“Game of Thrones” and the Essos Problem

Let me begin by saying that I'm a huge fan of HBO's Game of Thrones.  I've been a devoted viewer of the show, and I've read all of the books in George R.R. Martin's series several times.  Indeed, it is precisely because I have read the books and loved them so much that I find Game of … Continue reading “Game of Thrones” and the Essos Problem

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Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part Three (1961-1966)

Welcome to the third and final part of my series for the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon, in which I explore the declining period of the biblical epic, which saw the death of the genre on the big screen until its resurgence on film (and on television) post-2000. As the '60s began, it must have … Continue reading Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part Three (1961-1966)

Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part Two (1956-1960)

Welcome to the second part of my entry in this year's Classic Movie History Project Blogathaon.  Today, I'll be writing about what can be thought of as the apogee of the 1950s biblical epic, when the genre reached the height of its maturity with the release of such monumental films as The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), and Spartacus … Continue reading Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part Two (1956-1960)

Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part One (1949-1955)

Welcome to the first of my three entries for the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon, focusing on the rise and fall of the biblical epic.  Today's entry will focus on the rise of the genre's popularity during the 1950s, beginning with Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah and ending with the rather lackluster films that characterized the … Continue reading Screening History: The Rise and Fall of the Biblical Epic Part One (1949-1955)

Weekly Rant: Charleston, SC and the Terror of History

Since news broke on Thursday that a young white man had killed nine black men and women in a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, I have struggled to make sense of this tragedy.  I have pored over articles in my preferred news outlets, including Slate, Salon, and The Atlantic.  While those pieces were helpful in collecting and concretizing … Continue reading Weekly Rant: Charleston, SC and the Terror of History

Reading the Anthropocene:  Margaret Atwood’s “The Year of the Flood”

Continuing on with my "Reading the Anthropocene" series, today I'd like to talk about the second volume in Margaret Atwood's "MaddAdam Trilogy," ominously titled The Year of the Flood.  Unlike the first novel, which was told from the perspectivenovel of the embittered Jimmy, this one is told from the dual perspectives of Toby and Ren, two … Continue reading Reading the Anthropocene:  Margaret Atwood’s “The Year of the Flood”

Screening Classic Hollywood:  “Magnificent Obsession”

Today on "Screening Classic Hollywood," I'm going to talk about Douglas Sirk's 1954 film Magnificent Obsession, starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.  The film tells the story of Bob Merrick (Hudson), a careless playboy whose actions inadvertently cause the blindness of saintly Helen Phillips (Wyman).  Merrick, haunted by both guilt and his growing love for … Continue reading Screening Classic Hollywood:  “Magnificent Obsession”