The Peloponnesian War, Book I: Setting the Stage for War

Thucydides begins his historia of the great war between the Peloponnese and Athens (431 BC - 404 BC) by noting that he is an "Athenian" and that the he wrote of the war "from the beginning" because it is "more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it." In saying so, Thucydides cleverly draws distinction between … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book I: Setting the Stage for War

Anna Christie

Anna Christie (1930) Director: Clarence Brown "Garbo Talks!" as the advertisements displayed for the first film starring silent film's most popular asexual and mysterious actress. She was the Swedish actress and with Anna Christie she secured her first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She was well-celebrated for starring in other films like Flesh … Continue reading Anna Christie

La Chienne

La Chienne (1931) Director: Jean Renoir La Chienne (sometimes called "The Bitch") is the second sound film of the great Jean Renoir's career, son of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It was later remade by Fritz Lang as Scarlet Street in 1945. Michel Simon, the lead actor, is best remembered for his roles in other films: Boudu Saved From Drowning and L'Atalante by Jean Vigo. … Continue reading La Chienne


Morocco (1930) Director: Josef von Sternberg Morroco is a classic film - the first of six collaborations between von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich in Hollywood (1930-1935) not including the German The Blue Angel which was also released in 1930 but didn't appear in American theaters until 1931. Morocco also starred Gary "The Tall Glass of Water" Cooper. It was Dietrich's … Continue reading Morocco

The Freshman

The Freshman (1925) Director: Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor The Freshman is the original college satire film. It was Harold Lloyd's second big hit comedy film after Safety Last! in 1923. The film was shot at a variety of California college campuses, including USC and the sports teams at the close of the film were actually Stanford and UC … Continue reading The Freshman

The Crowd

The Crowd (1928) Director: King Vidor The Crowd is a remarkable film. It was a departure from King Vidor's earlier silent film WWI epic, The Big Parade, as it mostly told the story of a single man in his struggle through everyday life, though it is certainly epic in a different way. Vidor would go on to … Continue reading The Crowd

What is the Teaching of Aristotle’s Poetics?

In Aristotle's Poetics the poetic art (or poieses meaning "to create" in Greek) is a natural activity. It is an imitative act (mimesis) and is also a kind of reflection of nature. Aristotle's examination begins with a larger exploration of poetry in itself, and then the book concludes with a dramatic duel between epic poetry and tragedy. He … Continue reading What is the Teaching of Aristotle’s Poetics?