Decades before Wonder Woman made her feature film debut and the all-female Dora Milaje fighting force was introduced to movie audiences in BLACK PANTHER (2018), Tamara Dobson was winning hearts and kicking-ass with her powerful portrayal of Cleopatra Jones. Released by Warner Bros. in 1973, CLEOPATRA JONES was the studio’s big-budget response to a slew … Continue reading Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones
When Jean Cocteau’s name surfaces most of us think of the visionary artist, poet and director who made films such as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946), BLOOD OF A POET (1930), LES PARENTS TERRIBLES (1948) and ORPHEUS (1949). Cocteau is all these things and more but he also happens to be one of my favorite film critics. I hesitate to call … Continue reading “A FILM IS A PETRIFIED FOUNTAIN OF THOUGHT.” – JEAN COCTEAU
We're living in precarious times. As a result, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by current events and spending time glued to the news or our social media feeds can often add to our stress and discomfort. To make matters worse, many of us are also living paycheck to paycheck and things like streaming services can … Continue reading Got a Library Card? You Should Be Watching Kanopy!
The League of Gentlemen (1960) contains one of my favorite moments from postwar British cinema; a group of ex-soldiers carrying submachine guns plow through London’s narrow streets with their faces concealed behind gas masks. Instead of dodging an attack they are preparing to rob a bank and their military uniforms have been replaced by civilian … Continue reading EQUAL SHARES FOR ALL: THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960)
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)
[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)
While looking through the collection of Joseph Losey films currently available to stream on FilmStruck 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 Baker) who organizes a high-stakes robbery that goes terribly wrong. When he finds himself behind bars … Continue reading LOSEY LET LOOSE: THE CRIMINAL (1960)
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)
Anthony Perkins is one of my favorite actors so I was thrilled when I recently got the opportunity to finally see Alan Rudolph’s 1978 film REMEMBER MY NAME. In the movie, Perkins plays a man being stalked by his former wife (Geraldine Chaplin) but his low-key performance is just one of many elements that made … Continue reading Remember My Name (1978)
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
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)
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
Like many horror aficionados, I enjoy reading horror fiction as well as watching horror movies. And as summer makes way for autumn I’ve been indulging in a bit of both. Much like my fellow Morlock Richard Harland Smith, I eagerly await this time of year. It gives me an excuse to spend my free time focused … Continue reading It’s Lovecraft Season!
“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)
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)