Heaven and Hell in America: Dante’s Indiana

In a cultural landscape that is often hostile—or at best indifferent—to religion, a popular and widely lauded novel whose plot focuses not only on matters of faith but also a main character whose worldview and identity is shaped entirely by his Catholicism is a rare occurrence. Continue Reading...

Andor Succeeds Where Other Star Warriors Fail

If there’s anything close to national mythology in America nowadays, it’s Marvel. This may be depressing, but we should nevertheless face the fact and make the best of it. Before that, it was Star Wars, which is still an incredibly profitable business, even as it is failing. Continue Reading...

Blonde at Its Best Highlights What’s Worst

Director Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, now available on Netflix and starring Ana de Armas as “blonde bombshell” Marilyn Monroe, is a long film. Not merely because of its almost three-hour run time but also because it feels long when you’re watching it. Continue Reading...

Godard Is Dead. Is Cinema?

Jean-Luc Godard died on September 13, 2022, and the news in the world of cinema and culture was received as confirmation that cinema itself was dead. Godard had a remarkable influence on cinema in the ’60s, but his fame went beyond that. Continue Reading...

The Manchurian Candidate Is a Neglected Masterpiece

In 1959, when Richard Condon published his political thriller The Manchurian Candidate, he took a topical idea and ran amok with it. The idea was that during the Korean War a platoon of GIs had been captured by the Chinese, brainwashed (“not just washed, but dry-cleaned”), and released back home to do the enemy’s bidding. Continue Reading...

The Sandman is a lesson in natural law

On August 5, The Sandman dropped on Netflix. For Neil Gaiman’s existing fanbase, this show was the fulfillment of decades of longing to see a beloved story brought to life. Rumors have circulated over the years that Gaiman’s 75-issue comic series (variously collected in 10 graphic novels and the three-volume Absolute Sandman) would come to the screen, but such projects never materialized. Continue Reading...
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