Dawn

Why Watch? After Rian Johnson’s Looper hit theaters, I was a little surprised that more filmed fan fiction didn’t overwhelm the internet. Here was a ready-made universe that blended time travel and noir, practically begging for more adventures. Fortunately, Olaf Blomerus took his amazing name and answered the call. The result is an intense bite of a teaser-style short that delivers thanks to wicked CGI work and an ambiguous gun-toting threat. With cold brew dialogue and smoke in its eyes, the short pulls off the feat of being wholly satisfying while also making you ache to see more. Endgame Entertainment needs to commission an Animatrix style set and have Blomerus at the top of their call sheet.

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Culture Warrior

Television’s manufacturing of nostalgia often reduces the past to its most obvious series of events. Whether in revisiting popular culture on VH1’s I Love the ‘70s or in TV movies ranging from The ‘60s to The Kennedys, “the past” rarely adds up to anything more than what we already know about it. The past, then, becomes reduced to a series of iconic historical events that are imbued with the hindsight-benefit of the present rather than portrayed in a way that provides any sense of convincing every-dayness. AMC’s Mad Men has largely avoided this trap. Where NBC’s The ‘60s framed the entire decide as a monolithic event whose every singular moment one nuclear family was improbably involved in, Mad Men integrates personal storylines into major events in a way that gives them a believable microscopic intimacy which make them feel like artifacts of the present: the Kennedy/Nixon election occurs in the background during a raucous and promiscuous office party in Season 1, Don Draper’s (John Hamm) marriage dissolves as the Cuban missile crisis escalates in Season 2, and Roger Sterling’s (John Slattery) daughter’s wedding is forebodingly scheduled on November 22, 1963 in Season 3. But these are the events we have come to expect and anticipate Mad Men to touch upon as its timeline moves forward. What the show is particularly adept at doing – and what separates its from traditional and redundant encapsulations of our culture’s most-revisited decade – is its use of smaller moments. Examine the news landscape each […]

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