Style / Substance / Sex / City

  There have been countless articles recently bemoaning the lack of female characters in the summer movie slate. Even A-listers like Gwyneth and Cameron are slumming it in movies barely tailored to their star-power. It’s enough to make a grown-girl moviegoer cry. That’s why just about every person of the… More

Why Fashion Thrives & Music Dies

Fashion and music are inseparable industries, joined at the hip and usually happy to be so. Designers make fabulous clothes for musicians (and concert T’s for their fans); fans emulate their idols, and their idols, in turn, try to capture fresh new trends from the street. It’s a thriving ecosystem… More

Happiness Engines

If games are so good at motivating people, then why not make real life more like a game? Games are, after all, happiness engines. They have rules you can understand, opportunities for collaboration and feedback, and best of all, it’s actually possible to win. For most humans, this is not… More

Will Tomorrow’s World Still Need Designers?

At Davos this year, four luminaries in the world of design were asked to predict what the future of design will be. The themes that arose from this discussion seemed to coalesce into two distinct categories that I’d venture to call ‘internal’ and ‘external.’ On the one hand, the speakers… More

Whose Country?

Now that the desert desperation and motiveless malignity of No Country for Old Men has been showered with awards from the Director’s Guild and the Screen Actor’s Guild, it’s worth mulling over what the film, apart from its skillful acting and directorial panache, is actually about. [SPOILER ALERT: If you… More

Believing Fiction

When I read that the Dean of West Point made a special trip to the set of 24 to beg the writers there to change the way they depict torture, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Of course his students were swayed by the show’s hair-raising depictions of Jack Bauer,… More

The Art of Film Financing

We’ve heard plenty about mysterious accounting practices in the film industry so I was very curious to hear what the suits have to say about financing films at the American Film Market. For an avid moviegoer and cultural critic like myself, going to the AFM Finance Conference is like glimpsing… More

The Folly of Trying to Own Fashion

Imagine if blues great B.B. King were able to prevent other artists from imitating his signature riffs, or Einstein’s estate could prevent scientists from using E=MC2 without first getting permission or paying a royalty. The blues would languish as an art form. Theoretical physics would remain stuck in the 19th… More