for around seven blocks. So, Times writers add, “It was quickly apparent this was no celluloid fantasy.”

Recognition Through Violence

By: Sunday July 22, 2012 9:30 am

I don’t want to dismiss the extreme nature of shooter James Holmes’ obvious mental illness. Like psychiatrists say about Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle, Holmes might suffer from schizotypal personality disorder. Certainly he suffers from serious disturbances.

I do, though, want to make two additional points: 1) Recognition through violence is a common theme in American culture; 2) In the age of Facebook, Twitter and reality television, everyone seems to have access to a significant audience, but the recognition it brings is, usually, an illusion. When everyone’s a star, no on is a star.

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