Portside Culture

Posted by Portside on March 29, 2015
Outlander returns on April 4, 2015 with new episodes to finish out its inaugural season. While it’s difficult to label neatly, there’s much to both enjoy and analyze in the complexity of Outlander, even as that very quality is likely to earn it foes. Its feminine focus and occasionally disconcerting sexual politics may earn it rejection from both sides of the gender discussion—some because it is “too feminist,” others because it’s not feminist enough.
Posted by Portside on March 27, 2015
Desert Peace
At the 104th anniversary of the Triangle Fire in New York City, poet Tom Karlson reminds us that factory tragedy remains a real issue in the global garment-making industries.
Posted by Portside on March 26, 2015
Beyond Chron
Coney Island's standing for some 147 years as inspiration for artists, from its inception as an elite seaside resort through its days as an entertainment mecca and leisure refuge for New York's working people, up to its more recent decline and the closing in 2008 of Astroland, its last iconic amusement park.
Posted by Portside on March 25, 2015
Boston Review
It's clear that President Obama out-organized his opponents in both of his runs for president. But how did he do it? Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han, in Groundbreakers, shows us how. As Andrew Mayersohn notes in this review, "giving people meaningful responsibilities is a powerful way to engage them and keep them engaged." This is a vital lesson in politics, one that Team Obama, in two national campaigns, realized with spectacular results.
Posted by Portside on March 24, 2015
The Guardian
“Taxi” is Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s third film since he was arrested in 2010 and charged with making anti-government propaganda. He was barred from making films for 20 years, from leaving the country and from speaking to the foreign media. He got around some of these restrictions this time by filming inside a taxi driving through the streets of Tehran, producing a beautifully humane fable. "Taxi" took the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival.
Posted by Portside on March 23, 2015
NPR blog
Yet another bio-engineered solution without (much of) a problem: inserting extra genes into apples turns off the enzyme responsible for apples turning brown.
Posted by Portside on March 22, 2015
With AMC's Halt and Catch Fire's second season arriving soon, a reflection on the first. Halt and Catch Fire's finale reveals it was anti-capitalist all along. For all the early technical bells and whistles, Halt has a straightforward, pleasing story arc—a ragtag team that against long odds and many obstacles does the near impossible—that toward the season’s end ran into a genuinely thought-provoking hurdle: capitalism.