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Weaponized Curiosity by Andrew Collins When I queued up Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast last summer, I expected the show would be a hit. We’ve given his books the RedFence stamp of approval, and it seemed the versatile journalist-turned-pop-sociologist would have no trouble donning a few more hats as historian and podcaster. To no surprise, but […]

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A Better Battle by Andrew Collins In Captain America: Civil War (directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo) Marvel has once again found a way to have its cake and eat it too, proving that there are still comic book stories that don’t need the fate of the entire world at stake to be compelling. Just […]

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Go Big or . . . Trust Me, Just Go Big! by Andrew Collins It may be best to understand the charmed brilliance of Sing Street by considering the slice of life that The Sandlot captures from 1950s America. Apply the relationship to 1980s Ireland, and you’ll end up with something like this latest effort […]

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Tommy’s World by Abigail Beck “Photography can elevate the quality of life.”  –Tommy Lundberg A cooling breeze floated down the alley in West Hollywood. The sun was beginning to set, forcing the oppressive Southern California heat into reluctant submission, but the red neon signs and black-and-white striped awning of Alfred Coffee {In The Alley} didn’t […]

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Deepening Dreams by Andrew Collins The way Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer tell it, they pitched the idea for their freshman television show without a storyboard or written synopsis. Instead, the brothers stitched together clips out of dozens of films from the 1980s. That sounds about right. The opening scene of Stranger Things […]

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And Everything Turned Out OK by Jack H. Simons The basic story plot for all ages pits ultimate evil against flawed good with the flawed good coming out on top. The protagonist must be flawed because we are all flawed. Only Jesus Christ or an old-timey Methodist would claim sinless perfection, but the rest of […]

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Editor’s Note: This is the first in our new essay series Holes in the Wall, highlighting independent restaurants whose craft achieves the level of genuine artistry. The Good Life by Jack H. Simons “Chicago, Chicago, that Toddling Town” Frank Sinatra had it right. “They have the time of their life in Chicago.” A Chicago pizza and […]

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A Little Rogue by Andrew Collins Here’s an interesting question: is Rogue One a true Star Wars film, or isn’t it? Differentiated from the rest of the films in the beloved space opera saga by the descriptor, “A Star Wars story,” Rogue One breaks precedent with the rest of the Star Wars series in several […]

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Image: Valle della Scurosa by luigi alesi

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Internal Life by Andrew Collins Room, the much-lauded film directed by Lenny Abrahamson, defies simple categorization. Technically we could call it a drama, but while it has the necessary plot points and relational tension, the sum of its parts melds into something more like a meditation. The effect is reminiscent of something by Terrence Malick, where the […]

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