Guest blog: Dale Short on his film Recovering Racist

Dale Short

I was honored to be the first contributor to this documentary Kickstarter project, and rather than attempt to convince you myself, I asked acclaimed author Dale Short, one of the people behind the film, to explain where the idea came from and how important it is.  And please check out the video trailer at the end of his article and … Read More

The Blurring of Lines

The C-in-C back when we were full-time co-workers.

Recently, while reading the Janet Sternburg-edited collection The Writer on Her Work, I had an unexpected epiphany (I know, epiphanies are always unexpected, but work with me). It was the realization that my life in 2012 is almost exactly Anne Tyler’s in 1980.   Tyler, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and The Accidental Tourist, contributed the book’s first … Read More

For Halloween, a tribute to real witches

Real witches doing what they do.

In October, people think about witches. Sure, some people think about witches all year round. But in October, the folks who don’t the rest of the year suddenly do. They see pointy hats, pointy noses, pointy chins everywhere. Cauldrons and black cats and flying broomsticks abound. Except, those aren’t really witches. Those are bits of folklore, handed down from a … Read More

Found movies: Posse (the one from 1975)

The 1975 western Posse poses a fascinating set of ethical and moral dilemmas. Released just after President Nixon’s resignation, it speaks in the standard western vocabulary: tough marshal (Kirk Douglas), wily outlaw (Bruce Dern), a posse on the criminal’s trail, shoot outs and train chases. But its purpose is to show the stained truth behind these pure symbols, both within … Read More

Heaven’s Gate: a parable finds its time

I recently rewatched Michael Cimino’s 1980 film Heaven’s Gate. Yep, the notorious disaster that destroyed a studio and the career of its director. For background, check out the late Steven Bach’s book Final Cut. A quick synopsis: Harvard graduate Jim Averill (Kris Kristofferson) goes west and becomes marshal of Johnson County, Wyoming, a place settled mostly by Eastern European immigrants. … Read More