The essence of the current cultural discourse is that everything we watch is at least latently political. And we, the people, are hungry for political art. This recurring column, The Politics of American Movies, will explore everything from racially progressive Westerns and anti-fascist comedies to documentaries about the working class and popcorn flicks with subversive bite.
Apr 28, 2017, 11:43am EDT
February 3, 2018
On the eve of Super Bowl weekend, a look back at the 1999 football movie that epitomized the brutal chaos of a sport full of flawed, broken men
December 24, 2017
The historical drama about the Pentagon Papers is a nerdy, civil, heartening pro-journalism movie with a stacked cast and a dash of political prescience
November 22, 2017
In the aftermath of the L.A. riots, a determined filmmaker and a brilliant actor overcame budget concerns and voices of dissent to transform the life story of a radical black thinker into a cinematic masterpiece
September 5, 2017
In Paul Schrader’s unheralded gem, Pryor and Harvey Keitel play Detroit autoworkers who rob their own union in a plan that epitomizes the toil of the working man
May 25, 2017
The year was 1988, a high point in American history for both nuclear fear and modern romance at the movies. In ‘Miracle Mile,’ romance collides with the apocalypse, setting the middle-class idealism of the Reagan era against its sense of chaos for a uniquely hopeful kind of disaster film.
April 28, 2017
Twenty-five years after riots overtook Los Angeles, there are a slew of new documentaries that attempt to explain the events of that fateful week. But in addition to cold facts, it’s important to look at films from the early ’90s like ‘Menace II Society’ and ‘Boyz n the Hood’ to understand the mood and context that begat the violence.