NEWS: Democracy Fails in Hollywood

A fascinating experiment in democracy is going on in Hollywood right now, and it has nothing to do with government. From the Los Angeles Times: The mercurial branch has been trying to refine its voting process for the Academy Awards for years. In its latest iteration, announced in January, the branch instituted two new policies:…

“Butter” is Well Past its Expiration Date

“Butter” was shot several years ago, but the film’s distributors waited until this election season to release it. It was a seemingly shrewd choice – the film, which portrays a fierce competition among candidates for the Iowa state butter-carving championship, functions as a political allegory, complete with sex scandals, race baiting, and dirty tricks. But…

Does “Parks and Recreation” Hate Animals?

I don’t think of network television as a place where we can learn about our political values – but there are exceptions. Because “Parks and Recreation” leans center-left in its politics and consistently works to incorporate topical political subjects into its stories, it can be seen as an excellent barometer of mainstream progressive politics. In…

“Won’t Back Down” Should Raise Discussion

Hollywood has always been known as a bastion of liberalism, but after the relative success of “Obama 2016”, the anti-Obama documentary that made a surprising $32 million at the box office (making it the 4th highest-grossing documentary ever), people have begun to wonder if things will change. Maybe Hollywood will see that there is an…

“Looper” Offers a Ride but Misses the Point

The time-travel movie is a genre unto itself, and in order to satisfy the fan base, each one must address a very specific set of paradoxes. What happens if you meet your future self? When you change the past, how do you experience that in the present? Of course, in the end the biggest question…