A Morning Stroll: Oscar-Nominated Animation Short

A trippy animated short about society’s downward spiral

A Morning Stroll is a clever animated short that tells the story of humanity’s downward spiral through the same morning routine set in 3 different time periods: 1959, 2009 and 2059. These parallel tales are each matched with a different art style that underscores the contrasts between these 3 swatches of day-to-day life.

We begin in 1959, a world drawn in black and white with a minimalistic use of lines and details. It is, in every way, a simpler time. On the other hand, 2009 is portrayed with vivid color giving the freedom, and metaphor, for a time of immense possibility. But, …

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Bronson: The Pure Madness of Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner

Deranged, painful, and bloody brilliant

What is it that we like about Michael Peterson AKA Charles Bronson? He’s violent, nasty, insane and a general asshole. Yet, as a viewer, I found myself rooting for him, and, fond of his unhinged ways.

He’s not the kind of person whose behavior you could ever condone, but, like the study of any bad individual, out of the examination comes a sort of crude understanding. While we may never be able to relate to him, we can feel a connection to him – albeit a superficial one. Because Bronson is not the type of fellow you would ever want to chat with or befriend. …

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Game of Thrones, Season 2, Episode 3: What is Dead May Never Die

The developmentally challenged prevail where heroes fail

Game of Thrones is a setting in which the protagonist of the story can be beheaded on a whim by an inbred brat on a power trip. Justice is scarce. So, when there are karmic victories, it’s hard to tell whether we should fist-pump in triumph or brace ourselves for the other shoe dropping – because anyone who plays the part of hero on this show is really asking for it.

The Nature of Heroes

Considering the grim fates that have befallen past champions, it’s surprising how easy Jon Snow gets off the hook at the start of the episode. After spying on …

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Game of Thrones, Season 2, Episode 2: The Night Lands

Getting raunchy with Darwin and Shakespeare

I watched Ep. 2, The Night Lands a few nights ago and it’s already blurring together with the premier. This is probably because GoT is juggling 6-8 plotlines per episode. Every character gets two or three brief scenes to keep their respective plot line fresh in the viewer’s mind. The result is a plot that moves forward in inches rather than feet. In the short run, it makes the viewing experience less satisfying, but in the long run they are building something magnificent… probably with the intention of tearing it down in glorious fashion.

However, it begs an interesting question about television story arcs. Should a …

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Game of Thrones Season 2, Episode 1: The North Remembers

As Game of Thrones begins its second season, echoes of Ned Stark’s death are everywhere (because, as the title implies, the North is not going to forget). The first episode doesn’t focus too heavily on any one plot, but rather checks in with each in its large ensemble of characters (no easy fixes for them like for Mad Men, which can throw a party and invite everyone—when these separate camps of characters meet, there will be bloodshed) and show how the shocking death of last season’s protagonist has affected them. What’s perhaps most notable is that in many ways nothing has changed. Nothing satisfies the viewer’s desire to believe …

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Mad Men Season 5, Ep. 1: The New Normal

Zooby zooby zoo

Mad Men’s Season 5 Premiere continues the show’s examination of personal and societal change by setting the stage for a season of tensions between established traditions and the new reality of the present.

The opening sequence illustrates the season’s conflict in a scene that is pulled straight from a 1966 New York Times article in which Advertising Execs from Y&R fling “water bombs” down onto Civil Rights protestors. Critics are lambasting the opener as “ham-handed,” “false,” and stiff. The line in which the protestor says, “and they call us savages” is the source of contention. Weiner’s response that it was based on true events kind of misses …

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Walking Dead, Season 2: Thematic Overview

Building a new society from scratch

Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead examined societal rebuilding in a post-apocalyptic world using our group of survivors as a microcosm for the challenges a reimagined society must face. Ultimately, the question hanging over this season is a society even worth the headache, heart-ache and soap-opera-level squabbling inherent to our survivor’s claustrophobically tiny village?

At the start of the season, our survivors were still reeling from the previous season’s “to be or not to be?” dilemma. Everyone was haunted by Jenner’s CDC-go-boom suicide pact. At this point in time, “opting out” seemed like an increasingly attractive option.

Hope?

Enter Sophia. Children were this …

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