Jim Shepard is the author of six novels, including most recently Project X (Knopf, 2004) and three story collections, most recently Like You’d Understand, Anyway (Knopf, 2007).
- March/April 2008: The Vanishing and American Sociopathy
Understanding America’s murderous foreign policy by way of a late-’80s killer-next-door Dutch buddy-thriller.
- October 2005: Sacrifice and Rage from Nosferatu to Pat Tillman
Count Orlok and Dick Cheney have more in common than just looks.
- May 2005: Saving Private Ryan and the Politics of Deception
George W. Bush and Steven Spielberg use the same manipulative logic to please their audience.
- February 2005: Zane Grey and the Borgias
Graham Greene’s take on postwar Vienna says an unsettling amount about America’s current endeavors.
- September 2004: Lawrence, Aguirre, and the American Imperial Moment
Tame the desert! Discover El Dorado! Invade Iraq! All it takes is a little suspension of disbelief.
- December 2003/January 2004: The Pianist and Schindler and the Hero in Disguise
The movies’ protagonists reflect not only two different Holocausts, but two irreconciliable ideas of how art might confront genocide.
- September 2003: No Regrets: Goodfellas and American Hardball
Donald Rumsfeld has something in common with the mobsters of GoodFellas: they’re going to do whatever they want, and you won’t care.
- June 2003: Grab Your Hankies, All You Women (and Democrats)!
Traditional weepies offer either self-denial or indulged desire. Babette’s Feast is no ordinary weepie.
- March 2003: Badlands and the “Innocence” of American Innocence
What do John Wayne, Donald Rumsfeld, and a teen sociopath share in common? And how is it partly our fault?