Black History Month and the Oscars

February is Black History Month, and like every other segment of our society, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has a long history of racism that it has only recently attempted to remedy. The recent pressure on the Academy to diversify has resulted in very little improvement; in 2020, the distribution ofContinue reading “Black History Month and the Oscars”

Quick Hits: February 22

The Muppet Show is now on Disney+ and you’d better believe I’m watching it. The first episode’s guest star was the incomparable Rita Moreno. The Go-Go’s have finally – FINALLY – been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, after fifteen years of eligibility. The most successful all-female rock band ever, they stillContinue reading “Quick Hits: February 22”

Titanic steamrolls the box office

On February 20th, 1998, the US box office hit $1 billion for the year, the quickest that’s ever happened. Those are big numbers. Huge. Titanic, you might say. It’s impossible to overstate how much Titanic dominated popular culture in late 1997 and early 1998. The film smashed one box office record after the next –Continue reading “Titanic steamrolls the box office”

Millie Bobby Brown goes to “Eleven”

Today is Millie Bobby Brown’s 17th birthday, which gives me the perfect excuse to talk about one of the most astonishing and authentic performances by a child actor that I’ve ever seen. Brown’s rendering of Eleven on Stranger Things is so mind-bogglingly good, it’s easy to forget that she only utters 246 words in theContinue reading “Millie Bobby Brown goes to “Eleven””

Quick Hits: February 17

On this day in 1967, The Beatles released “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”. Both singles would eventually appear on the soundtrack to Magical Mystery Tour. The album is an embarrassment of riches, including those first two singles, “I Am the Walrus”, “All You Need Is Love” and “Hello, Goodbye”. It was reviewed unfavorably comparedContinue reading “Quick Hits: February 17”

The Beatles and The Maharishi

On this day in 1968, George Harrison and John Lennon, along with their wives, flew to Rishikesh, India, to study transcendental meditation (TM) with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would join them later. The trip would end on a sour note (more on that later), but the group’s time there fueled aContinue reading “The Beatles and The Maharishi”

The Silence of the Lambs at 30

The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme’s gothic masterpiece of horror and suspense, was released thirty years ago today. A Valentine’s Day release seems an odd choice for a horror movie, but it was perfect for me, a chronically single college student, and I went to see the film on opening night with friends. ItContinue reading “The Silence of the Lambs at 30”