Joseph W. Long

Joseph W. Long is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics at Butler University in Indianapolis.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


The "They" Pronoun and The Importance of Non-Binary Representation

In Showtime’s "Billions", Asia Kate Dillon portrays the first non-binary lead character on television. Their well-developed character humanizes a group of individuals that struggle to find inclusion in our society. And their representation familiarizes Americans with the proper use of the "they" pronoun.


    Suicide and Censorship

    Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has been blamed for many teen suicides. More recently, the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why, has faced the same accusations. Is there a casual relationship between the depiction of teen suicides in movies and television and actual suicides in teens? And if so, would the causal connection merit censorship for utilitarian purposes?

    • I think that one's decision to commit suicide,taking into account the proper context, is an expression of our Free Will and it is a brave one. – AntonioFarfanFiorani 5 years ago
    • The way I see it, although teen suicides might be influenced by the media, that will never be the ultimate cause. A show like 13 Reasons Why, even if it may glamorize suicide to some young people, probably wouldn't have that effect if the kids watching it weren't already troubled. The answer is not more censorship but a focus on improving the mental health of young people before they become depressed or anxious. – Debs 5 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    Sadly, I agree with you about The New World. I mean it didn’t make me angry but I thought it was his least successful film until Song to Song. Actually, although I don’t mention in the article, To the Wonder is my favorite, but I get why most people didn’t like it. So crazy that a film starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams and set mostly in Oklahoma is 90% in French! Not the kind of thing you generally want to spring on audiences.

    The Philosophical Filmmaking Process of Terrence Malick

    Thanks, Chad. Never thought of it’s similarity to The Fountain, but great call. Both feel like cosmic, poetic prayers.

    The Philosophical Filmmaking Process of Terrence Malick

    Thank you so much. Your interest and encouragement means a lot.

    The Philosophical Filmmaking Process of Terrence Malick

    Thank you for all the great comments. I’ve been traveling and haven’t had a chance to respond to specific comments yet. But I’ve enjoyed reading and very much appreciate your feedback. More soon.

    So excited for Malick’s new film, ‘A Hidden Life’. Trailer looks amazing!

    His method doesn’t seem to have changed much. August Diehl says: “There are no breaks for light changes or counter shots, you are always on the whole time — that makes you after a few weeks just living it,” Diehl told TheWrap’s Steve Pond at the Toronto International Film Festival. “You live the whole thing, you are breathing it, you are not thinking abut particular scenes — you think about the life. You think about the hay that needs to be changed or working on a farm”

    “I remember one day, I was laying on a meadow sleeping because I was so exhausted and the camera was here,” he said, pointing to his face, “and they are filming everything they can have.” —

    The Philosophical Filmmaking Process of Terrence Malick

    Thanks for the great reply. Excellent example of The Exorcist as a thoughtful, philosophical horror film.

    Yah, is it just me or did Christian really get a raw deal?! Please don’t get me wrong: he’s deeply flawed and it was a bad relationship that needed to end but the ‘toxicity’ was more a product of negligence, apathy, and laziness on his part, right? I can relate to his predicament. He wants to end it. He knows that it should end, but how can he end it right now after her family tragedy? Maybe an ambivalent, half-hearted romantic commitment is a kind of abuse. I’ll have to think about it.

    Unrelated: has anyone seen the 2003 film, Midsommer in which a guy named Christian and his girlfriend (whose sister has just committed suicide) and two other friends go to a midsummer festival in Sweden and weird things start to happen?

    I have not. But very interested to investigate the connection if any.

    Cheers again on a great essay!

    Midsommar: The Horrors of a Toxic Relationship

    Thank you for this great article, Emily. There were so many unusual things that struck me about this film: it’s utter beauty, the unsettling use of perpetual daylight as a horror device, Aster’s use of sound (perhaps the most wild and jarring since Polanski’s ‘Repulsion.’)

    But what kept me thinking about this film and what kept me thinking about ‘Hereditary’ was Aster’s unusual narratives. Is ‘Hereditary’ a supernatural thriller, a family drama? Is ‘Midsommar a relationship movie, a horror film, a psychedelic trip. The stories are winding, multi-thematic, and strange. At first blush, this bothered me. But, Aster is such a sure-footed filmmaker that I am now convinced that these narrative decisions are deliberate.

    Ari Aster’s stories defy our conventions and he may prove to be a filmmaker as wild and maverick as David Lynch.

    Midsommar: The Horrors of a Toxic Relationship

    David Robert Mitchell has yet to make a film that really comes together narratively. Still, he is clearly a directorial force to be taken seriously. His 2018 feature, Under the Silver Lake, is even more ambient and stylish.

    It Follows: Murder v.s. Martyr and the Death of Youth

    I really loved the “Indians on TV” episode directed by Eric Wareheim. It prompted a great discussion in my Race, Class, and Gender seminar.

    Master of None: A Television Blueprint for Modern City Life