This Neighborhood: Film Commentary

Mister Rogers? That hokey little kid’s show? Now we know: It was a stealth operation. Early in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood we see a lumpy little diorama built up of gaily painted wooden toy images, all of fields, and rivers, and trees, and houses, and animals, and the steam towers of …

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Merchants of Doubt: the Film and the Book That Inspired It

Merchants of Doubt

In the summer of 1990 I briefly worked as a temporary secretary at the Leo Burnett ad agency in the Chicago Loop. Tobacco giant Philip Morris was one of Burnett’s valued clients, and I remember being told that I should run instantly to find an appropriate account representative whenever there was a call from Philip …

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Snowpiercer and Earthmasters: Complementary Views of Geoengineering

Polar Bear

OTHER HOMES AND GARDENS Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s film Snowpiercer is an allegorical — and sometimes phantasmagorical — science fiction thriller about a geoengineering climate fix that goes terribly wrong. When the film opens, we see planes releasing something called CW7 into the upper atmosphere to help cool a warming planet. As a result Earth freezes catastrophically, killing everyone except the few hundred people who have bought …

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Zero Dark Thirty

photo of Dick Cheney rendered through a filter making the image look aged and crack. Superimposed on his forehead to look like the shape of his brain inside, is a drawing of two figures waterboarding a third figure in an orange jumpsuit

OCCUPIED TUCSON CITIZEN One part nerdy, one part torture porn, Zero Dark Thirty is a cold, amoral view of torture interposed with the more mundane and methodical practices of intelligence gathering, analyzing, and debating. Kathryn Bigelow (director) and Mark Boal (producer) are talented film-makers and manage to sustain a vision and an emotional tension from …

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