Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson is a staff writer for the Village Voice. His published work includes Ghost in the Machine: Speculating on the Dark Heart of Pop Cinema and One Hundred Children Waiting for a Train.

Recent Articles

Hollywood Keeps Left

For better or worse, Hollywood loves to warble the plaintive song of lefty idealism. The unimpeachably affecting underdog dynamics make grade-A grist for the movie mill as it works around the clock to narratively confirm our most ardent hopes about ourselves. You can hardly blame the conservatives for their dudgeon about American movies, however ineptly and demagogically it is articulated. When's the last time you saw a baldly right-wing movie? Hollywood knows just as the GOP does that family sanctity is easy to sell, and so it is sold in movies frequently enough, but moviemakers also know that narratives configured on the whomp 'n' stomp of free markets play like death at the googolplex. In terms of economic scenarios, radical idealism has a much more heroic through-line and an agreeably palpable sense of justice. Witness Tim Robbins's new depression-era comedy Cradle Will Rock . But the tendency is ubiquitous. It's even in this year's preschool spectacular Adventures of Elmo in...