Tom Carson

Tom Carson won two National Magazine Awards during his stint as Esquire's "Screen" columnist and has been nominated twice more as GQ's movie reviewer. Formerly a staff writer at LA Weekly and The Village Voice, he is the author of Gilligan's Wake (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2003) and Daisy Buchanan's Daughter.

Recent Articles

Woody Allen's Excellent Adventure

Midnight in Paris is nothing more than a dilettante's guide to the City of Lights.

AP Images

Up for four Academy Awards on February 26 and Woody Allen's biggest box-office hit ever, Midnight in Paris seems likely to overtake even 1977's Annie Hall as the man's most beloved movie. And I wish I could belove it myself, honest I do. In this case, it's no fun to disparage the core audience's genuine pleasure.

I Fought PBS and PBS Won

Downton Abbey gives the network a bona fide guilty pleasure.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Maybe I should have heeded Joe Strummer's obscene warning back in 1980. "He who fucks nuns/Will later join the church," the Clash's front man sang biliously on London Calling—and here I am 32 years later, watching Downton Abbey. I guess Joe had my number all along.

Who Would Joe Hill Root For?

A liberal's guide to the NFL playoffs

AP Photo/Bill Baptist

There is a myth abroad in this great land that liberals can't stand pro football. Like so many myths, it's partly true, definitely so in refined circles. The violence, the beer commercials—these are an affront to civilized minds. When left-leaning op-ed columnists want to demonstrate that they're in the American swim, they're far more likely to out themselves as baseball fans. But that tic seems to apply across the political spectrum, and geez, isn't it nauseating? Reading George Will on baseball is like watching a praying mantis suit up as a Good Humor man.

The Yahoos Are Winning

A longtime movie critic's departure from the Village Voice signals a changing cultural tide.

Two unrelated but oddly congruent events riled up the movie blogosphere at the turn of the year. One was the inclusion of Forrest Gump—the 1994 Best Picture winner about a Candide-like naïf (Tom Hanks) stumbling through the 20th century from Kennedy's New Frontier to Reagan's morning in America—in the National Film Registry's annual choice of 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant films" worth preservation by the Library of Congress. The other was the Village Voice's January 4 firing of senior film critic J. Hoberman after 24 years in the top slot and a decade more than that of contributing to the paper.

Yes We Camelot

What cultural artifacts will come to embody the current presidential administration?

Feel free to try this at home, but I guarantee you won't get anything out of it except a migraine. Imagine you've been a bit prematurely asked to fill a time capsule with telltale cultural artifacts of the Age of Obama—the evocative movies, TV shows, hit tunes, and other creative whatnots that will someday exemplify the ineffable atmosphere of our 44th president's first term. 

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