Elvis Is an American Tragedy. Elvis Is Just Tragic

The Singer's Story Has a Lot to Say About This ‘Pitiful Country’—But Baz Luhrmann's Biopic Ain’t Nothin’ But a Dog

There’s much to be said about Elvis Presley, the quote-unquote King of Rock ‘n’ Roll who shook the country as a white kid singing Black America’s music.

But despite its nearly three-hour run time, Elvis, the new Baz Luhrmann biopic, stays about as black and white as the racial divide it seems to suggest Presley alone could cross.

Most baffling is how incurious the movie is. It never engages on more than a surface level with the racism of the Mason–Dixon-lined country that catapulted Presley to fame. Nor is it interested in …

Where I Go: Your Doctor, My Car, Our Neighborhood

What Volunteering to Drive My Aging Neighbors Taught Me About Life and Community

In the film industry, when a new movie flops, the studio often responds with layoffs, in part to cover the stiff losses. Thus, in spring 2015, after 39 years with …

Black and white photo of Arnold Schoenberg conducting during a rehearsal with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in 1935.

The Exiled Musicians Who Escaped Fascism for La La Land

‘An Aggrieved, Talented, Witty, and Competitive Bunch’ of Artists Made Music in Hollywood’s Heyday

Generations ago, in the parenthesis of years between Hitler’s 1933 rise to power and the end of World War II, a deluge of European artists and intellectuals came to the …

Can Uncle Vanya Work in Four Different Languages? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Uncle Vanya Work in Four Different Languages?

The Play Featured in the Oscar-Nominated Japanese Film Drive My Car Offers a Window Into How Drama Brings Us Together

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” —Chekhov

Like any great aphorism, the dramatist Anton Chekhov’s advice can be taken many ways. In our 21st century …

Why the Western Remains ‘One of Our Most Powerful Cinematic Inventions’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why the Western Remains ‘One of Our Most Powerful Cinematic Inventions’

From The Searchers to The Power of the Dog, Troubled Protagonists Offer an American Vision of Death and Defeat

Robert Warshow, a tall, wry, chain-smoking New Yorker and an editor at Commentary magazine in the early 1950s, was obsessed with movies, comic books, and other forms of popular culture …

A still from Lupin

Hello (Bonjour) From Your Friendly TV Translator

I Hope You Enjoy My Subtitles and Dubs—Then Forget I Exist

If you don’t notice my work, it means I’m doing my job properly.

I’m an audiovisual translator, which means that I—and others like me—help you understand the languages spoken on screen: …