Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Film Lists for David and July

(A request for film lists during my dental appointment at Monsoon Family Dentistry - they have a great attitude and they provide excellent care/service, highly recommended!)

My recent film courses at BCTC

Fall 2023: Horror (apologies for writing mistakes, most of these were produced under high stress and time constraints :) 

Intro to Film Studies: Horror

Classic Ghost Films

Contemporary Ghost Films

Classic Folk Horror

Contemporary Folk Horror

Classic Zombie Films

Contemporary Zombie Films

Classic Occult Films

Contemporary Occult Films

Classic Mind/Body Films

Contemporary Mind/Body Films

Classic Alien Films

Contemporary Alien Films

Classic Vampire Films

Contemporary Vampire Films (I must have burnt out by this point, so I didn't have a post. The films were 78 - 82 on this list)

Spring 2024:

Science Fiction Films

Fall 2024 (upcoming course):

World Cinema: Directors


My profile on Letterboxd: mdbento

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Neptune Frost (USA/Rwanda: Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, 2021)

"Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a sci-fi punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. Co-directed with the Rwandan-born artist and cinematographer Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump, they attempt a takeover of the authoritarian regime exploiting the region's natural resources – and its people. When an intersex runaway and an escaped coltan miner find each other through cosmic forces, their connection sparks glitches within the greater divine circuitry. Set between states of being – past and present, dream and waking life, colonized and free, male and female, memory and prescience – Neptune Frost is an invigorating and empowering direct download to the cerebral cortex and a call to reclaim technology for progressive political ends."




Neptune Frost (USA/Rwanda: Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, 2021: 110 mins)

Bruce, Delan. "Afrofuturism: From the Past to the Living Present." UCLA Magazine (September 3, 2020)

Daniels, Robert. "Neptune Frost." Roger Ebert (June 3, 2022)

Eggert, Brian. "Neptune Frost." Deep Focus Review (June 12, 2022) ["Neptune Frost fashions an identity for itself, jettisoning conventional methods and narrative structures of Western filmmaking. An Afrofuturist rallying cry crafted by two multi-hyphenated artists, the film uses Saul Williams’ fifth album MartyrLoserKing as a launchpad, propelling the viewer into the cosmos with the help of Rwandan actor-playwright Anisia Uzeyman. Songs from the album are reworked and revisited, adapted into Kinyarwanda and Kirundi by the cast, and performed in new environments and contexts—specifically, the cyber-haven Digitaria. Placing a label on the result is difficult and decidedly against the point. Instead, co-directors Williams and Uzeyman explore the destructive forces of capitalism and colonialism through a direct discourse with the viewer, using elements of musicals, political statements, and rebellion from inside a digital dreamscape. Early on, an intersex hacker named Neptune (Elvis Ngabo, then later Cheryl Isheja) looks right into the camera, confronting their audience with the reality of our participation in the systems that exploit African people and resources, and calls out to anyone across the globe who doesn’t fit into a socially constructed box."]

Uzeyman, Anisia and Saul Williams. "Neptune Frost: Cinema Intro and Q & A at TIFF." TIFF Originals (Posted on Youtube: September 15, 2021) ["Set in past-, future- and present-day Rwanda, in the afterlife of the nation’s civil war, this transdimensional sci-fi musical, created, written, and composed by Saul Williams and co-directed with Rwandan actor Anisia Uzeyman (TIFF 2016 selection Ayiti Mon Amour) defies easy decipherability. Instead, it offers an Afro-sonic portal into existence, to quote Sun Ra, “on the other side of time.” An adventure into anti-narrative as Black diasporic treatise, NEPTUNE FROST — executive produced by Ottawa-based Cayuga and Mohawk group The Halluci Nation (f.k.a. A Tribe Called Red) — tells of a generation of dreamers escaping the psycho-social wreckage of colonization, genocide, and the residual brutalities of global extractive industries. Together and apart, these dreamers journey over lush green landscapes into digital worlds, unaware of the destination they are being led to, sounding the beat of anti-colonial struggle to connect rhythms of global uprising. Against the world’s resource-rich, who mine Africa’s land and peoples to power global currency, Rwanda’s university students are in open revolt, demanding “No Authority!” Neptune (played by both Cheryl Isheja and Elvis Ngabo), an intersex hacker fleeing sexual violence, is drawn to their late mother’s home. There they awaken and encounter Matalusa (Bertrand “Kaya Free” Ninteretse), a coltan miner sent on a mission while mourning the murder of his brother. In their love they will find the key encoded. As the film itself resists the very idea of a beginning and end, it shatters any attempt at summation. Instead, it regenerates through each scene, increasing the scale of its aesthetic opposition at every turn. Williams and Uzeyman outdo themselves in this poetically reflexive expression of sound-message and grounded movement. Put differently: this is cinema as an ecological gift to the dispossessed. Generously creative and unafraid, NEPTUNE FROST is here, now."]

Williams, Saul. "NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert." (Posted on Youtube: September 26, 2016) [" In terms of sheer intensity, Saul Williams' Tiny Desk concert may be the most potent in our eight-year history. Only Kate Tempest comes to mind as its equal, which makes sense given that both mix music with bracing, truthful poetry. In Williams' opening song — "Burundi," from his album MartyrLoserKing — the main character is a computer hacker who lives in Burundi and fights for democracy:
Question your authority, genocide and poverty
Treaties don't negate the fact you're dealing stolen property
Hacker, I'm a hacker, I'm a hacker in your hard drive
Hundred thousand dollar Tesla ripping through your hard drive
Accompanied by two acoustic guitars as they pound out a beat, Williams became ever more animated, riled and firm. Then, "Think Like They Book Say" paid homage to Chelsea Manning, the soldier serving a prison sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. To close out the set, Williams cradled my James Brown doll and issued a powerful, somewhat off-the-cuff version of "Down For Some Ignorance." It brought him to tears, and you could feel his passion in every word — sharp, thoughtful, deeply powerful and utterly provocative."]


















To listen to Saul Williams' album MartyrLoserKing (an inspiration for Neptune Frost) - click here



Not related to Neptune Frost, but another important artist interweaving their musical creativity with powerful imagistic storytelling:



Monday, April 15, 2024

Paul Conti: Psychology/Healthcare/Trauma/Mental Health (Shooting Azimuths)

 Conti, Paul. Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic. Sounds True, 2021. ["A Journey Toward Understanding, Active Treatment, and Societal Prevention of Trauma. Imagine, if you will, a disease—one that has only subtle outward symptoms but can hijack your entire body without notice, one that transfers easily between parent and child, one that can last a lifetime if untreated. According to Dr. Paul Conti, this is exactly how society should conceptualize trauma: as an out-of-control epidemic with a potentially fatal prognosis. In Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic, Dr. Conti examines the most recent research, clinical best practices, and dozens of real-life stories to present a deeper and more urgent view of trauma. Not only does Dr. Conti explain how trauma affects the body and mind, he also demonstrates that trauma is transmissible among close family and friends, as well as across generations and within vast demographic groups. With all this in mind, Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic proposes a course of treatment for the seemingly untreatable. Here, Dr. Conti traces a step-by-step series of concrete changes that we can make both as individuals and as a society to alleviate trauma’s effects and prevent further traumatization in the future. You will discover: The different post-trauma syndromes, how they are classified, and their common symptoms. An examination of how for-profit health care systems can inhibit diagnosis and treatment of trauma. How social crises and political turmoil encourage the spread of group trauma. Methods for confronting and managing your fears as they arise in the moment. How trauma disrupts mental processes such as memory, emotional regulation, and logical decision-making. The argument for a renewed humanist social commitment to mental health and wellness. It’s only when we understand how a disease spreads and is sustained that we are able to create its ultimate cure. With Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic, Dr. Conti reveals that what we once considered a lifelong, unbeatable mental illness is both treatable and preventable."]


Conti, Paul and Andrew Huberman. "How to Build and Maintain Healthy Relationships." The Huberman Lab (October 2023) ["This is episode 3 of a 4-part special series on mental health with Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., a psychiatrist who did his medical training at Stanford School of Medicine and residency at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the book, “Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic.” Dr. Conti explains how to find, develop and strengthen healthy relationships — including romantic relationships, work and colleague relationships, and friendships. He explains a roadmap of the conscious and unconscious mind that can allow anyone to navigate conflicts better and set healthy boundaries in relationships. We also discuss common features of unhealthy relationships and clinically supported tools for dealing with relationship insecurity, excessive anxiety, past traumas, manipulation and abuse. Dr. Conti explains how, in healthy relationships, there emerges a dynamic of the mutually generative “us” and how to continually improve that dynamic. The next episode in this special series explores true self-care, which can be cultivated through a process of building self-awareness along with other important practices."]

---. "How to Improve Your Mental Health." The Huberman Lab (September 2023) ["This is episode 2 of a 4-part special series on mental health with Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., a Stanford and Harvard-trained psychiatrist currently running a clinical practice, the Pacific Premiere Group. Dr. Conti explains specific tools for how to overcome life’s challenges using a framework of self-inquiry that explores all the key elements of self, including defense mechanisms, behaviors, self-awareness and attention. We also discuss our internal driving forces, how to align them and ultimately, how to cultivate a powerful “generative drive” of positive, aspirational pursuits. Dr. Conti also explains how to adjust your internal narratives, reduce self-limiting concepts, overcome intrusive thoughts, and how certain defense mechanisms, such as “acting out” or narcissism, show up in ourselves and others. The next episode in this special series explores how to build healthy relationships with others."]

---. "How to Understand & Assess Your Mental Health." The Huberman Lab (September 6. 2023) ["This is episode 1 of a 4-part special series on mental health with psychiatrist Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., who trained at Stanford School of Medicine and completed his residency at Harvard Medical School before founding his clinical practice, the Pacific Premiere Group. Dr. Conti defines mental health in actionable terms and describes the foundational elements of the self, including the structure and function of the unconscious and conscious mind, which give rise to all our thoughts, behaviors and emotions. He also explains how to explore and address the root causes of anxiety, low confidence, negative internal narratives, over-thinking and how our unconscious defense mechanisms operate. This episode provides a foundational roadmap to assess your sense of self and mental health. It offers tools to reshape negative emotions, thought patterns and behaviors — either through self-exploration or with a licensed professional. The subsequent three episodes in this special series explore additional tools to further understand and improve your mental health."]

---. "Therapy, Treating Trauma & Other Life Challenges." The Huberman Lab (June 5, 2022) ["My guest this episode is Dr. Paul Conti, M.D., a psychiatrist and expert in treating trauma, personality disorders and psychiatric illnesses and challenges of various kinds. Dr. Conti earned his MD at Stanford and did his residency at Harvard Medical School. He now runs the Pacific Premiere Group—a clinical practice helping people heal and grow from trauma and other life challenges. We discuss trauma: what it is and its far-reaching effects on the mind and body, as well as the best treatment approaches for trauma. We also explore how to choose a therapist and how to get the most out of therapy, as well as how to do self-directed therapy. We discuss the positive and negative effects of antidepressants, ADHD medications, alcohol, cannabis, and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics (e.g., psilocybin and LSD), ketamine and MDMA. This episode is must listen for anyone seeking or already doing therapy, processing trauma, and/or considering psychoactive medication. Both patients and practitioners ought to benefit from the information."]

---. "Tools and Protocols for Mental Health." The Huberman Lab (September 27, 2023) ["This is episode 4 of a 4-part special series on mental health with Stanford and Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Paul Conti, M.D. Dr. Conti explains what true self-care is and how our mental health benefits from specific self-care and introspection practices — much in the same way that our physical health benefits from certain exercise and nutrition habits. He describes how the foundation of mental health is an understanding of one’s own mind and the specific questions to ask in order to explore the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves. He describes how this process can be done either on our own, through journaling, meditation and structured thought, or in therapy with the help of a licensed professional. He also explains how unprocessed trauma can short-circuit the process and how to prevent that, and the role of friendships and other relational support systems in the journey of self-exploration for mental health. People of all ages and those with and without self-introspection and therapy experience ought to benefit from the information in this episode."]

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Don't Look Up (USA: Adam McKay, 2021)

 




 Don't Look Up (USA: Adam McKay, 2021: 143 mins)

Booker, M. Keith. "DON’T LOOK UP (2021, Directed by Adam McKay)." Comments on Culture (ND)

Drezner, Daniel W. "Taking a Hard Look at Don't Look Up." The Washington Post (January 4, 2022)

Eggert, Brian. "Don't Look Up." Deep Focus Review (May 29, 2022)

Gewertz, Daniel. "Don't Look Up - A Pitch-Dark Satire that Dares to be Impudently Pessimistic." The Arts Fuse (January 4, 2022) ["The knee-jerk, hateful reviews of Don’t Look Up possess comments so outsized, and so beside the point, that they bear a resemblance to the oblivious thinking of the movie’s anti-science ostriches."]

Gilbert, Sophie, et al. "Why Are People So Mad About Don’t Look Up?: Climate change is a tough subject for any film, let alone a satire." The Atlantic (January 14, 2022)

Grant, Catherine. "In the Nick of Time: On Cli-Fi and Ecocinema Film and Moving Image Studies." Film Studies for Free (June 7, 2022) ["Don’t Look Up (2021), a comedy about a comet on a collision course with Earth, is one of Netflix’s most-watched English-language films of all time. It sparked discussions around climate change and created a climate action platform that outlines what individuals can do against climate change. Netflix has also launched its Sustainability Collection in April 2022, with more than 170 films and series aimed at raising environmental awareness. “Entertain to Sustain” is the slogan behind the production and curation of this content and it goes hand in hand with Netflix’s Net Zero + Nature plan. But the question of what can be done, and what a movie or television series can achieve, has also led to criticism of Netflix’s greenwashing, emphasizing individual action and piecemeal corporate PR-heavy policies over politics. In our video essay “Climate Fictions, Dystopias, and Human Futures,” we take Don’t Look Up as a starting point to look back at the evolution of the concept of “cli-fi” (climate fiction) over more than a decade, reflect on shifting storytelling strategies of cli-fi films past, present, and future, and probe their possible impact -- from precursors such as Planet of the Apes (1968) and Soylent Green (1973) to the “classic” The Day after Tomorrow (2004) to recent variations on the cli-fi formula that break out of the white patriarchal mode like Fast Color (2018) and that incorporate lighter affects like Downsizing (2017). If cli-fi has a role to play in helping contemporary audiences imagine possible futures, part of its task will be to employ more diverse stories, characters, and settings. [JL and KL]"]

Like Stories of Old. "Don’t Look Up – A Problematic Metaphor For Climate Change?" (Posted on Youtube: January 26, 2022) [A video essay on Adam McKay’s film Don’t Look Up, includes discussion of the earlier films The Big Short and Vice, and a discussion of his innovative cinematic language.  Book & article sources: Bruno Latour - Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime; Timothy Morton - Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World; Ulrich Beck - Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity; Ulrich Beck - The Metamorphosis of the World: How Climate Change is Transforming Our Concept of the World.]

Rich, B. Ruby. "Don't Look Up: Film's COVID Prospects." Filmmaker Quarterly 75.3 (Spring 2022): 5 - 11.

Sirota, David. "The Real Story of Don't Look Up." Vox (February 15, 2022)




Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Inception (USA/UK: Christopher Nolan, 2010)

 


Inception (USA/UK: Christopher Nolan, 2010: 148 mins)

Benedit, Steven. "Analysis of Inception." (Posted on Vimeo: 2012)

Beyl, Cameron. "Christopher Nolan [5.1] – The Non-Linear Neo-Noirs." The Director Series (February 13, 2017)

---. "Christopher Nolan [5.2] - The Blockbusters Begin." The Director Series (2017)

---. "Christopher Nolan [5.3] - The Colossal Cornerstones." The Director Series (2017)

---. "Christopher Nolan [5.4] - The Apocalyptic Epics." The Director Series (2018)

Goh, Robbie B.H. Christopher Nolan: Filmmaker and Philosopher. Bloomsbury Academic, 2021. ["Christopher Nolan is the writer and director of Hollywood blockbusters like The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and also of arthouse films like Memento and Inception. Underlying his staggering commercial success however, is a darker sensibility that questions the veracity of human knowledge, the allure of appearance over reality and the latent disorder in contemporary society. This appreciation of the sinister owes a huge debt to philosophy and especially modern thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida. Taking a thematic approach to Nolan's oeuvre, Robbie Goh examines how the director's postmodern inclinations manifest themselves in non-linearity, causal agnosticism, the threat of social anarchy and the frequent use of the mise en abyme, while running counter to these are narratives of heroism, moral responsibility and the dignity of human choice. For Goh, Nolan is a 'reluctant postmodernist'. His films reflect the cynicism of the modern world, but with their representation of heroic moral triumphs, they also resist it."]

Ogunnaike, Oludamini. "Inception and Ibn 'Arabi." Journal of Religion & Film 17.2 (October 2013)

Pierson, David. "Corporatizing the Unconscious: Memes, Neuromarketing, and Christopher Nolan's Inception." Media in Transition International Conference #8 (MIT: May 2013)

Winchur, Drew. "Ideology in Christopher Nolan's Inception." Cineaction #88 (2012)










Sunday, March 24, 2024

ENG 102 2024: Resources #13

Allen, Danielle, et al. "What is Education For?" Boston Review (May 9, 2016) ["Preparation for democratic citizenship demands humanities education, not just STEM. ... In 2006 the highest court in New York affirmed that students in the state have a right to civic education. It was a decision thirteen years in the making, and it spoke to a fundamental question: What is an education for? Lawyers representing the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), which brought suit, argued that the purpose of education is to develop not only vocational capacities, but also civic agency. Students, in other words, are entitled to learn in public schools the “basic literacy, calculating, and verbal skills necessary to enable children to eventually function productively as civic participants capable of voting and serving on a jury.”"]

"Anti-Palestinian at the Core: The Origins and Growing Dangers of U.S. Antiterrorism Law." Center for Constitutional Rights (February 20, 2024) ["New white paper shows a decades-long campaign by Israel-aligned organizations to use U.S. anti-terrorism law against advocates for Palestinian liberation."]

Auster, Paul. "Why Is America the Most Violent Country in the Western World?: On the Normalization of Gun Culture in the United States."  Lit Hub (January 18, 2023) ["Excerpted from Bloodbath Nation by Paul Auster and Spencer Ostrander." Book description: "An intimate and powerful rumination on American gun violence by Paul Auster, one of our greatest living writers and "genuine American original" (The Boston Globe), in an unforgettable collaboration with photographer Spencer Ostrander Like most American boys of his generation, Paul Auster grew up playing with toy six-shooters and mimicking the gun-slinging cowboys in B Westerns. A skilled marksman by the age of ten, he also lived through the traumatic aftermath of the murder of his grandfather by his grandmother when his father was a child and knows, through firsthand experience, how families can be wrecked by a single act of gun violence. In this short, searing book, Auster traces centuries of America's use and abuse of guns, from the violent displacement of the native population to the forced enslavement of millions, to the bitter divide between embattled gun control and anti-gun control camps that has developed over the past 50 years and the mass shootings that dominate the news today. Since 1968, more than one and a half million Americans have been killed by guns. The numbers are so large, so catastrophic, so disproportionate to what goes on elsewhere, that one must ask why. Why is America so different--and why are we the most violent country in the Western world? Interwoven with Spencer Ostrander's haunting photographs of the sites of more than thirty mass shootings in all parts of the country, Bloodbath Nation presents a succinct but thorough examination of America at a crossroads, and asks the central, burning question of our moment: What kind of society do we want to live in?"]

A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth about Factory Farms (USA: Don McCorckell, 2009: 91 mins) ["A heart-stopping new documentary, A River Of Waste exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production. The damage documented in today's factory farms far exceeds the damage that was depicted in Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, a book written over 100 years ago. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as "mini Chernobyls." The European Union stands virtually alone in establishing strong health and environmental standards for the industry. In the U.S and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments. The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on individual lives damaged and destroyed. As one observer noted, if terrorists did this, we would be up in arms, but when it is a fortune 500 company, it is just "business as usual." In 1906, public outrage at the scandal exposed by Sinclair led to major reforms that cleaned up a corrupt and dangerous system. It is the hope of the filmmakers to mobilize a similar public outcry for reform." The documentary is available in BCTC's library.]

Bakker, Karen, "The Sounds of Invisible Worlds." NOEMA (June 20, 2023) ["Like the microscope and the telescope did centuries ago, new technologies to capture and analyze sound are leading to startling discoveries about what the eyes cannot see."]

Bardenwerper, Will, Stan Brewer and Tucker Malarkey. "Wild Ecologies: So Go the Salmon, So Go the World." Fiction/Non/Fiction (November 19, 2019) ["In this episode, writers Tucker Malarkey and Will Bardenwerper, as well as rancher, rider, and member of the Oglala Sioux tribe Stan Brewer talk about their connections to the natural world. Malarkey talks about efforts to save wild salmon, their vital role in the ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest, and how relations between the US and Russia on this issue might provide insight on global climate change cooperation. Bardenwerper and Brewer, the first writer-source duo to appear on the show together, discuss Indian relay horse racing, and horses’ importance to the Lakota community."]

Tulenko, Abigail. "Folklore is Philosophy." Aeon (February 26, 2024) ["Both folktales and formal philosophy unsettle us into thinking anew about our cherished values and views of the world"]

Wallis, Victor. "13th and the Culture of Surplus Punishment." Jump Cut #58 (Spring 2018) ["Ava DuVernay undertook the documentary 13th in order to explore and bring attention to the Prison Industrial Complex. The film’s title refers to the 1865 amendment to the U.S. constitution, in which slavery was abolished “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The story told by 13th thus goes back to the early chain-gangs of black prisoners – men arrested for petty offenses under the post-Civil War Black Codes who were then contracted out to perform labor that they had previously performed as privately-owned slaves. Now they were under state control, but they still worked for no pay."]

Walsh, Brendan C. "Colonising the Devil's Territories: The Historicity of Providential New England Folklore in the VVitch." Revenant #5 (March 2020)  ["This article contextualises the historical and demonological beliefs prevalent in the early modern setting of The VVitch. It argues that early modern folklore is invoked in this film to convey the experiences and worldview of the New World Puritans, illustrating how Robert Eggers has used fantastical source material to achieve a certain historical authenticity. This focus on the ‘historicity’ of the New World setting, as it was established in early modern demonological tracts, is central to the construction of The VVitch. Eggers states that he spent almost five years researching material for the film, poring over early modern texts in order to effectively recreate the historical tone of the era (Rife 2016). The closing text of the film communicates that it ‘was inspired by many folktales, fairy tales and written accounts of historical witchcraft, including journals, diaries and court records. Much of the dialogue comes directly from these period sources’. This array of sources, taken from different English, New England, and even broader Continental textual formats, are used to craft a seemingly authentic piece of Puritan folklore. As such, Eggers employs early modern folklore and English Protestant demonological traditions in The VVitch to reconstruct the formative years of the New England colony and to establish a historical window into the ‘supernatural reality’ of the Puritan worldview. Eggers clarifies that ‘because witches don’t exist today, I felt it was essential to create an utterly believable 17th century world where witches really did exist’ (Young 2016). The VVitch thus provides insight into how folklore (specifically supernatural folklore) can be adapted by writers and directors to encapsulate an authentic historical tonality within the folk horror cinematic subgenre."]

West, Stephen. "Are we heading for a digital prison? - Panopticon (Foucault, Bentham, Cave)." Philosophize This! #186 (August 23, 2023) ["Today we talk about Jeremy Bentham's concept of the Panopticon. Michel Foucault's comparison to society in 1975. The historical role of intelligence as a justification for dominance. The anatomy of free will, and how a digital world may systematically limit our free will without us knowing it."]

Zayd, Yhara. "A Monstress Comes of Age: Horror & Girlhood." (Posted on Youtube: October 16, 2020) [Examination of horror films on this theme.]

Monday, March 18, 2024

ENG 102 2024: Resources #12

 Matsumoto, Nancy. "How Foodies Can Understand Capitalism and Farm-to-Table Justice." Yes! (April 30, 2018) ["Our food system can be a place for systemic transformation through an alliance between the progressive and radical wings of the food movement."]

O'Connor, Rory. "Berlinale Review: Powerful West Bank Documentary No Other Land Gives Voice to the Palestinian Cause." The Film Stage (February 17, 2024) ["Some years ago, an uncle of mine traveled to Palestine with a group of volunteers. It was a time of fewer videophones, certainly in the region, and the organisation involved had asked for volunteers to visit the West Bank and document what they saw. After a few days, my uncle circulated an email in which he recounted the story of a mechanic who had had his tools and equipment arbitrarily confiscated by the Israeli army. The equipment, valued in the region of €50,000, provided for him and his fourteen employees and their families––entire livelihoods vanished with the flick of a pen. The suspicion amongst locals was that the garage, which was also frequented by settlers, was doing too well: “Part of the West Bank operation is to destroy the local economy,” my uncle wrote, before adding, “One got the feeling that the relationship between the settlers and the Palestinians also needed to be destroyed.”"]

Offerman, Nick. "Working with Wood, and the Meaning of Life." On Being (February 23, 2023) ["Nick Offerman has played many great characters, most famously Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, and he starred more recently in an astonishing episode of The Last of Us. But he is driven by passionate callings older and deeper than his public vocation as an actor and comedian. He works with wood, and he works with other people who work with their hands making beautiful, useful things. And this, it turns out, is also a primary source of his tethering in values. It’s a source of a spiritual thoughtfulness that runs through this conversation with Krista. So is his love and study of the farmer-poet Wendell Berry, whose audiobook The Need to Be Whole Nick just recorded. This is a moving and edifying conversation that is also, not surprisingly, a lot of fun."]

Schmalzer, Sigrid and Charles Schwarz. "Science Against the People." Darts and Letters #68 (November 14, 2022) ["Today, right-wingers attack science and liberals defend it. Science good, anti-science Republicans bad–that’s the prevailing narrative, especially so during the March for Science in 2017. However, it’s not so simple. Perhaps science should be defended from reactionary attacks, but not uncritically defended as inherently good. That’s the message of Science for the People,a radical movement of scientists and educators who argue that science has always served capitalism, patriarchy, and empire. So, science doesn’t need to be simply defended–it needs to change. We examine the group’s Vietnam-era origins, with the story of one of its founders, physicist Charles Schwartz. Schwartz’ work initially supported the US war effort, but he became a thorn in the side of the military and scientific establishment for over two decades. However, in the 1980s Science for the People went dormant. Since the mid-2010s, it’s back. We then speak to a current member, and also the historian who brought them back together. Sigrid Schmalzer is co-editor of a collection of the group’s writing, entitled Science for the People: Documents from America’s Movement of Radical Scientists, 1969-1989. We cover how the group came back together, how this incarnation is different, and how they traverse the complicated politics between pro-science liberals and anti-science reactionaries."]

Shane, Charlotte. "Stupid Human Tricks: Why animals may be smarter than we think." Bookforum (May 2021) [On the book How to Be Animal: A New History of What It Means to Be Human by Melanie Challenger: "Human are the most inquisitive, emotional, imaginative, aggressive, and baffling animals on the planet. But we are also an animal that does not think it is an animal. How well do we really know ourselves? How to Be Animal tells a remarkable story of what it means to be human and argues that at the heart of our existence is a profound struggle with being animal. We possess a psychology that seeks separation between humanity and the rest of nature, and we have invented grand ideologies to magnify this. As well as piecing together the mystery of how this mindset evolved, Challenger's book examines the wide-reaching ways in which it affects our lives, from our politics to the way we distance ourselves from other species. We travel from the origin of homo sapiens through the agrarian and industrial revolutions, the age of the internet, and on to the futures of AI and human-machine interface. Challenger examines how technology influences our sense of our own animal nature and our relationship with other species with whom we share this fragile planet. That we are separated from our own animality is a delusion, according to Challenger. Blending nature writing, history, and moral philosophy, How to Be Animal is both a fascinating reappraisal of what it means to be human, and a robust defense of what it means to be an animal."]

Shatz, Adam. "The Rebel's Clinic." Open Source (February 15, 2024) ["Frantz Fanon is our interest in this podcast. The man had charisma across the board in a short life and a long afterlife. A black man from the Caribbean, he went to France, first as a soldier to help free the French from Germany, then to become a medical doctor and a psychiatrist, and then to North Africa to serve a revolution against France in Algeria. Along the way, he wrote about politics with the touch of a poet. To this day, when the world talks about healing itself, Frantz Fanon hovers and gets quoted among the giants of modern thought about race and justice, about post-colonial wisdom, if there is such a thing. So how to draw on Fanonism anew and test it in the real emergencies of a divided world in the 2020s? Adam Shatz is our idea of a public intellectual of the widest range, and all the while, it turns out he’s been hooked on Frantz Fanon and gathering string for his big new book: The Rebel’s Clinic. Readers will feel an uncanny resonance between Frantz Fanon’s time in the 1950s and the cruel news of the 2020s: at the U.S. border with Mexico, to take one of many examples, and of course the killing field of Gaza, between Israelis and Palestinians."]

Sheldrake, Merlin and Barney Steel. "Mycelial Landscapes." Emergence (February 12, 2024) ["Mycologist and writer Merlin Sheldrake joins Marshmallow Laser Feast creative director Barney Steel and Emergence Magazine founder Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee in conversation about the mycelial webs that infiltrate and sustain the landscapes we inhabit. Tracing these underground networks, they explore how fungi challenge our traditional conceptions of individuality, intelligence, and life itself."]

Shuster, Simon. "The Showman: The Inside Story of the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky (William Morrow & Company, 2023)." New Books in European Politics (January 20, 2024) ["Since Simon Shuster's November 2023 Time cover story ("Nobody believes in our victory like I do - Nobody"), anyone with an interest in the war in Ukraine has been waiting for his fly-on-the-wall study of command. Finally, The Showman: The Inside Story of the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky (William Morrow, 2024) is out. Born in Moscow but raised in California, Simon Shuster has reported from Russia and Ukraine for 17 years. Before joining Time, he worked in the region for the Moscow Times, Reuters, and AP. He first met Ukraine’s leader and his entourage when Zelensky was running for president in 2019 and built enough trust to be granted sustained wartime access three years later. Based on off-and-on-the-record conversations with the Ukrainian principals – including the president, his wife, their childhood friends, his chief of staff, his defence minister, his national security advisor, and the chief of staff of the armed forces – The Showman provides a unique insight into the conduct of the war from the top."]

Slavery By Another Name (USA:Samuel D. Pollard, 2012: 90 mins) ["A documentary that recounts the many ways in which American slavery persisted as a practice many decades after its supposed abolition."]

Stephenson, Marcia. "Llamas beyond the Andes: Untold Histories of Camelids in the Modern World (University of Texas Press, 2023)." New Books in Animal Studies (January 27, 2024) ["Camelids are vital to the cultures and economies of the Andes. The animals have also been at the heart of ecological and social catastrophe: Europeans overhunted wild vicuña and guanaco and imposed husbandry and breeding practices that decimated llama and alpaca flocks that had been successfully tended by Indigenous peoples for generations. Yet the colonial encounter with these animals was not limited to the New World. Llamas Beyond the Andes: The Untold History of Camelids in the Modern World (University of Texas Press, 2023) by Dr. Marcia Stephenson tells the five-hundred-year history of animals removed from their native habitats and transported overseas. Initially Europeans prized camelids for the bezoar stones found in their guts: boluses of ingested matter that were thought to have curative powers. Then the animals themselves were shipped abroad as exotica. As Europeans and US Americans came to recognize the economic value of camelids, new questions emerged: What would these novel sources of protein and fiber mean for the sheep industry? And how best to cultivate herds? Andeans had the expertise, but knowledge sharing was rarely easy. Marcia Stephenson explores the myriad scientific, commercial, and cultural interests that have attended camelids globally, making these animals a critical meeting point for diverse groups from the North and South."]