Press Play

A Video Essay on THE X-FILES: Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head

What is the American Dream? Is it wealth? Power? Or it is something more existential like raising a family with a particular set of values?
  • By Ken Cancelosi and Serena Bramble
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  • October 30, 2013 12:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Siding with the Victim, Part 3: We Are All Meat

Trapped. Tortured. Hunted. Slaughtered. This is the way of life, and death, for most animals. We’d like to forget this, but the horror film never forgets. It reminds us that, like the over 50 billion animals killed every year for human consumption, in the end, we are all meat.
  • By Jed Mayer and Ken Cancelosi
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  • July 24, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Horror Films and the War on Women (Siding with the Victim, Part 2)

Horror movies tell us tales of defeat, usually involving women. Most people would say that horror films are generally anti-feminist, even misogynistic. But the stories of victims are just as important as those of victors. The war on women has been going on for many years, and the stories of its victims still need to be told.
  • By Jed Mayer and Ken Cancelosi
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  • July 17, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Siding with the Victim, Part I: THE SHINING

From the time we are little children we like hearing scary stories. Some psychologists claim it’s because we use these stories to work through our anxieties. Maybe there’s another explanation to why we like scary stories. Perhaps we don’t identify with the victors so much as the victims.
  • By Jed Mayer and Ken Cancelosi
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  • July 10, 2013 8:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TRAILER: SIDING WITH THE VICTIM: A Video Essay Series

During July, Press Play will be presenting a three-part video essay series called "Siding with the Victim," about the ways in which identifying with the hapless ones in horror films, the ones who go into the basement/behind the creaky door/into the woods without a flashlight/into the attic, is a crucial part of what makes these films so compelling.
  • By Jed Mayer and Ken Cancelosi
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  • July 2, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Siskel and Ebert: Screen Fighting Men

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were journalists, film reviewers, TV personalities and friends. They disliked each other and loved each other. They needled each other on the air and put on a great show, but it was always in the service of film criticism and education, a means of exciting viewers and drawing them in.
  • By Ken Cancelosi
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  • April 5, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Sorkinisms, by Kevin T. Porter: A Writer Under a Microscope

I don't know what to think of this video. But I know what its creator, Kevin T. Porter, wants me to think of it.
  • By Kevin T. Porter and Ken Cancelosi
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  • June 27, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 5 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: ON THE QT # 1: RESERVOIR DOGS

Press Play launches its new director series "On the Q.T.," about Quentin Tarantino, with a look at his debut "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). Although it earned plenty of acclaim, the film also sparked two kinds of controversy.
  • By Aaron Aradillas, Matt Zoller Seitz & Ken Cancelosi
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  • June 20, 2012 8:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Maurice Sendak: Outside Over There

There’s absolutely no denying the ground-shaking societal impact of "Where The Wild Things Are," "In The Night Kitchen" and, in a quieter way, "Outside Over There"—they are the great post-Victorian children’s manifesto of rebellion.
  • By Tres Seymour and Ken Cancelosi
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  • May 29, 2012 9:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN HOLLYWOOD: HORROR, MAKEUP AND THE OSCARS

The practitioners of visual effects have a favorite phrase for what they do: the Invisible Art – effects that are imaginative, even astonishing, but that are ultimately there to sell a world, a character or a moment. Special makeup might be the best illustration of this principle. One of makeup's greatest triumphs is An American Werewolf in London, which in 1982 became the first film to win an Oscar for makeup in regular competition. Overseen by Rick Baker, who supervised all of the film's makeup effects, it shows a man changing into a werewolf in real time…right in front of your eyes. This sequence was the culmination of eight decades of movie makeup. And the film's Oscar represented a coming-out for a once-neglected aspect of filmmaking.
  • By Aaron Aradillas, Matt Zoller Seitz & Ken Cancelosi
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  • February 24, 2012 1:15 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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