Will the Superhero Blockbusters Just Keep Coming?

The Latest Marvel Installment Promises Something Old, Something New, and Thor Feeling Blue—Mirroring the Genre’s Serial Nature

In the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, the titular protagonist sets out on a journey of self-discovery, trying to give new meaning to a life spent fighting errant gods, space elves, and other pseudo-mythological villains. After “saving planet Earth for the 500th time,” as the trailer for the film puts it, what is there left to do for Thor? The answer, the trailer suggests, will partly be more of the same. Love and Thunder will again have Thor face off with a nefarious antagonist, tussle with other gods, and punch …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …