The entirety of the Fleischer/Famous Studios Superman Film Series. In the early 1940s, this series raised the bar for theatrical shorts with its fluid animation and action-packed storylines. It remains a classic series thanks to its high production values and historical significance not only as the first comic-to-film adaptation, but also as an occasional vehicle for American propaganda during the war. posted by cthuljew at 10:59 PM PST - 21 comments
"The plays can reassure a soldier, she says, 'that I am not alone, that I am not going crazy, that I am joined by the ages of warriors and their loved ones who've gone before me, and who have done what most in society have no idea our warriors do.' "
The Philoctetes Project. (video available) posted by wittgenstein at 2:54 PM PST - 6 comments
When I heard NPR's remembrance of Tom Gish yesterday, I figured someone would beat me to posting about him here on the Blue for sure, but apparently not. Gish, who died last week at 82, was the editor and publisher of The Mountain Eagle, a rural Kentucky newspaper. While still covering typical small-town happenings over the last 50+ years, he and his wife Pat (and eventually their kids) brought to light myriad injustices, from political corruption to poverty, safety violations in local mines to illiteracy. I found this appreciation, with bottom line proof of the Gish's popularity and influence, despite the death threats, firebombing, boycotts, and other hardships they endured:
"The population of Letcher is less than half what it was when they moved up here," said Ben Gish, editor of The Mountain Eagle and the couple's son. "But circulation has more than tripled." posted by yiftach at 2:45 PM PST - 6 comments
The Auteurs is a new web site (in beta) for film lovers--and, for those film lovers, Criterion has relaunched their site. Now with the ability to watch (some of) their films online for $5 (good for a week's worth of watching one title). The viewing cost is also applicable to the cost of buying the same title on DVD. posted by Manhasset at 8:58 AM PST - 22 comments
Alone Together. In American lore, the small town is the archetypal community, a state of grace from which city dwellers have fallen.
Yet the picture of cities—and New York in particular—that has been emerging from the work of social scientists is that the people living in them are actually less lonely. Rather than driving people apart, large population centers pull them together, and as a rule tend to possess greater community virtues than smaller ones. posted by plexi at 7:19 AM PST - 92 comments
"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside] posted by eccnineten at 6:59 AM PST - 11 comments
we've covered corporate villains, scoundrels, criminals and miscreants. We've reported on some really bad stuff - from Exxon's Valdez spill to Union Carbide and Dow's effort to avoid responsibility for the Bhopal disaster; from oil companies coddling dictators (including Chevron and CNPC, both profiled this year) to a bank (Riggs) providing financial services for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet; from oil and auto companies threatening the future of the planet by blocking efforts to address climate change to duplicitous tobacco companies marketing cigarettes around the world by associating their product with images of freedom, sports, youthful energy and good health.
But we've never had a year like 2008.