Skellig Michael, the beautiful Irish island location where, in ‘The Last Jedi,’ the exiled Luke Skywalker lives out his (increasingly snarky) days. (Photo by Michael on Unsplash.)

The sarcastic storytelling attitude of 2017’s most divisive movie

Real-life deserts—and history—form the inspiration for Denis Villeneuve’s new masterpiece. (Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash)

Let’s be real: ‘Dune’ (2021) is as good as it gets for sci-fi blockbuster storytelling

A city photographed with a filter Zack Snyder might approve of. (Photo by Dima Shishkov on Unsplash.)

A conversation with literary scholar David Ting

Should travel writing be written by travelers, or, as NYTimes Travel editor Amy Virshup would have it, locals? (Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash.)

‘The Best American Travel Writing 2019' and the schisms currently upending travel journalism

Austin, TX is a boomtown, an urban colossus with attributes of Portland, Nashville, Brooklyn and San Francisco. (Photo by Harrison Blackman)

The divergent trajectories of San Antonio and Austin

Some forceful lightning would have better than too much. (Photo by O12 on Unsplash.)

The cavalier storytelling attitude of Star Wars Episode IX

Rally attendees crane their necks to catch sight of former vice president Joe Biden. (Photo by Harrison Blackman)

Biden forcefully rebuts Trump’s Ukraine accusations, ignores Warren’s momentum

Harrison Blackman

Essays on film, politics, and storytelling. Learn more at and

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