Okay, bear with me here. Genshiken is an anime based on a manga about people who are obsessed with anime and manga, not to mention doujinshi, eroge, cosplay, and Guilty Gear. If you don’t understand what these words mean, you will find Genshiken alienating and boring, and you should avoid it completely. If you do understand all the nerd jargon I just laid on you, you’re going to think Genshiken is ... Continue Reading
Michael Moore is undoubtedly the most recognizable and controversial figure in American documentary filmmaking. The far right hates him, but so does the far left, and everyone has her or his own opinion about who Moore is as a person and as a filmmaker. In the past he has been called inflammatory, obnoxious, and just plain stupid. Critics cite his inability to make solid, well-grounded points, and ... Continue Reading
From the beginning, Britpop survivor Damon Albarn and Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlett’s “virtual band,” Gorillaz, has had one fatal flaw—a cartoon band made up of fictional rock stars, by definition, cannot perform live. Since their self-titled 1999 debut, the “band” has made several attempts at translating the madcap fun of their music videos to the concert stage. Early tours variously involved m ... Continue Reading
Though it draws from a wide range of influences--including the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, 1980s American sitcom Small Wonder, the Japanese sex trade, and the pervasive influence of the Internet--I can honestly say that I've never seen anything quite like Chobits.
Based faithfully on the bestselling manga by the all-star, all-female artists' cell CLAMP, Chobits ... Continue Reading
Fifteen years after the inception of Riot Grrrl, the history of the movement has been giving scant attention despite its powerful cultural impact. Riot Grrrl catalyzed a generation of young feminists, brought women and their issues to the forefront of the punk and indie underground, and unwillingly caught the attention of the national media, resulting in a frenzy of coverage that would ultimately ... Continue Reading
That’s the best way to describe Takashi Miike’s Happiness of the Katakuris.
On paper, the whole thing is normal enough. It’s a story of a family who picks up everything and starts an inn on a mountainside. The family members aren’t exactly a cast of colorful characters; they’re what one would expect in a family: somewhat offbeat, but loveable – or at least worthy of care. Mi ... Continue Reading
The annals of hardcore are document-heavy. Witness the popularity of Discography CDs (Minor Threat, Negative Approach, and Judge, to name a few). Books dealing with the subject are likely tempted to mention every important and influential band. But a storyteller must exercise compression and exclusion to create a compelling narrative. In American Hardcore, the energy of the 80s underground is ... Continue Reading
Hey-hey, it’s Valentine’s Day. For as much as I am a sucker for off-beat romantic comedies, I’m an even bigger fan of the tried-and-true “coming of age” tale. To that effect, I cannot think of any medium more suitable to chronicling the transition from childhood to adolescence (or adolescence to adulthood) than serialized film. Specifically: television series, wherein writers have all the time in ... Continue Reading
I once wrote a fiction piece based on my evangelical childhood and submitted it to a workshop full of polite, well-read progressives. It came back with comments that I didn’t really understand evangelicals, that I relied too heavily on stereotypes and unfair judgments, and that maybe if I spent some time with real evangelicals, I could write with more nuance.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s docu ... Continue Reading
I was inspired to check out Valerie and Her Week of Wonders after hearing of the recent release of the film's soundtrack by the label Finders Keepers, who put out last year's Selda reissue, an obscure Turkish psych protest album that I love rather obsessively. Valerie, on the surface, is a strangely unfrightening horror film, with elements of Euro soft core porn, portraying a beautiful young wom ... Continue Reading