DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968), which is streaming on The Criterion Channel at FilmStruck throughout the month of March (2017), is rightly hailed as one of the best American horror films of the 1960s. It begins and ends with a mother’s lullaby but the unsettling story of Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse is anything but soothing. Mia Farrow and John … Continue reading DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

Donald Ogden Stewart: Katharine Hepburn’s Secret Weapon

You may not recognize Donald Ogden Stewart’s name but if you are a classic film fan you’re probably familiar with his work. Stewart’s ability to write snappy dialogue and adapt popular plays for the screen made him one of the highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. And throughout his career, Stewart … Continue reading Donald Ogden Stewart: Katharine Hepburn’s Secret Weapon

Triad Theater: THE MISSION (1999)

Shakespearean in its scope and operatic in its execution, THE MISSION (‘99) remains one of the most taut, compelling and superbly composed films made in Hong Kong during the 1990s. This sinewy thriller helped cement Johnnie To’s reputation as one of today’s most accomplished action directors and you can currently catch it streaming on FilmStruck … Continue reading Triad Theater: THE MISSION (1999)

Remembering Oliver Reed @ 80

Today should have been Oliver Reed's 80th birthday but he left this world in 1999 at age 61. To celebrate the occasion I decided to compile a collection of links to various things I've written about the man and his work. Some are just bits and bobs while others are more thoughtful considerations of films … Continue reading Remembering Oliver Reed @ 80

RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was originally published in 1818. Shelley was just 19 years old when she first conceived of this classic piece of Gothic fiction, and since the book’s release it has been adapted for the large and small screen many times. One of the most unusual … Continue reading RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

Surrealist Cinema: PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951)

“There was more surrealism rampant in Hollywood than all the surrealists could invent in a lifetime.” – Man Ray   In 1940, Man Ray fled war-torn France and arrived in Hollywood. The acclaimed surrealist, who was born in the United States but relocated to Paris in 1921, spent the next eleven years in California making … Continue reading Surrealist Cinema: PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951)

Reassessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)

When you mention PEEPING TOM (’60) to classic film fans the response is typically “That’s the movie that ended Michael Powell’s career!” and a quick Google search will unearth countless critics and film historians repeating a similar refrain. While it is true that PEEPING TOM received a brutal lashing from the British critical establishment that … Continue reading Reassessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)

Survival Instincts: THE INSECT WOMAN (1963)

THE INSECT WOMAN (’63) is not easy viewing. Shôhei Imamura’s film recounts the hard-fought life of Tome (Sachiko Hidari), a fatherless peasant woman born into abject poverty in rural Japan. Beginning with her birth in 1918 and concluding sometime after WWII, the film takes place over three turbulent decades in which Tome faces sexual abuse … Continue reading Survival Instincts: THE INSECT WOMAN (1963)