Monthly Archives: January 2020

Supercontext: The Goldfinch


This 2013 novel generated a cantankerous debate in the world of literary criticism over the quality of fiction and how we define it. We look at Tartt’s writing process and themes to try to understand whether this book deserved the praise and awards it received.

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Supercontext: Trout Mask Replica


This 1969 double-album has been described as both “unlistenable” and “one of the greatest albums of all time.” We discuss its volatile production while trying to understand its composition and how it influenced another fifty years of weird music.

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Supercontext: Ravenous


This 1999 cannibal-horror-comedy film went through three directors in a troubled production. We discussed how it successfully critiques American consumption and Manifest Destiny despite its financial failure.

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Supercontext: Batman Odyssey


This comic book series by Neal Adams is a strange combination of talent and narcissism, along with the realization that its lead character and its creator aren’t as in control as they want to be. We discuss gun violence, Expanding Earth theory, and generational conflict to try to make sense of this one-of-a-kind experience.

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Supercontext: Basquiat


This 1996 film is a purported biopic about a famous painter by another famous painter, Julian Schnabel. We ask whether the narrative this movie presents is an inaccurate portrayal of its subject because it exploits him or because the director is commenting on his own place within the world of fine art.

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