Tag: the last jedi

ACF Middlebrow #10: The Last Jedi


New podcast, new ideas, new controversies! This week, Pete Spiliakos and I talk Star Wars. We pick apart The Last Jedi to show you what is expected of competent mediocrity; how hard it is to get plots, characters, their conflicts, and relationships right; and how important it is to do so. We talk about how the audience is supposed to react to various characters and developments, thus connecting emotions to ideas to develop themes about the education of a new generation of leaders. Properly done, TLJ would have been a good story reflecting the innocence and incompetence of Millennials and their confrontation with Boomers who are both mythical and catastrophic. This is what middlebrow art is like — if only we aspire to it…

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(Click on the above image or click HERE to view the video) Feminist intellectual Camille Paglia has observed that when civilizations are in their final stages their art suddenly goes limp. Heroic portrayals of masculinity are replaced with wan, androgynous figures. These are the artistic signs that a society no longer believes in itself and […]

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The Last Jedi: Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice


Two years ago, the world was set alight when The Force Awakens was released. The movie was a mega-hit, in no small part because it stood astride two worlds, the old and the new. It gave us new characters, new worlds, new adventures, but it was grounded in and was respectful, even reverent, of the original trilogy. And, as the first of three movies in a new trilogy, it set up larger questions to be paid off later.

The movie still holds up two years later and I stand by what I wrote about it then.

ACF Middlebrow#4 Star Wars!


James Lileks and I talk Star Wars. He’s from the generation that saw it in theaters; I’m from the generation that puzzled over why The Phantom Menace was a big deal either way. We talk about how America turned that one story into a national myth, changed Hollywood, and, 40 years later, a new generation is as bewitched as the old was. We talk about the new tack of the films — dark stories and diverse casts — and the future we’re inhabiting already: Gaming, online streaming and, inevitably, VR. A tech revolution is going to take over the story. Also, George Lucas comes in for remarks…