"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
American popular culture after 9/11. This installment covers Sept. 12, 2004, through the end of 2010 — a dense, varied, fast-evolving period that saw authors, filmmakers, TV producers, graphic novelists and other creative minds dealing with the attacks head-on and in metaphor. This was by far the most difficult of the three slide shows to assemble because by the middle of the last decade, the pop culture response had become more entropic and distracted, and it was harder to find works that were only about the attacks themselves; works about the war on terror, the Afghanistan and Iraq occupations, civil liberties and government conspiracy were, in a sense, about 9/11 as well.
This list includes major novels by Ian McEwan, Art Spiegelman, Don DeLillo and Claire Messud, the first publication of the “Loose Change” videos, two metaphor-laden blockbusters by Steven Spielberg, a flood of Hollywood dramas about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and enough documentaries about U.S. foreign policy to keep film buffs’ Netflix queues packed for months. Please add your own selections in the Letters section. I’m keeping a running list of works you thought I should have mentioned in all three editions, and I might add them to an updated version of this project in the future. In fact, the first few entries in this slide show are about important works from 2004 that were omitted in the last slide show, and that readers were kind enough to bring to my attention.
Every Friday, Salon writer Matt Zoller Seitz sifts through beloved classics and obscure indies for a slide show that sheds light on the hidden connections and most fascinating moments in film and TV history.