Third Way Archive
World Cup Soccer
The United States Men’s National Team has punched their ticket to the elimination round in the 2014 World Cup, and Americans are—gasp—actually paying attention. As of this article, Nielsen ratings for Thursday’s 0-1 loss to Germany were not available, but Sunday’s draw with Portugal averaged 18.22 million viewers, the most viewed (non-NFL, non-college football) program in ESPN’s history.“Why now? Why do Americans suddenly care about their ‘futbol’ team?”
Conflict Minerals, Rape, and the Congo
The idea that the smartphones lead to rape in eastern Congo is a handy message for organizations who want to mobilize support in a hurry.
As the director of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys and Aliens, Jon Favreau knows all about summer blockbusters. He also knows about being a critical darling and then finding mainstream success (see Iron Man),and losing some of his critical backing (see Iron Man 2 and Cowboys and Aliens). All of this is to say that Favreau is the perfect person to bring us Chef, a cinematic equivalent of the slow-food movement in a summer full of cinematic fast food franchises.It is a summer film in the respect that it takes place when school is out of session and […]
X-Men: Days of Future Past
In general, there is no film genre today that is more likely to assure box office success (usually blockbuster status) than superhero films. I believe there are many reasons why today’s filmgoers enjoy escaping into a world where evil villains (often super-villains) are defeated by superheroes (however flawed) who do not need to do things “by the book” (i.e., wait on the slow-moving wheels of a bureaucratic and sometimes corrupt justice system). This is not the place to review those reasons.Imagine my surprise, then, when I watch a popular superhero film that seems to challenge the myth of redemptive violence […]
Norma, a single mom, was walking with her kids one night when she was arrested for trespassing on private property. The charges were later found to be baseless but she was deported anyway. Her 16-year-old daughter is now looking for a job to support the family. Norma’s 9-year-old son cries himself to sleep at night. Daniel, who fled Mexico in the 1990s to escape violence, was pulled over for a faulty exhaust system on his car and subsequently put into immigration detention. He had no criminal record and served as a community safety volunteer. Daniel’s 13-year-old son is pleading for […]
Amid the superhero movies and raunchy comedies, the Cineplex occasionally sneaks in a quiet, “inspired by a true story” film. Such is Belle, which is based on the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral.Belle deals with the racism that existed then, and we view it with a self-righteous disdain for their backward ways. But it doesn’t confront us with our own racist structures today.
Director John Gray channels Russian novelist Dostoevsky’s ghost in his film The Immigrant. While the plot is relatively simple, the film is a portrayal of spiritual and psychological struggle.The story plays with clichés, like that of the innocent prostitute, but Cotillard’s performance and the screenplay mostly avoid this, so that the characters feel real.
A Troubling Lack of Accountability within U.S. Border Patrol
On April 12 th of this year, approximately 40 people gathered around a white metal cross in Nogales, Mexico, close to the U.S. border fence. Eighteen months earlier, a 16-year-old boy named José Antonio Elena Rodriguez was killed by U.S. Border Patrol in that spot, the cross erected in his honor. Rodriquez was walking to meet his brother late one night in October 2013. He was shot multiple times through the fence by the U.S. Border Patrol, mostly in the back. Border Patrol claims he was throwing rocks, though witnesses on the Mexican side of the fence say he was […]
My bother and I once asked my dad if we could watch a show on TV, and when we named the show, Dad thought it seemed like a reasonable request. I was probably six and my brother 10, and we couldn’t believe our luck, we could finally switch the channel from PBS. We retreated excitedly to the basement, turned on our 13-inch black-and-white TV and watched in awe as a green giant (or so we had heard he was green) busted up walls and wreaked havoc.Narration can certainly enhance a documentary, but Disney insists on obvious jokes and gags that […]