By Jonathan J. Morris, Antiscribe.com
With the coming July 4 holiday bringing the anticipated (though not by everybody) reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, it seemed like an appropriate moment to once again trace the filmic and televisual history of another major figure in popular culture. Who? Why, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, of course!
The core backstory of Spider-Man is well and widely known – Peter Parker, a socially awkward but brilliant young man from Forest Hills, Queens is bitten by a radioactive spider (or a genetically enhanced one, depending on the era) while on a school field trip and soon finds himself blessed (and cursed) with spider-like powers. After a failure to use his “gifts” properly results in personal tragedy, he realizes the deeper meaning of the mantra “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Becoming the superhero Spider-Man, he protects the neighborhoods of his native New York City from both everyday criminals and monstrous super-villains; indeed, Spidey’s rogues’ gallery is second only to Batman’s in depth and popularity, boasting the Green Goblin, Venom, the Lizard, the Scorpion, the Kingpin, Carnage, the Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, and (my personal favorite) Doctor Octopus. Read the rest of this entry
By Jonathan Morris, Antiscribe.com
This past Saturday, thanks to a former classmate’s random act of kindness, I was granted the opportunity to see the much-anticipated Marvel’s The Avengers at its New York City première on the closing night of the Tribeca Film Festival.[i] Now, as it happened, traveling to the Tribeca Performing Arts Center from my home in New Jersey took me through the PATH station at the World Trade Center. Though I’ve wanted to go down there many, many times over the last few years, due to some deeply-held and overpowering emotions this was actually the first time I had visited the site since after September 11. As I stepped out of the station, located at the foot of One World Trade Center, I gazed up at the still under construction Freedom Tower. Though I expected to be slightly more overcome by emotion than I actually was, I nonetheless experienced a deep sense of poignancy that stayed with me as I headed over to the screening itself.
By Andrew Golledge, Antiscribe.com
In Steve McQueen’s Shame we see a moment play out that we’ve seen in many films before it: the protagonist hitting rock bottom. For Shame, the protagonist is a wealthy, gorgeous white man whose rock bottom is having beautifully lit sex with two gorgeous women at the same time. It’s a testament to McQueen’s direction, Harry Escott’s score and Michael Fassbender’s performance that the scene isn’t laughable, but instead a moment of pained surrender that seems to punctuate a lifetime’s worth of addiction.
It is a sex addiction, one with which Brandon has seemingly lived without incident for years as he pursued some anonymous corporate career in midtown Manhattan. There is certainly little for it to distract from outside his work; when he’s not paying for high-end sex or picking up girls from bars and clubs, he’s enjoying mid-day masturbatory bathroom trips and late nights with left over Chinese take-out, beer and porn. Yet as appealing as all that sounds, it’s upon the unexpected moving-in of his significantly more extroverted sister, Sissy, that we begin to see how deeply rooted his need for sexual release is. Not only does her presence prevent him from engaging in his usual escapades at home, but he’s also confronted with what is most likely the cause of his addiction: their sexual relationship. Read the rest of this entry