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  • Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Zack Snyder's Justice League

    Snyder's DC trilogy marks a clear break with earlier Snyder film's focus on heroes facing down annihilation and instead transfigures those ideas into heroes dealing with powerlessness. Superman becomes a new type of symbol, one of man's powerlessness. The film ends with a cascade of doubles and alternates: Bruce's dream of the alternate future evil Superman, he then awakens to a caped flying image whose silhouette is that of Superman, but it's Martian Manhunter, the shapeshifter, who then flies away in a gorgeous final shot of a double: the flying Martian Manhunter and his reflection in the lake.

    Beautiful stuff.

  • Dawn of the Dead

    Dawn of the Dead

    DAWN OF THE DEAD is unique among the zombie action boom of the early 2000s for being a solid action film while also being unremarkable in comparison to the other films of its cohort. It’s a fun movie that survives on the strength of Romero’s ideas, even when distilled and synthesized by the postmodern pastiche of Snyder—not unlike the pleasures of Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER. But the film is tonally and aesthetically incoherent. It reveals some early talents of…

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  • HyperNormalisation

    HyperNormalisation

    Ultimately, Curtis’ argument is that the oversimplification of complex problems breeds oversimplified solutions, and when these overly simple solutions are implemented—often violently—they produce unintended consequences that further complicate the calculus. I would like to keep this front and center, because while Curtis has many aesthetic and methodological weaknesses, the framing of his thesis remains sound, even if he himself is not fully beholden to it. The case for complexity is a flexible position, one that does not divide political and…

  • Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    'Fake realism is the escapist literature of our time' - Ursula Le Guin

    It is the things that are most despised in the prequel trilogy that are its revelations—deliberate signaling of intent—that mark the prequels as different films and unique works of the American cinema. Among the most essential of the many infamous failures of The Phantom Menace is the “taxation of trade routes”—that single phrase that moves a franchise from the realm of fantasy into a cosmos of political…