Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sounds of Cinema October Schedule

Throughout October, Sounds of Cinema will be looking forward to Halloween with a month of programming designed to get you in trick or treat mode:

October 4, 2009: Cinema's Villains
This episode will feature music of films that feature some of the most memorable villains from a variety of film genres including science fiction, action, and horror.

October 11, 2009: Vampires
Vampires are as popular as ever and this episode will include music from various incarnations of Dracula as well as other vampire films like Twilight and The Hunger.

October 18, 2009: Lucifer Rising
Former Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil's score to Kenneth Anger's experimental and esoteric short film is an extraordinary piece of music and this show will feature the entire score as well as commentary on the film and its production. Listeners to 89.7 KMSU FM will hear a special pledge drive episode this week.

October 25, 2009: Twenty-Five Years of A Nightmare on Elm Street
It's been a quarter century since Freddy Krueger first appeared on movie screens and he hasn't left the culture since. This episode will take a look at every Nightmare film from the 1984 original to 2003's Freddy vs. Jason and consider the ongoing appeal of the series.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Maverick at the Movies" domain closing

The website domain name "Maverick at the Movies" will be closing in the next few days. Sounds of Cinema will remain. So, if you haven't already, be sure to update your bookmarks to:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interview with Jack Shaheen

On Sunday, September 20th, 2009, Sounds of Cinema will include an interview with Dr. Jack Shaheen, the author of the books Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11 and Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. In this interview, Dr. Shaheen discusses how Arab stereotypes have been assimilated into the culture and how the stereotypical portrayal of Arabs in Hollywood films affects both public opinion and public policy.

Here is an extended trailer to the documentary adaptation of Reel Bad Arabs:

The entire film can be found on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lecture: Hollywood’s Arab Muslims in Film After 9/11

For those of you in the Winona area, Winona State Univeristy will present a lecture by Jack G. Shaheen titled, “Hollywood’s Arab Muslims After 9/11: Entertainment or Propaganda?” at 7 p.m. Monday, September. 14, in East Hall, Kryzsko Commons.

According to WSU's website:
Shaheen will discuss stereotypical racial images, how these images impact innocent lives and why these images exist. Shaheen will offer insights into the origin of these stereotypical images, their development in U.S. history and why they matter so much today.

Shaheen will provide solutions to help eliminate misconceptions and will show how the persistence of these images has naturalized prejudicial attitudes towards Arabs and the Arab culture. The goal of the presentation will be to inspire critical thinking about the social, political and human consequences of misconstrued images of Arab culture.

Shaheen is a former CBS news consultant on Middle East Affairs and was the recipient of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feministing Article on Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body, written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and directed by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) is due in theaters on September 18th. One of the contributers to the blog Feministing has these thoughts on the lead up to the film:
The lingering question is, were Cody and Kusama really able to subvert some of these cliches in order to make smart, feminist commentary on them, or will they just play like good ol' fashioned objectification and sexism (think all the homophobes laughing their asses off at Bruno)? Cody, who called the script a "crazy, chaotic homage" to the horror films of her youth, told the Times: "The tricky thing is if you're going to subvert those tropes, they have to be there. We were constantly bobbing and weaving. Karyn and I talk about the film as a kind of Trojan horse. We wanted to package our beliefs in a way that's appealing to a mainstream audience."
The Trojan horse technique is a hard pill to hustle; it requires a degree of stealth and misdirection that sometimes works, especially in horror (see Night of the Living Dead), but often falls flat on its face.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

O'Hehir on Disney-Marvel Deal

If you hadn't heard, Disney has entered into a $4 billion deal to acquire Marvel Comics, which owns properties like Spiderman, Iron Man, and X-Men. In an article for, Andrew O'Hehir addresses the anxiety comic book fans have been buzzing about since the deal was announced:
New York Times reporters Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply nicely sum up the industry consensus by noting that the Marvel acquisition helps Disney with teen and tween boys, a market segment where the Mouse's princessy, Hannah Montana-flavored products have had little appeal of late. As a corollary to that, all the wild fanboy maundering about Disney draining the alleged edge and darkness out of Marvel's universe is laughably misplaced on various levels. First of all, what the hell are such people talking about? Anybody who feels satisfied with the rapidly diminishing returns of the "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" franchises hasn't been reading any decent comic books, still less watching decent movies, and badly needs to attend Andrew O'Hehir's Clockwork Orange-style cinematic reeducation camp.

Furthermore, at least since the Michael Eisner era, Disney has been a diversified global infotainment empire, with much less of a governing identity or ideology than many people think. Disney management didn't meddle much with Miramax during the Weinstein years and hasn't meddled much with Pixar, and after the $500 million-plus worldwide returns of "Iron Man," company honchos aren't likely to bland down the franchise in an effort to pitch it at 8-year-olds.
I would have to disagree with O'Hehir on his argument that Disney did not interfere with Miramax during the Weinstein era; the Brothers left Miramax because of Disney's interference with Fahrenheit 9/11 (refusing to distribute the film and forcing Michael Moore and the Weinsteins to take it to Lion's Gate) and had successfully pressured Miramax to drop Kevin Smith's Dogma over religious protests. But, as O'Hehir points out, the major properties are already licenced out to other studios and Disney's acquisition will not change that, so there is no reason to believe the deal will effect any ongoing franchises or upcoming films.