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Pop Rhetoric

Pop Rhetoric

Aladdin remake returns to disappointing tropes

In the wake of widespread excitement for a live-action version of Lion King, Disney has been teasing the release of Guy Ritchie’s remake of Aladdin throughout the fall. Set to be released in May 2019, the film will bring to life the world of Agrabah, a faraway land of childhood dreams. As a child, the animated version of Aladdin (1992) was my first glimpse at cartoon characters that looked something like me and my family. At the time, I was overwhelmed to see a movie that depicted an Arab story, not yet aware of the movie’s many historical and cultural inaccuracies. Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Where does ‘Roma’ belong?

With new streaming platforms appearing left and right, the battle for viewers’ attention has become increasingly diffuse. And with more and more content to sift through on a daily basis right from the comfort of one’s couch, the movie theatre’s centrality in the cultural zeitgeist has taken a major hit. It has become a major source of debate: As movies assimilate further into the household, studios will cater their projects to that kind of viewing experience. Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Queering video games

My first encounter with a gay relationship was as a kid playing The Sims 2, when I selected the ‘flirt’ action for two male avatars. Taking caution to make sure that no one was watching my computer screen, I didn’t know what two boys ‘flirting’ even looked like. I thought it was a glitch in… Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Gap-Toothed Women

In preparation for getting her braces on, my 13-year-old sister Noa recently met with her orthodontist for a consultation. The two agreed that she would have her braces on for about three years, that her elastics would be a neutral white instead of the bright pink and green for which I had opted at her… Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Pop Dialectic: Is Mother! An inscrutable masterpiece? or regurgitated sexist hobgob?

mother! (2017) is a slamming punch to the face—a descent from taut, domestic psychodrama to full-throttle hermeneutic madness. In director Darren Aronofsky’s words, it is “a fever dream,” dabbling in feminism, filmmaking, and biblical allegory. While all of this could make for a truly impactful film, mother! instead flounders in a sea of sensory overload and delirium, perhaps… Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Pop Rhetoric: Selling horror

Three weekends into its theatre run, Andrés Muschietti’s It continued to lead the box-office with an impressive $29.8 million three-day total. Simultaneously, Darren Aronofsky’s mother! kept collecting dust with a meek $3.3 million in its second weekend despite strong TIFF word-of-mouth and Jennifer Lawrence’s star power. Both films are critically-acclaimed, classified horror, and aimed at… Keep Reading

Pop Rhetoric

Pop Rhetoric: Taylor Swift is her own hot take

As soon as Taylor Swift deleted her Instagram account, her fans (known as “Swifties”) predictably anticipated a new album, which recently was revealed to be entitled Reputation, scheduled for release Nov. 10. Using social media stunts as teasers is commonplace among pop stars and cultural icons, but Swift’s release of clips featuring slithering snakes drew… Keep Reading

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