Maybe it was the Hollywood homes featured in my last post or the ongoing worldwide celebration of Orson Welles 100th birthday? Whatever the reason, I spent a great deal of contemplating William Randolph Hearst and his massive hilltop estate at San Simeon last week. As any classic film fan worth their salt knows, the newspaper mogul once played host to many Hollywood stars and starlets … Continue reading HOLLYWOOD COMES TO HEARST CASTLE: MEMORIES & MUSINGS
My favorite moment of this year’s Oscar telecast occurred when a sprightly 82-year-old Christopher Plummer took the stage in a beautiful velvet suit to accept his Best Supporting Actor award. He was incredibly gracious and gave one of the best speeches of the night. It was obvious that the Canadian actor hadn’t lost any of the charm that has made him so appealing to audiences … Continue reading 10 GREAT CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER PERFORMANCES
One of the best films I saw last year was Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY (2011) based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. It stars Gary Oldman in a career defining performance that’s earned him an Oscar nomination. I hope Oldman takes home the award but I’m not here to talk about TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY. I’m here to discuss another spy film … Continue reading SPY GAMES: The Looking Glass War (1969)
I’m taking a break from my month-long Halloween programming to remember Sean Connery who died today at age 90. If you’ve been following my writing adventures over the last 15-years or so you will know that I’m a longtime Connery fan and enjoyed writing about the man and his films when time and opportunity allowed. The James Bond films hold a special place in my … Continue reading Remembering Sean Connery (1930-2020)
Tod Browning’s DRACULA (1931) is rightly hailed as a horror classic while the Spanish-language version directed by George Melford was assumed lost and went largely unseen by modern audiences following its initial release until it was restored and distributed on home video in 1992. Both films were shot at the same time using the same sets but with different casts, which was a typical practice … Continue reading DRACULA VS. SPANISH DRACULA
I recently set aside some time to watch all six of Universal’s Inner Sanctum Mystery films starring Lon Chaney Jr. Seeing these relatively short (60-67 minute) B-movies back to back over a couple of days was a joy and I found new things to admire and appreciate about the film’s leading man. But afterward, I made the mistake of scouring through various film books and poking around … Continue reading Lady Killer: Remembering Lon Chaney Jr.
In honor of Juneteenth, I decided to collect links to some of the articles I’ve written where I discuss the work of black film artists in one celebratory post. I hope it will encourage readers to seek out work by black directors, actors and writers that I’ve singled out and discover more of their incredible output. THE BRUTAL TRUTH: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave … Continue reading Celebrating Black Film Artists
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 Cocteau a critic because it’s a term I’m not particularly … 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 become unaffordable luxuries, particularly when we can’t work or we … Continue reading Got a Library Card? You Should Be Watching Kanopy!
Even though I wasn’t able to attend TCM’s Classic Film Festival I did make time for Terence Stamp’s special appearance at the 2011 San Francisco International Film Festival this year. It was a somewhat spontaneous event that was only announced a week before the actual festival took place and it didn’t receive any mention in the official festival catalogue. I only learned about the event after word got … Continue reading AN EVENING WITH TERENCE STAMP