Break: On Cuba–An Interview with Journalist and Boxer Brin-Jonathan Butler

This image is taken from Brin-Jonathan Butler’s Twitter.

Brin-Jonathan Butler is a journalist, sportswriter, filmmaker, and perennial boxer. His work has appeared in Vice, Deadspin, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Harper’s, The Paris Review and The New York Times. Hee is the author of A Cuban Boxer’s Journey: Guillermo Rigondeaux, from Castro’s Traitor to American Champion and The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in the Last Days of Castro’s Cuba. Largely composed of interviews he’s hustled into existence or conducted beyond the reach of Cuban state surveillance, his writing is a dense archive of opinions, witticisms, and commentaries on Cuban culture–its discontents, its happinesses, and its dazzling inconsistencies. He often describes Castro’s Cuba as “1984 if Charles Dickens had written it,” and in his experience, Olympic-grade boxers struggling to leave Cuba without trading in their Cubanness for international cash are some of the story’s most dogged protagonists. He’s interviewed celebrities from Mike Tyson to Slavoj Žižek, hustled tourists at chess, and had an affair with Castro’s granddaughter. Continue reading

Break: Disruption

Disruption is a series of digital images produced by a camera subjected to abrupt motion during exposure. The title describes the process of their creation, as well as their concern with the tension between the motion of the world and stillness of photography. The latter presumes to isolate an infinitesimal unit of time, yet is itself a continuum.

The camera was focused on a particular element—in one case a face,  in another an architectural intersection. It was then accelerated rapidly alone one or more axes using a variety of mechanisms, such as levers and pulleys, in the window of time during which the image was captured.

By Jake Seaton ’17

Disruption I

Disruption I

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Rumor: Ready for Thomas — Wolf Hall and the White House

“Master Cromwell, your reputation is bad,” a red-bearded King Henry VIII tells the protagonist of PBS’s new Tudor-era series, Wolf Hall. Cromwell, sullen and overdressed in a sunlit hedge garden, lowers his chin, prompting the king’s bemusement.

“Your majesty can form your own opinion,” Cromwell replies. By the next episode, he’s been elected to the king’s privy counsel. Continue reading

Rumor: Good Kid, M.A.A.D Cité: Georgio in Twenty-First-Century Paris

It’s of some interest to watch new music videos released in 2015 by the French rapper Booba if only to be sobered by their backwardness. The Rolls Royce-driving, Yankees-cap-wearing, 2000s-rap-troping Booba—a cultural annex of the US and of questionable originality—is arguably the most recognizable name in current French hip-hop. Sometimes he raps about how other rappers have fewer twitter followers than he. And he garners upwards of 2 million views on every stacks-and-sportscar-intensive video he puts out. Continue reading

Distortion: The Problem of Dubbing in International Cinema–Part Three, A Kingdom of Isolation

A Kingdom of Isolation

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here.

In June of 2007, television personality and former Québécois politician Mario Dumont took his children to see Shrek the Third, the third installment of the popular ogre-centric comedy films. He left the theater outraged. The version of Shrek that he saw had been dubbed in France and then imported to Quebec, something that rendered it incomprehensible to his and apparently many other children. The dub, it seemed, had been infected with Parisian slang and garbled by an unfamiliar accent, unpleasantly distinguishing it from the international French Quebecers have come to expect in films and television. At the center of a media frenzy, Dumont called for a radical solution. He proposed a bill that would “require all movies distributed in Quebec to be dubbed in Quebec, or not shown at all.”¹ This bill did not pass. Continue reading