Why We Love (and Fear) Mummies

The Mummy, in its 2017 rendition, rehashes an 80-year-old franchise focused on revived Egyptian corpses. AlloCine Mummies are scary but they also fascinate us, giving us the feeling that we can vanquish time by preserving our most perishable feature: flesh. By Dr. Christian-Georges Schwentzel / 06.22.2017 Professor of Ancient History Université de Lorraine Somewhere in Iraq, the tomb raider[…]

From Smell-O-Vision to Astrocolor, the Film Industry’s Biggest Innovation Flops

Moviegoers familiarize themselves with the joystick that will allow them to interact with the film ‘I’m Your Man’ during its premiere on Dec. 16, 1992. AP Photo/Richard Harbus        By (left-to-right) Dr. Leo Braudy, Dr. Scott Higgins, Dr. Stephen Groening, and Dr. Thomas Delapa / 02.28.2018 Braudy: Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature, University of[…]

The History of the Hollywood Sign: Public Nuisance to Symbol of Stardom

George Brich/AP Photo By Dr. Leo Braudy / 03.01.2018 Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Every year at the Oscars, the cameras pan to the famed Hollywood sign and its bold white letters. Ask someone today what the sign symbolizes, and the same[…]

Are Movies a Good Way to Learn History?

Daniel Day-Lewis won the 2012 Academy Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Is Spielberg’s historical drama a good way to learn about the 16th U.S. president? Touchstone Pictures By Dr. Scott Alan Metzger / 05.16.2017 Assistant Professor of Education Pennsylvania State University Hollywood loves history. At last year’s Academy Awards, three nominees for Best Picture (“Fences,”[…]

The Cinematic After-Life of an Unidentified Skeleton

Halloween skeleton from PublicDomanPictures.net By Dolly Stolze / 10.20.2017 I recently read an article by John Squires, published in 2014, over at Halloween Love about how Dawn of the Dead unintentionally featured a real dead person.  Some of the movie crew rented what they probably thought was a fake skeleton from a costume shop when they filmed in Pittsburgh in 1978.  But[…]

The Pedagogy of Feeling Bad: A Desire for Catharsis in Cinema

Nikolaj Lübecker argues for the ethic of “feel-bad” films, movies in which desire for catharsis is built up but ultimately denied in a variety of ways. He draws on directors such as Lars Von Trier, Gus Van Sant, Michael Haneke, and many others. By Roman Friedman PhD Student in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership (EPOL)[…]

When do Moviegoers Become Pilgrims?

Pilgrims at Lourdes. Nick Thompson By Dr. S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate / 07.31.2017 Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies Hamilton College Among the millions of travelers heading out for the summer holidays, some are choosing an unlikely destination: a rusted bus on the edge of the Alaskan wilderness. Fairbanks Bus 142 (aka the “magic bus”) is where the 24-year[…]