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2013: The 5 Most Progressive Movies of the Year

Parsing out the politics of a Hollywood film can be tricky. What makes for a conservative film? Or a progressive one? Unless the film is about a politician or political issue, you have to analyze the values embedded in its themes, plot, and characters, and the conclusions are always debatable. It has gotten easier, however,…

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Movies That Matter: “Anatomy of a Murder”

In this series, Movies That Matter, we examine films that have pushed boundaries and impacted public policy or society. See the recent entries in the MTM series here and here. *               *               * If you’re watching it for the first time, you’ll only get a few minutes into Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959)…

Former Senator Chris Dodd, President of the MPAA

Hollywood Robbery

When considering the lobbying power of the MPAA, the trade group that represents six major Hollywood movie studios, I have often wondered what it is exactly they lobby for, besides the status quo of deregulation and the occasional copyright law. The fiscal cliff deal, passed two days ago, gave us an answer. A careful reading…

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Newtown, Django Unchained, and Jack Reacher

Yesterday in The Independent, Robert Zak wrote about the movie studios’ decision to cancel red-carpet premieres of two upcoming violent movies – Django Unchained and Jack Reacher – in the wake of the shooting in Newtown. Here are his words: [S]uch actions are more than just harmless or pointless gestures that answer to prim ideas…