Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
posted by Artw
on Mar 16, 2013 -
The Turn Against Nabokov [newyorker.com]
"The author, whose novels thrum with ironic recurrences, might have been perversely pleased with this: thirty-six years after his death and twenty-two years after the fall of the Soviet Union with all its khudsovets, Vladimir Nabokov is, once again, controversial."
posted by Fizz
on Feb 28, 2013 -
In June 2010 a news story
briefly appeared on the Yediot website about Prisoner X in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail. His jailers did not know who he was, did not share a word with him, no one came to visit him. No one seemed to know he was there. They didn’t even know what crime he had committed or how he came to be in the prison. His prison cell was completely isolated from other prisoners and he couldn’t communicate in any way with them
. ABC News Australia has broken the News that Prisoner X
was an Australian citizen suspected of Mossad links and who commited suicide two years ago in an Israeli jail. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco
on Feb 13, 2013 -
Europe has a long-standing comic tradition, at least equal to that of America. Beyond Tintin and Asterix, there are hundreds of fantastic titles
with astonishing art, most of which never see the shores of the USA. However, when a lucky title does get the nod, something bizarre happens when European sensibilities face American censors. [more inside]
posted by themadthinker
on Jan 4, 2013 -
As this research report will show, North Koreans today are learning more about the outside world than at any time since the founding of the country. North Korea is consistently ranked by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders as the country with the least free media in the world. This ranking reflects the country's complete lack of an independent domestic media, its legal restrictions against accessing foreign media and the harsh punishments it metes out against citizens who violate those restrictions. Yet, since the late 1990s the information environment in North Korea has undergone significant changes. Although the media environment remains extremely restricted by international standards, North Koreans' access to outside media has grown considerably over the past two decades. Many inside the country continue to develop new ways to access information while avoiding the ever-present risk of detection and punishment.
posted by DiesIrae
on Dec 11, 2012 -
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 15, 2012 -
US calls Assange 'enemy of state'.
The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
posted by jaduncan
on Sep 26, 2012 -
is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster
features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster
was prepared, one which removes all trace of...
You guessed it: Women.
The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim
on Jul 22, 2012 -
"In October of 1973, Bruce Severy — a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School, North Dakota — decided to use Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, as a teaching aid in his classroom. The next month, on November 7th, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school's furnace as a result of its "obscene language." Other books soon met with the same fate.
On the 16th of November, Kurt Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter
. He didn't receive a reply."
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 5, 2012 -
"Speech on the Internet requires a series of intermediaries to reach its audience. Each intermediary is vulnerable to some degree to pressure from those who want to silence the speaker. Even though the Internet is decentralized and distributed, "weak links" in this chain can operate as choke points to accomplish widespread censorship." Free speech is only as strong as the weakest link
posted by rjs
on Nov 27, 2011 -
"Things didn’t happen as I imagined.
On the one hand, with the situation in Tehran, I expected the police to arrest me. I also thought that the resulting dress wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But it turned out to be more homogenous than I envisaged. Most of the passengers wanted to communicate with me and participate in the project. And I enjoyed this attention and collaboration. The point wasn’t their understanding of the project. I didn’t want anything to be imposed on the audience or participants. I wanted ordinary people to encounter their own personalities without any preconceptions about contemporary art. More than anything, I wanted something to emerge that is shared — between me and everyday metro passengers." The story of fashion student Shirin Abedinirad
who conceived and carried out an unusual (and unusually bold) performance art experiment by asking Tehran metro passengers to donate their rubbish to pin on her dress. [more inside]
posted by taz
on Nov 16, 2011 -
In October 1963, the Brazilian movie writer, director, and actor José Mojica Marins was having trouble with a movie he was working on, and fell asleep at the dinner table. He dreamed of being dragged to a cemetery by a creature in black, who showed Marins his own tomb stone, with the dates of his birth and death (YT: 9 min)
. That dream lead to the creation of Zé do Caixão
(anglicized as Coffin Joe
), the main character in Brazil's first horror movie, and Marins' first big movie success: À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma (YT: 1hr 22min w/English subs)
(At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul
). This was one of the up-ticks in a life of some ups and lots of downs for the South American Roger Corman or Ed Wood
(NYT), and the birth of a character who would become Marins public persona. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 28, 2011 -
The U.S. House of Representatives has drafted
their version of Senator Leahy's
Protect IP Act, renaming
the bill the E-Parasites Act
. Among other changes discussed prev
, the bill now makes
internet service providers and websites liable for activities of their users that infringe upon copyrights, effectively overturning parts of the 13-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
posted by jeffburdges
on Oct 27, 2011 -