Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

Ettore Scola might not be as renowned as his lifelong friend and fellow filmmaker Federico Fellini but before he died in 2016, Scola’s work had earned him ample critical acclaim and numerous Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. Four of Scola’s films are currently streaming on FilmStruck including UGLY, DIRTY AND BAD (’76), … Continue reading Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

EMBRACING AMBIGUITY: FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE (1970)

[Warning! There are spoilers on the road ahead.] The first thing that you see in Joseph Losey’s FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE (1970) is the big black helicopter. It lingers in the sky like a giant buzzing insect or an angry bird of prey. For the next two hours, it will pursue the film’s two protagonists (Robert … Continue reading EMBRACING AMBIGUITY: FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE (1970)

LOSEY LET LOOSE: THE CRIMINAL (1960)

Joseph Losey is one of my favorite directors so I was thrilled to learn that his work is being spotlighted by FilmStruck. While looking through the collection of films available to stream I was inspired to revisit The Criminal a.k.a. Concrete Jungle (1960), a low-budget British crime thriller about an underworld kingpin named Johnny Bannion (Stanley … Continue reading LOSEY LET LOOSE: THE CRIMINAL (1960)

GOING UNDER: REVISITING COMA (1978)

I spent Labor Day sick in bed. I was feverish, sore and incredibly cranky due to having my weekend plans derailed by a bad cold. On Monday night I began to feel slightly better after binging on Nyquil and homemade chicken soup so I curled up on the couch and turned on the TV. While … Continue reading GOING UNDER: REVISITING COMA (1978)

Book Review: Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980

Movies and pulp fiction share a long, rich, and complicated history that deserves more consideration and thoughtful examination. A new book recently released by PM Press and edited by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre does just that. Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980 is dedicated to examining … Continue reading Book Review: Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980

MY MELANCHOLY VALENTINE: DANS PARIS (2006)

Love is complicated. Some see it as a priceless gift or blessing while others describe it as an unshakeable disease. It can be comforting, enriching, elevating, thrilling and divine. It can also be messy, unruly, feral, ferocious and cruel, particularly if you are suffering from acute depression. In Dans Paris aka In Paris (2006), French filmmaker Christophe Honoré (Ma … Continue reading MY MELANCHOLY VALENTINE: DANS PARIS (2006)

The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

A gentle reminder that The Phantom Playhouse - Cinebeats' sister site focused on horror cinema - is open for business and the tickets are always free. Its been updated recently and collects articles or links to all of my horror focused writing. If you know me you know that horror is my favorite film genre … Continue reading The Doors Are Always Open at The Phantom Playhouse

MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

  “There was a depth to her. On the surface she was a beautiful brunette woman. Beneath that–and you could almost get poetic here looking into her eyes–you could see layer, upon layer, upon layer. I could probably best, and inadequately, describe it as a kind of exotic mystery.” – Roger Corman on Barbara Steele … Continue reading MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

Introducing Laurence Harvey: House of Darkness (1948)

A few weeks ago I wrote about Anthony Mann’s last film (A Dandy in Aspic) featuring Laurence Harvey in one of his best roles. At the time I expressed how much I liked Harvey even though many critics are quick to dismiss him. His reputation has been badly tarnished over the years thanks to shoddy … Continue reading Introducing Laurence Harvey: House of Darkness (1948)

NEW ON BLU-RAY: ROGER CORMAN’S THE TRIP (1967)

Republishing this in honor of the late Peter Fonda who passed away on August 16, 2019 In 1966, Roger Corman was enjoying the surprising success of The Wild Angels (1966), a trailblazing biker film that he directed and produced for American International Pictures. The studio had made the film for a mere $360,000 and it netted more … Continue reading NEW ON BLU-RAY: ROGER CORMAN’S THE TRIP (1967)

LOOKING INTO THE EYE OF THE DEVIL

EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966 aka 13) opens with an imaginative minute-long montage that reduces the entire film down to a series of disorientating images. It’s an impressive and beautifully edited beginning that you might expect to see at the start of an Ingmar Bergman film or in the middle of an Eisenstein picture and it … Continue reading LOOKING INTO THE EYE OF THE DEVIL

OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

On September 19 TCM is airing a Tab Hunter double feature. More info about programming can be found at the end of my post. Everyone loves a Hollywood tragedy. The violent murders of Sharon Tate and Sal Mineo generate more press and web articles than the body of work they left behind while the estates … Continue reading OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

REMEMBERING BRUCE LEE ON HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY

“Here we are . . . still talking about him. And for good reason. He tried to live what he believed. When you see him on screen you’re not just seeing a performance, you’re seeing the real human being.” – Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter. Tomorrow, November 27, marks what would have been Bruce Lee’s … Continue reading REMEMBERING BRUCE LEE ON HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY