I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Chrisaphenia Danai Papagrigoriou
May 27, 2015

The intro guitar riff to New Order’s “Ceremony” is basically the only thing that could describe the peculiarity of the band’s musical escalation.

Tragic as the end of Joy Division was, it represented the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. After the death of Ian Curtis, the remaining members of Joy Division (Bernand Summer, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris) formed New Order adding Gillian Gilbert in the picture. The band’s first release was “Movement” [Factrory, 1981].

“Movement” contains mostly of songs introduced during the last part of Joy Division’s life but developed by the new band with their increasingly distinctive identity. The protraction from the Joy Division foetus happened gradually throughout New Order’s discography where more and more elements were added/removed, moving the band further from the new wave scene to and closer to the dance scene that would contribute to the foundation of electronic music...

Chrisaphenia Danai Papagrigoriou

by Casey Dewey
May 24, 2015
In 1981, when John Carpenter unleashed the post-apocalyptic, science fiction film Escape From New York on American shores, (at the time) it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Critics and crowds alike had mixed feelings, and the box office numbers reflected the sentiment. Apparently, nobody bothered to tell the Italians this. Escape From New York, Carpenter’s nod to Sergio Leone’s Dollar Trilogy, substituting Clint Eastwood’s steely eyed anti-hero “The Man With No Name” with Kurt Russell’s one-badass-motherfucker Snake Plissken, along with a radioactive amount of Mad Max/Road Warrior thrown in for good measure, created a new Italian genre: the Post-Nuke Spaghetti Western...
Casey Dewey resides in Tucson, Arizona. He's a film writer for the Tucson Weekly and host of "Deep Red Radio" , a radio show dedicated to film soundtracks on 91.3 KXCI FM. He enjoys tacos, cervezas and garlic in everything. He wakes up every morning to a fresh pot of black coffee and at least two hours of Dragnet on TV.

by Daniel Creahan
May 23, 2015

Jerzy Kucia’s work occurs in a world held at arm’s length from reality; the familiar forms of humanity -- our bodies, accessories, instruments -- all remain in the foreground, but floating in a vague disconnect from each other, lending each other a weight not always possible in the linear approach of traditional animation approaches.  Even time and movement find themselves removed in a way that’s startlingly refreshing, and, perhaps more notably, remarkably vocal.

With the exception of a few scraps of music, flares of radio static and churning machines, these films operate almost exclusively on their own silent language, a stark economy of symbols and settings woven into dense abstractions of the Polish identity...

Daniel Creahan currently spends his days in Brooklyn, NY, dividing time between music, writing, and questionable photoshop collaging.  He prefers any and all of these while slamming 3-5 cups of coffee and wearing a warm pair of slippers.  You can read him complaining about Rihanna on his Twitter (@SupposedGhosts), or check out some music at his label (prisonartcatalog.com).

by Jake Goldman
May 19, 2015

If you trace the history of comedy across American television, you will find more than a few oversights and blunders in programming. Gigantic television networks are at the mercy of advertisers, and the people doing the advertising care, not about a show's content, but the numbers it produces. Got a impossibly huge audience in the coveted 18-49 demographic? You'll get the shiniest, most precious time-slot available. And, who cares if your show is filled with the same inane, recycled story-lines, with the same, neatly categorized characters you've seen a million times: the chauvinistic husband, the jolly-yet-stupid fat guy, the angry wife in high heels and on and on and painfully on. Who cares? You're pushing Pepsi and Pepto Bismol. You're moving mounds of Mounds and scads of Skittles. You're spoon-feeding America what they want to hear; you're doing the work for them, letting them kick their feet up and sit back, only moving when they laugh, on cue, with the fake audience that's also laughing. What a deep, Pavlovian mindfuck.

I've gone off the rails. What I'm trying to say here is: often times shows that take risks and go against banal convention are not rewarded. And it's a damn shame. There are many egregious examples: Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Frank's Place, The Ben Stiller Show, and, case in point: The Dana Carvey Show.

Jake Goldman is a writer and a teacher. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.  Occasionally he writes songs.  If you are so inclined, check out Internetdogfist.com for words and Otsego.Bandcamp.com for music.

by Pat Kirkham
May 10, 2015

When Saul Bass (1920-1996) died these tributes were among the many sent to his wife Elaine with whom he collaborated from 1960 onward on film titles and on a series of short films. I knew him in the last five years of his life and came to greatly admire both him and Elaine as I wrote articles about the film title sequences they were then creating for Martin Scorsese. Before he died, Saul was working on a book about his work, including that with Elaine, and since 2003 I have been working with their daughter, Jennifer Bass, on a book (to be published this coming October) about all the main areas touched by his enormous talent and creativity.

One of the most famous, influential and versatile visual communicators of the twentieth century, Saul worked as both graphic designer and film-maker. During a sixty years working life he produced a body of work that is as diverse as it is powerful. He set up his own design office in 1952 and one of the joys of my research has been to unearth many of Saul’s advertisements from the 1950s. They show him developing identities for companies and products just as he did from 1954 onwards for film when the flame around a rose was made to move at the opening of Carmen Jones. It was in the mid-to-late 1950s that he expanded the boundaries of graphic design to include film title sequences, a genre that he transformed...


Professor Pat Kirkham teaches at the Bard Graduate Center, New York, and has written widely on design and film, including Charles and Ray Eames, The Gendered Object, You Tarzan: Masculinity Movies and Men and Me Jane: Masculinity Movies and Women. Among other things, she is featured in the short film Saul Bass: Titles Champ and Contemporary Days (about the British designers Robin and Lucienne Day). Her book on Saul Bass (designed by his daughter Jennifer Bass) will be published in October 2011 (Laurence King Publishing), as will “At Home with California Modern design 1945-65” in Living in A Modern Way in California 1930-65 (Los Angeles Museum of Art). She is speaking on the film designer Natacha Rambova (at one stage married to Rudolph Valentino) at the Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY on April 23 as part of a Fashion in Film festival.