Category Archives: movies

Movie “Rub & Tug” endangered after transgender protests lead to Scarlet Johansson’s withdrawal

As I reported the other day, Scarlett Johansson was set to star in a movie called “Rub & Tug”, recounting the life of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who transitioned at a late age, and then was jailed for tax evasion after having run a string of massage parlors that were fronts for prostitution. After […]

Scarlett Johansson vilified for playing role of trans man in a movie, columnist fired for defending her

As reported in multiple venues, actor Scarlett Johansson, set to play a transgender man in an upcoming movie, has been vilified for what I guess can be called “gender appropriation”. How dare she, ask the critics, take a role that could be played more “authentically” by a genuine transgender man? As the New York Times […]

“Tokyo Story”

Yasujiro Ozu’s great movie—in my view, one of the two greatest non-Anglophone films ever made (the other, also Japanese, is Ikiru)—is now free on YouTube, and with English subtitles. Read about Tokyo Story here and see the uniformly positive reviews here (100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes). If you watch it, put it on the […]

Is long hair on women superheroes sexist?

The latest episode of Pecksniff Syndrome on the Left is an article from, retweeted by the increasingly obnoxious site Vox below. Superheroes don’t wear ponytails — and yes, it’s sexist. Via @Racked: — Vox (@voxdotcom) April 29, 2018 The premise of the article “Superheroes don’t wear ponytails, and yes, it’s sexist,” by Rebecca […]

Movie: McCollum v. Board of Education

Heather Hastie called my attention to the existence of a movie, McCollum v. Board of Education, that exists in its entirety on YouTube. This case, which was argued before the Supreme Court in late 1947 and decided in 1948, decided the issue of whether public schools could support religious education by setting aside class time […]

The Oscars

I didn’t watch the Oscars last night as I have a thousand pages of books to review (not on this site), as well as reading Pinker’s Enlightenment Now. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have watched the show anyway, as the awards go on too long and I can always read who won the next day. […]

The inevitable intersectional pushback for “Black Panther”

When the movie “Black Panther” came out, with an African-American director and an all-black cast, and then it cleaned up at the box office and attracted tons of black children, I was pleased. Yes, I know there have been black superhero movies before, but this one was reputed to be especially good, and what’s wrong […]

An email from Istanbul (note: felids!)

My friend Andrew Berry teaches a mini-course in Istanbul once a year, and of course Istanbul is Cat City Central (see below). I got an email from him today about his encounter with a cat while lecturing. As you’ll see, Istanbul cats are especially fearless, as the citizens of that beautiful city nurture them and […]

This is not the review you’re looking for (no spoilers)

by Grania (This is completely spoiler-free) This is not a review of The Last Jedi, that will come in a day or so, it’s just a point-and-roll-eyes at an op ed in io9 titled “I Need to Talk About Luke’s Beverage in The Last Jedi“.  The author writes that this scene was ” truly disturbing, and […]

Tokyo Story

If you want a nice movie to watch tonight, this is the one.  Tokyo Story (1953), directed by the great Yasujirō Ozu, is one of the top two or three of my favorite foreign films (Ikiru from 1952 is another). Somehow the movie is free on YouTube with English subtitles. I provide it for your delectation, and […]