There is no greater representation of cinema as an art form than the action movie. Of all the genres, action is the most underappreciated, especially when you consider awards recognition or what belongs to the canon. But more than any other genre, action highlights the different aspects that make a movie a movie.

Think about it: You can listen to a horror podcast, and the thrillers by John Grisham are bestsellers, but action can’t exist as a genre outside of cinema. An action movie’s success depends entirely upon the combination of camera movement, editing, and visual effects, not to mention…


Despite a male-dominated entertainment industry, women continue to demonstrate their power and influence in the pop music arena

Madonna performs “Like a Virgin” at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards

When Madonna rolled around on stage in a wedding dress at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, no one could have predicted the impact she would have on the music industry. Over 30 years have passed since this now iconic moment in popular culture, and the historian’s privilege of retrospection confirms that this performance, more than any other, signified a new wave of American pop music.

From the early years of the 2000s, with emerging pop stars like P!nk, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, to the reemergence of always relevant legends such as Janet Jackson and Kylie…


Michael Shannon’ Curtis is haunted by hallucinations in Jeff Nichols’ ‘Take Shelter’

Remember when the big battle within Hollywood was not which superfluous awards show lacked diversity, but the more intellectually stimulating film versus digital debate?

By now, it’s clear that the film purists lost. The majority of movies made today are shot on digital, and the majority of movie theaters have implemented digital projection. Moviegoers, whether lining up to see the latest Marvel blockbuster, or watching whatever random made for Netflix rom-com they stumble upon before bed, can hardly tell the difference. It was a debate manufactured by, and catered to, those within the industry, or those in academia who study…


When Lester Johnson jumped off the Williamsburg Bridge last Wednesday, Marcus wasn’t surprised to learn the bad news. In the immediate aftermath, Marcus was overcome with the usual sadness that accompanies such tragedies, but now, as he stares at the closed casket on display, all he can think about are the difficulties Lester faced for over a decade, ever since Lauren found out about the drugs and the debts and filed for divorce, and he understands that Lester’s final plunge into eternal darkness, while unfortunate, isn’t exactly unexplainable.

Surrounded by the few family members Lester didn’t manage to alienate during…


All Lily wants in this moment is a handsome man she can show off to her best friend Melissa, who is selfishly using Saturday brunch as an opportunity to boast about her good fortune for having finally found, after countless uninspiring Joes and Jims and at least one Jesse, the husband of her dreams. Lily was introduced to Jason during those early stages of courtship five years ago and proclaimed, with unwavering passion to anyone who would listen, that Jason was not the desirable hunk Melissa propped him up as, but Lily realized some time ago that all the other…


Why does Happiness always hover
high above my bed sheets
like the pesky house fly?
Too agile to be swatted away,
her buzzing too shrill to avoid.
“Pay attention to me!” she pleads.

I prefer the less prying Woe.
She, unlike Happiness, does not ask for anything.
She does not require a daily check-in,
endless reassurances of unwavering devotion,
reminders of how wonderful she is,
and how grateful I am just to have her around.

Woe is not high maintenance.
She sits in silence,
and doesn’t need me to acknowledge her presence.
But Happiness, with her constant demands,
so impossible to please.
I…


Woody Allen and Dianne Wiest in ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’

I was in high school when I first saw Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and it changed my life.

By that time, I had discovered movies and knew who Allen was, but I wasn’t familiar with his filmography. I found the DVD at a local Target, of all places, and since they didn’t have a copy to rent at Blockbuster, I decided to buy it. Of all the movies I own, I’ve rewatched Hannah and Her Sisters the most.

What struck me then, and still does, is the melancholy tone of the film. Unlike Allen’s previous slapstick comedies…


Did you die?
I haven’t heard anything,
but then again, how would I?
I stopped checking the obituary pages
years ago, after my cousin passed,
and I don’t watch the local news,
so perhaps it was announced
by the primetime broadcasters
and I missed it.

You’re probably just busy at work.
By the way, what do you do?
I didn’t get to ask that question yet.
We were talking sea turtles in Texas
when you disappeared
into another Zoom meeting.
It was a Wednesday morning, and I
should have know better
than to say hello so early
in the day, I should have waited
until the evening.
Are you still in…


Taylor Swift’s ‘evermore’

In 2020, while the rest of us were perfecting banana bread recipes, Taylor Swift released two surprise records amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Combined, folklore and evermore reinforce Swift’s status as contemporary pop music’s most exciting artist.

With each new project, Swift reinvents her image and sound, much like Madonna, and at a time when her contemporaries seem to be chasing the top of the charts, she is content to follow her artistic muse wherever it takes her.

You have to admire the audacity of someone who was able to escape the country music industry’s clutch to become bubblegum pop personified…

Jon Alexander

Follow Instagram @jonalexandernyc

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