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 Chris Martin
Jan. 30, 2018

In 2013, Roger Dean filed a lawsuit against James Cameron to the tune of 50 million dollars in damages against him after, allegedly, Mr. Cameron stole visual concepts wholesale from Dean’s classic work for use in his 2009 film Avatar. Comparisons have been put online comparing some of Dean’s work from the last 40 years next to stills from the five year old film and the similarities are extremely clear. The archways of stones that form the centerpiece altar of life (or something) as well as the tree-topped floating islands of Unobtanium (ugh) are pretty much cribbed directly from Dean.

It is no wonder that Cameron had his eyes set on this particular illustrator/designer, despite the fact that he isn’t particularly well known. Although his name may not be common knowledge, his work has been floating around record shops, music venues, and the sides of smoke-filled vans since the late 60s. Roger Dean is a rather prolific album art illustrator, creating the spacious, fantastic imagery found on every cover of the seminal progressive rock band Yes’s album covers since their essential Fragile in 1971. He has also done reoccurring collaborations with other classic rock bands such as Asia, Budgie, Greenslade, and Osibisa. Even if you weren’t interested in design and illustration as its own art form, if you listened to progressive rock in the last thirty years, you have encountered Dean’s work...

Christopher Martin recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English and a specialization in Film Studies. Shockingly, he is currently underemployed. In his free time Chris likes to read old science fiction novels, enjoy what little nightlife Western Massachusetts has to offer, and watch as many films as possible. He also spends too much time on Tumblr.

by Casey Dewey
Jan. 25, 2018
Everybody’s familiar with Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, also known as The Man With No Name trilogy. Once Upon a Time in the West is another fan favorite, and besides film fanatics, even Once Upon a Time in America receives accolades. However, there’s one Leone film that seems hidden in the dust. Known as Duck, You Sucker! in the states, A Fistful of Dynamite in England and Giù la Testa in Italy, it’s Leone’s forgotten masterpiece. The film stars James Coburn as an ex-Irish Republican Army soldier on the lam in Mexico and Rod Steiger as a cunning Mexican bandit who becomes a reluctant war hero.
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 Thomas Michalski
Jan. 23, 2018
Ex Fabula is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which organizes live storytelling events across the broad metropolitan area, encouraging regular people of diverse backgrounds to step onstage and tell a true, personal tale. The results are predictably unpredictable: sometimes hilarious, sometimes profound and at others utterly heartbreaking. It’s a simple premise, but a powerful way to share ideas and experiences across the cultural, economic and racial lines that conspire to divide us. We caught up with co-founder Megan McGee, who was busy preparing for their fifth season, to find out more about Ex Fabula’s inspirations, their plans for the future and the fundamental appeal of true stories told well...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by A Wolfe
Jan. 19, 2018

On the outset of the second episode in the Ways of Seeing series, “The Female Nude,” John Berger’s face is there, front and center, in a medium-to-close shot, looking directly into the camera as he speaks. Images of European nude portraits flash on the screen as Berger talks of the male gaze. He is gazing not at you, but through you. He barely exists, though he is right there. He says of these nude women, “Their nudity is another form of dress. They are condemned to never being naked.”

The barrage of images, accompanied by Berger’s French-tinged English voice over, continue. He explains the process the Renaissance painters had of capturing single portions of a model’s body—the torso, the right leg, or perhaps a shoulder—and collaging it with that of several other models, thereby creating their perfect woman. At one point, he even compares the faces of models from Renaissance nudes and then-contemporary nude magazines to find that while the context is different, each model’s face displays the same coy pose, an exhibition of what a man wants to see and what a woman wants the man to see, but because they are nude, because there’s nothing left to take off, they are now costumed in their own skin...

A Wolfe is a writer and director in Los Angeles. awolfeswolfworld.wordpress.com

by Susan Cohen
Jan. 17, 2018

Though it’s set in the 1960s, The Young One has a major Huck Finn vibe. It’s easy to forget the era while sitting in Miller and Evvie’s shabby cabins, until Traver starts dropping some hipster lingo. And aside from a couple of shots — a raccoon eating a chicken while the other fowl cower in a corner of the coop, a shiny new pair of high heels — you almost couldn’t guess this was a Bunuel film...

Susan Cohen decided to leave her career in journalism to go back to school — for journalism. She's still not sure if she made a mistake. Visit susanjcohen.com to learn more about her.