ESSAYS ON STAR WARS: On ‘Revenge of the…

Your overconfidence is your weakness.” — Luke Skywalker I. The Phantom Sensibility As the camera pans down, a gargantuan starship enters the frame. Drums echo on the soundtrack, a surefire antecedent to war. Engine screams…

ESSAYS ON STAR WARS: It’s the Sound That…

"Aaaaauuuuugh!” — Wilhelm In November 2014, when the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens posted online, much hay was made about its focus on the new. Some writers marveled how the first Star…

Film Misery Movie Marathon – Essays on Star…

In the still-young history of movies, in the last half-century of popular culture, perhaps no work has triggered as much admiration and disdain, as much conversation and consternation, as Star Wars. Ordinarily, that sentence would…

North Korea

MINI MUBI MARATHON: Three Views on North Korea

I’m endlessly interested in North Korea.  The world’s sole remaining Stalinist state (I don’t think Turkmenistan counts anymore, though anyone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), it’s honestly like Nineteen Eighty-four breathed into…

The Red Chapel

MUBI REVIEW: ‘The Red Chapel’ (2009)

I’m a big North Korea fan.  Oh, wait—that sounds very bad!  I’m obviously not a *fan* of a repressive and dictatorial country, but I do find the fact that a Stalinist country survives in this…

Lone Wolf and Cub

Lone Wolf and Cub: Parting Thoughts

Well, poop.  I feel a little sad now.  It’s like that slightly empty feeling you get when you finish binge-watching an epic TV show.  Well, it’s actually that feeling, I guess, since I did binge-watch…

Baby Cart in Peril

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril

This is the fourth in a series of BLIND SPOT essays on the Lone Wolf and Cub series.  The master list, with links to the other films, is here. Well, I jinxed it.  Lone Wolf and Cub:…

Baby Cart to Hades

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades

This is the third in a series of BLIND SPOT essays on the Lone Wolf and Cub series.  The master list, with links to the other films, is here. Did you know that the literal Japanese translation…