Notes on: The Hate U Give (2018)

It is impossible to be unarmed when our Blackness is the weapon that they fear. The Hate U Give (2018) is a powerful movie. Its ultimate power stems not so much from its indictment of institutional and systemic racism but from its positive portrayal of Blackness. The film, and the outstanding book from which it grew, focusContinue reading “Notes on: The Hate U Give (2018)”

Representations, Identities and Experiences, and Acting

Frequent and important discussions occur on the topic of privileged performers playing non-privileged people. For example, all too often a cis-gender person plays a trans person, a heterosexual person plays a non-heterosexual person, an able-bodied person plays a disabled person, and a person racialized as White plays a non-White person. These conversations are certainly necessaryContinue reading “Representations, Identities and Experiences, and Acting”

On the Limits of Poststructuralism

Of course, representations always matter. Both choices and implications. Disregarding the author and his/her/their background and intent (see, for example, “The Death of the Author”) is typically important when analyzing culture. Humans are generally blind to their own circumstances and why–truly why–they make the choices they make. Only with time can we begin to seeContinue reading “On the Limits of Poststructuralism”

Review of Aaron Alon’s BULLY (2017)

From its directorship by Dr. Aaron Alon, its powerful story line and unforgettable thirteen original numbers written and composed by Alon, its cinematography, its sound, and its talented cast of performers and singers, Thunderclap Production’s latest release, Bully (2017), is a highly-original masterpiece about bullying, depression, gender, queerness, and suicide. In the space of 58 minutes, this musical pushes viewersContinue reading “Review of Aaron Alon’s BULLY (2017)”

Walt Disney and the Acceptance of Authoritarianism

While eating my supper of crackers, deli turkey, and strawberries, I had a question: What is the relationship between Disney’s children’s movies (and alphabetic fairy tales) and the current–baffling–acceptance of authoritarianism in the United States? Why are people–who proclaim to love the United States, their country, and their freedom–still supporting the Republican party at all?! ThinkContinue reading “Walt Disney and the Acceptance of Authoritarianism”

Polyamory, Constructionism, and the Queerness of Hollywood

Two thoughts have been stirring around my brain lately, and they require a bit of creative thinking, potentially: 1) Actors and actresses are, effectively, in on-going polyamorous relationships, 2) performers embody the rejection of (dangerous) ideologies of essentialism.  Polyamory and Queer Hollywood  The philosophy of polyamory says that it’s possible, even natural, for a person toContinue reading “Polyamory, Constructionism, and the Queerness of Hollywood”

Exploiting Kids On and Off Stage: Labor and Fiction

I often think about important ways in which the children who become star singers or become star actors or actresses in various television or film productions are exploited–exploited by their families, agents, colleagues, and audiences. Kids in such positions receive far too little critical academic attention.  The Kids Who Work Historically, child labor has notContinue reading “Exploiting Kids On and Off Stage: Labor and Fiction”

“Samsara” (2011) and the Choreography of Life

Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson’s Samsara (2011) is a documentary that chronicles what I would like to term the “choreography of life.” Unlike virtually all other documentaries, there are no spoken words, no traditional narration. But, the “music” track is beautiful. (Some of the track, such as the Islamic Prayers “sounds” like music but isn’t, technically orContinue reading ““Samsara” (2011) and the Choreography of Life”