John Wilson

John Wilson

John Wilson is a freelance editor and award-winning feature writer, based in Toronto. His work has appeared in On The Danforth, Broadview and Today's Parent.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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Asian Americans in Films of the 1930s, '40s and '50s

I propose an article examining Hollywood’s depiction of Asian American characters in the early years of American film. Such portrayals have long been a subject of controversy because they have frequently dealt with stereotypes rather than authentic representations of Asian culture.

  • Just watched Josef von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1932); worth looking into regarding this subject. I never caught anything overtly racist but there are definitely moments that one might consider insensitive today. The culture and "political correctness" of the time period is always something to keep in mind. – dbotros 2 months ago
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  • Good topic, but I think there's an important distinction that must be made between "Asian Americans in films" and "representations of Asian Americans in films." The former would ideally refer to the ethnicity and/or cultural heritage of the actors who appear in the films (regardless of what type of character they are portraying), whereas the latter refers to the ways in which characters of that ethnic/cultural background are presented (regardless of the identity of the actor portraying that role). While these often go hand-in-hand, particularly in the former case, it is often the instances in which they do not coincide when controversies are more likely to arise. Surely there's a difference between someone like Anna May Wong needing to conform herself to Americans audiences' preconceived notions and stereotypes about Asian culture in order to ensure steady employment for herself, versus something like Mickey Rooney infamously donning yellowface to play Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Just some food for thought. – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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Separating Art from Artists

Earlier this year, Hachette Book Group came under significant criticism for picking up the rights to publish writer-director-actor Woody Allen’s memoir. Much of the criticism was centred on the seeming hypocrisy of the same firm that published Ronan Farrow’s "Catch and Kill," a definitive account of the #MeToo era. This was just the latest in a string of filmmakers, writers, actors and other artists being "cancelled" by the court of public opinion. I propose an article that will address, in a balanced and sensitive fashion, the extent to which people should separate the public work of these artists from their alleged private misdeeds.

Taken by kerrybaps (PM) 2 months ago.
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Art in the Time of a Pandemic

After witnessing the devastation of the 1918 flu pandemic, Virginia Woolf made the titular heroine of "Mrs. Dalloway" an influenza survivor, embracing life with flowers, friendship and a dinner party.

In recent weeks, we have all seen images of the doctors, nurses and other frontline workers, saving lives in hotspots like Italy and New York. Their faces, tired and worn out, call to mind Edward Munch’s "Self Portrait with the Spanish Flu" and "Self Portrait After the Spanish Flu".

I propose a feature on the lessons we can learn from the art of past pandemics.

  • Nice topic. Maybe you can make it How to learn from the art of past pandemics. – birdienumnum17 3 months ago
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Latest Comments

John Wilson

Great essay. Have you read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket? It’s Poe’s only novel — it drags a bit and is very different from much of his work, but it’s an interesting read to be sure.

Edgar Allan Poe: Unknown Horrors
John Wilson

An enjoyable piece, but poorly fact-checked. Lorne Michaels was 30 when the show premiered, not 32. Getting something like that incorrect makes me question a writer’s credibility, unfortunately.

The Mainstream Effect of SNL
John Wilson

I would also recommend “Primary,” the 1960 documentary about the Wisconsin primary election between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

All The Director’s Men: A Notable Kennedy Narrative