BORIS KARLOFF IS THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)

Director Robert Wise is widely regarded as a journeyman filmmaker with no defining traits or distinct talents. In The American Cinema: Directors And Directions 1929-1968 critic Andrew Sarris famously labeled Wise’s output as “strained seriousness” asserting that the director’s “stylistic signature . . . is indistinct to the point of invisibility.” David Thompson parroted these claims in … Continue reading BORIS KARLOFF IS THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)

UNTAPPED FEARS: THE PLUMBER (1979)

Our fears take many forms. I was born and (mostly) raised in California so it’s probably not surprising that I fear natural disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires, which are currently ravaging the place I call home. Others are terrified by serial killers and mad gunmen such as the Las Vegas shooter who recently killed … Continue reading UNTAPPED FEARS: THE PLUMBER (1979)

WOMEN AT WAR: ONIBABA (1964)

  In feudal Japan, war is being waged between Imperial forces loyal to the reigning emperor and those who support the shogun. Samurai warriors wearing expensive armor and carrying powerful weapons fight side by side with peasant farmers conscripted into military service. Amid this bloody chaos women, children and the elderly suffer unimaginable horrors including rape, … Continue reading WOMEN AT WAR: ONIBABA (1964)

CRIME & PASSION: POOL OF LONDON (1951)

I, along with some of my fellow StreamLine colleagues, have been modestly building a case for the reassessment of Basil Dearden’s career during the past year by spotlighting many of his films including Sapphire (1959), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Victim (1961), All Night Long (1963), Frieda(1947), The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) and The Captive Heart (1946). Despite the fact that the British director has been the … Continue reading CRIME & PASSION: POOL OF LONDON (1951)

ONE FOR ALL, AND ALL FOR ONE!

  Director Richard Lester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but he made some of the best British films of the 1960s. Inspired by Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati, he developed an acute funny bone and an appreciation of the absurd that allowed him to work side-by-side with bastions of British comedy such as Spike Milligan … Continue reading ONE FOR ALL, AND ALL FOR ONE!

DUELING DELONS: SPIRITS OF THE DEAD (1968)

  In the 1960s anthology (also known as omnibus or portmanteau) films became extremely popular and were attractive to producers who wanted to appeal to a broad range of viewers. The segmented format also encouraged audiences to make multiple trips to the concession stand, which pleased theater owners. Sex comedies were particularly trendy but the … Continue reading DUELING DELONS: SPIRITS OF THE DEAD (1968)

Film Writing Nov. 2016 – April 2017

It's been awhile. Work obligations, as well as personal projects and other responsibilities, have taken precedence over updating my blogs. Of course, you can always find me on my Tumblr as well as Twitter & Facebook. Before I let another month get away, I thought I'd finally share an update to the film writing I've … Continue reading Film Writing Nov. 2016 – April 2017

SURVEYING THE RED DESERT (1964)

  “There’s something terrible about reality and I don’t know what it is.” – Giuliana (Monica Vitti) Modern malaise and alienation are two themes that Michelangelo Antonioni (L’Avventura [1960], La notte[1961], L’eclisse [1962]) returned to repeatedly throughout the 1960s. In Red Desert (1964), which is currently streaming on FilmStruck and available on DVD and Blu-ray from Criterion, these ideas find expression in Italy’s … Continue reading SURVEYING THE RED DESERT (1964)

Now at FilmStruck – Streamline

In case you haven't noticed, the Turner Classic Movie's Morlocks blog has been renamed Streamline and is currently part of the new TCM & Criterion film streaming service at FilmStruck.com What is FilmStruck? Here's an excerpt from a Time Warner press release: "Developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion … Continue reading Now at FilmStruck – Streamline