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Mary Pickford: The Archetypal (Canadian) Actress

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 21: The Blank Screen

The history of Canadian actors is unlike the history of Canadians in any other medium. Canadian novelists are celebrated at home and barely noticed abroad. Canadian musicians are oddities and curiosities with hardcore fanbases. Canadian directors are singular visionaries who engage (or refuse to engage) with the meaning of life itself.

But Canadians have been such an integral part of Hollywood that you have to remind people that a famous actor is, or was Canadian. And so, as I introduce the archetypal Canadian actress – Gladys Smith, aka Mary Pickford – I really have to squint to pick out what makes her Canadian.

PreTeena: March 18 – March 24, 2019

Sunday Comics!

You won’t want to miss these hilarious cartoons depicting the ups and downs of adolescence. Now each week’s strips will debut on Sundays as the lead strip of Liberty Island’s Sunday Comics feature. If you draw a comic and would like to have your work featured on Sundays, please contact us: [email protected]

Check out Allison Barrows’ new PreTeena blog here.

2 Photos: Attila and the Monarch

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

Why Are So Many Horror Movies an Allegory for Modern Parenting?

“Birdbox” and “A Quiet Place” are recent horror movies featuring parents trying to protect children in a world full of monsters. What is interesting to me is how often I’ve heard both horror movies considered an allegory for modern parenting.

Pulp Fiction Reviews on Mike Baron’s Disco: ‘a New Side to His Fabulous Imagination’

A generous review from Ron Fortier on one of Liberty Island’s new novels.

Green Book: The Worst Best Picture Winner I’ve Ever Seen. My Rankings…

My Oscar Viewing List Isn’t Complete, But I Haven’t Seen One As Lousy as last Year’s Most Blatant Oscar Bait

So Green Book finally became available on Netflix and April and I watched it over the weekend, both in a similar state of annoyance and almost embarrassment that this silly, formulaic, insulting movie had won Best Picture. It was about as bad as predicted, save for a handful of entertaining and redeeming moments from Mahershala Ali. I can see why the family of Dr. Donald Shirley would be so angered by the obvious false scenes inserted into a narrative based on a true story.

Roma should have won. Black Panther was good enough to deserve to win too. (Blockbusters in the past such as Avatar being nominated and the third Lord of the Rings winning so I think Black Panther as the winner would have been legitimate.) BlackkKlansman is much better than Greenbook and one of Spike Lee’s rare upper tier films. It’s still fairly B-level, mediocre, though (and totally unworthy of a best picture nomination or the screenwriting award Lee won). But that’s such an improvement over his usual C or D-level offerings.

Shamed Writer-Director James Gunn Is Back For ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’ Are We Groot?

Disney reinstating James Gunn as the writer-director of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ignited a controversy reaching beyond the tarnishing of Disney’s brand. It sparks a question, to which the answer is a social-political barometer. Do we really want to trade redemption for social assassination? 

The 34 Liberty Island Books Published from December 2014 Through February 2019

Pick up our new military fiction anthology!

If you’ve enjoyed one of Liberty Island’s titles chances are you’ll love another. See the new updated list here and download the catalog!

New Humor Fiction: Hitch-Hike Baby

Part 4 In the Odyssey of Carlos Stranger…

I did a lot of hitch-hiking around Shreveport before I got my learner’s permit and was able to drive my parent’s 1962 Buick Invicta station wagon. As a consequence, I’m probably lucky to be alive. Based on my experience, I can’t recommend thumbing rides; doing so was an absolute never-ever for my own children. While hitchhiking was something we did back in the day, due to the inherent dangers it has fallen out of favor. Does anyone hitchhike anymore?

The Reitman Family’s Blissful Ignorance

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 20: Space to Laugh an Easy Laugh

Meatballs. Space Jam. Kindergarten Cop. Animal House. And above all, Ghostbusters.

These are just a few of the easy, breezy, morally loose and lighthearted comedy classics either directed by or produced by Canadian film legend Ivan Reitman. I don’t have to introduce or analyze them, because you know them all. You can quote lines from them. These films were memeworthy before memes were a thing.

Everything about the guy just screams likeability. Reitman was happy to lend some of his middle-to-low-brow cred to more artistically-minded Canadians – he produced Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, and helped David Cronenberg with a couple of his early projects in the ’70s. Kids can – and probably should, these days – watch his films and delight in them. Actors like Bill Murray, Danny DeVito and Sigourney Weaver loved working with him, and years later he helped give birth to the “Frat Pack” comedy explosion with 2003’s Old School. Even SJWs have to build around or subvert the structures he creates rather than trying to tear them down – that’s how you got “Lady Ghostbusters.”

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