Archive for May, 2004

Revival of the Revenge Film

While doing a procrastinatory blogroll surf, I came across a GreenCine link to a New York Times article by A.O. Scott that addresses the sudden popularity of the “revenge film,” with the most palpable examples being The Punisher, the Kill Bill films, and Man on Fire.

Scott notes that although many of these films were in production before 9/11 (especially the Kill Bill films, which have been planned since the mid-1990s), the revenge film has increased in intensity since the 9/11 attacks. It’s an interesting argument, and if I weren’t procrastinating too much already, I’d give the article even more attention (I’d also link to the blogger I’ve read recently who made a similar observation).

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My Contribution to Grade Inflation

I’m just about to turn in grades, and now I’m thinking that perhaps I should follow the “advice” of Michael Bérubé and recalibrate my grades to avoid grade inflation. I’m sure that my students would be pleased to see me uphold the virtues of rigor and fairness that grade inflation has destroyed.

To be honest, grade inflation is apparently relatively minimal here at Tech (at least my students tell me that), especially given the “stingy” reputation of engineering professors, but this issue has an additional complication in Georgia in that most in-state students are on the HOPE scholarship (which pays tuition and a small book allowance) and have to maintain a 3.0 GPA to keep the scholarship.

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More Uncovered Stuff

Quick link to a Blogging of the Presidency review of Uncovered. One of my specific goals right now is to find reviews or descriptions of house parties. One of my major arguments about the film is that it should be understood specifically in terms of the reception carefully crafted by MoveOn, Greenwald, and others.

The difficulty here is that the film has such a clear position on the war (specifically it is critical of the Bush administration’s misleading statements on WMD). One critic I’ve read asserts that this stance risks foreclosing debate on the war, including opposing it on grounds other than lies about WMD. Because of the MoveOn house parties, I think this reading needs to be complicated. Uncovered isn’t an isoltaed text, something that ends when the credits roll, but an open text that encourages discussion through its unusual production and distribution.

Mary at Pacific Views also has a review, while Corey at Burt’s Taco Palace also offers a succinct review. More later, I’m sure.

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