Tag: james cameron

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #3


This week’s podcast starts with me asking James what movies he’d like to be defined by — what he loves, what he admires, what he wants the kids to see, and how the movies affected him growing up. It’s Casablanca, Star Trek, Aliens, and Radio Days — and it’s a fun conversation. Join us, enjoy, and please share!


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF #13 Political Conflict in Marvel and DC


I’m back with the second part of my long conversation with my friend Pete Spiliakos. We talked about girls becoming women in despite of society in ’80s movies last time. In the most surprising way, Pete picked horror movies to show social and psychological realism. Well, he hit it out of the park there, but then our conversation veered to the aesthetic, dramatic art and the political implications of the new business model of sequels and franchises. Like it or not, in an age of sequels and franchises, it’s no longer feasible to ignore the problem of sucky sequels.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF #12: Strong Women


Folks, the show is back — this is my second podcast with my friend Pete Spiliakos and he has another great idea to explore: Movie heroines of our times. First, we’re going back a generation to ask about the origins of these characters: Whatever happened with the last of the Boomers and the first of the Gen X-ers? We’re talking about the arrival of thrillers and horrors that thematize the problem of adulthood for young women. We start with Nancy, the heroine of Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street (1984); then go on to Laurie (played by Jaime Lee Curtis), the heroine of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978); and then Sarah Connor, the famous heroine of James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984).


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Thoughts on The Terminator


Recently, director James Cameron started a public quarrel over what a strong woman looks like on screen. He’s angry that Wonder Woman, an obvious sexual objectification, should be considered a strong woman. It’s a step back for the movies! Well, you can imagine the woman who directed that movie did not take this kindly, nor decided discretion was the better part of valor… I know this is a very strange kind of controversy to come out of Hollywood, but these are strange times, and despite the silliness of it all, the question of how female protagonists face up to the world is important for American society in ways Hollywood used to reflect.

So says my friend Pete Spiliakos — we recorded a podcast on the DC movies seen through political philosophy — so we’re set to talk about strong women in film. He named his titles and, among them, The Terminator (1984). So you’re in for a treat for the next ACF movie podcast, as we see what a massive difference there is between the social situation of the earliest Boomers — see my recent movie essay on Nancy Meyers — and the very last Boomers, whose formative experiences were the late ’60s and the ’70s. Meanwhile, some thoughts you may not have encountered before on The Terminator, the movie that made Cameron and Schwarzenegger stars.