Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Vol.91.4: PARIS AND THE PROFESSORS, a Movie Review Essay

V091-04_0clip_image002_001

There were seven screenwriters on Casablanca.  Chances are that at least one of them had a romantic experience in Paris that resulted in Bogart’s doleful line to Bergman Read More

Vol.89.4: CINEMA CHINA, Part 6

© 1974, Paramount Pictures Chinatown, USA

© 1974, Paramount Pictures
Chinatown, USA

[This concludes the Cinema China series]

Chinese often viewed America as the jin shan, “Gold Mountain,” the name Read More

Vol.89.2: CINEMA CHINA, Part 5

William Holden and Jennifer Jones on a “high and windy hill” in Hong Kong © 1955, 20th Century Fox

William Holden and Jennifer Jones on a “high and windy hill” in Hong Kong © 1955, 20th Century Fox

Counter-Revolutionary Cinema

China seems to live up to the axiom that the only constant is change. 1949 brought a big change indeed; but a political Read More

Vol.89.1: Creation Re-Boot (Re-Boat?)

© 2014, UrbisMedia

© 2014, UrbisMedia

Lost passage from Genesis: Gen 2.0: And God felt that his computer had crashed when the humans he had created from his animation program had gone all crazy killing Read More

Vol.88.8: The Passion of the Mel [A Good Friday Reprise from, 15.4]

© 2004, UrbisMedia

© 2004, UrbisMedia

2014: I used to ask my grad students in my seminars that, if they could time travel, would they prefer going into the future, or the past.  Then I would ask them Read More

Vol.88.7: CINEMA CHINA, Part 4

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[continued from 88.3]


The rather odd story of Western heroism in the face if the Japanese conquest of Nanking is recounted in John Read More

Vol.88.4: CINEMA CHINA, Part 3

Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich ride in separate compartments on the Shanghai Express. ©1932 Paramount Pictures

Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich ride in separate compartments on the Shanghai Express. ©1932 Paramount Pictures

The Enduring Revolution

The essence of drama is conflict, and China’s conflicted 20th C plays out like a dysfunctional family saga compounded by uninvited foreign guests Read More

Vol.88.2: CINEMA CHINA, Part 2

© 1937, MGM

© 1937, MGM

The good earth of MGM’s expensive ($2.8 million) 1937 film of Pearl S. Buck’s award winning book was not of Chinese soil. Filmed entirely on a five-hundred-acre farm Read More

Vol.88.1: CINEMA CHINA, Part 1

© 1935, Fox Film Corp

© 1935, Fox Film Corp

Like most Westerners of my generation the author came to know China and especially the Chinese from Western actors playing Asians in “yellowface” in The Read More

Vol.85.5: PHOOEY ON FANTASY

Image manipulated by UrbisMedia, 2013

Image manipulated by UrbisMedia, 2013

I am a realist. I don’t mean that in a personal sense, because I realize that I am also in many respects also a “romantic.” But, since I define being a “romantic” Read More

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