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True Crime

Frank Serpico: A new documentary revisits the making of a hero (and a myth)

Frank Serpico is a member of an elite group of important American figures (along with Erin Brockovich and Karen Silkwood) that are almost entirely defined by the actors who played them in movies. Even if you lived in New York City in the early 1970s and remember Serpico from the headlines, most likely you picture […]

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Pop Culture

Documentaries to see: The Witness, Tower, O.J. Made In America and more

A few weeks before they announce nominations for the Academy Awards, they release a ‘short list’ of films that are being considered for the Oscar for Best Documentary√ā¬†Feature. Even if you don’t care about the Academy Awards — or the general self-congratulatory nature of Hollywood during this of year — the short list is an […]

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Pop Culture

IT’S ALIVE! How the American teenager took over the world

College girls at Maryland State, 1923 (courtesy Shorpy) The captivating tone-poem documentary Teenage makes a convincing case for one of the 20th century’s most powerful organic inventions — the teenager.  Like the telephone or Coca-Cola, the teenager was principally an American invention which took hold throughout the Western world, a product of modernity and modern […]