Veep, cringe comedy, and laughing at Washington so you don’t cry
MAY 13, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN
Power-worship in D.C. and shows about it is nothing new. Playing it for slapstick rather than fetishizing it, however, makes Veep a welcome change of pace.
MARCH 05, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN
A new documentary shows North Koreans as agents of their own liberation.
Searching for Sugar Man and spontaneous order
FEBRUARY 05, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN
Music creates spontaneous, unpredictable communications directly from person to person. That makes it essential to life--and a persistent threat to power.
Breaking Bad shows exactly how entertainment can become art, and why the distinction matters
OCTOBER 16, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN
There's a lot that can be said about Breaking Bad. What's more interesting--and what makes it art--is what our reactions say about each of us.
Science fiction with technology that's more realistic than its politics
SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 by ANDREW HEATON
Elysium's cyborgs and floating space colonies are plenty of fun. They're also a lot more realistic than the straw men peopling the film or the economic theory underlying its plot.
Crony Capitalism and Stadium Funding
JUNE 12, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN
Stadium funding deals amount to making some people's leisure-time preferences a matter of law, then forcing everyone to transfer money to the already wealthy.
APRIL 08, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN
Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington team up to present an excellent piece of character development. Then Zemeckis sacrifices all of the nuance for the sake of a tidy ending that presents the State as the realm of the gods.