Celebrating Black Film Artists

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 … Continue reading Celebrating Black Film Artists

TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Tomorrow night TCM Underground will be airing the surprisingly surreal and smart blaxploitation comedy, DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975). I hesitate to tag DARKTOWN STRUTTERS with a simplistic label like “blaxploitation” because it’s really a cult movie that deserves a category of its own. The film manages to combine just about every popular movie genre imaginable including classic westerns and musicals, … Continue reading TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Three Reasons to Spend Time with Cleopatra Jones

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

“A FILM IS A PETRIFIED FOUNTAIN OF THOUGHT.” – JEAN COCTEAU

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

WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

William Mortensen in his studio with a photo of Jean Harlow. Last month I was gifted with a copy of American Grotesque: The Life and Art of William Mortensen. This beautiful coffee table worthy book contains a compilation of work by William Mortensen (1897–1965), a brilliant, innovative and visionary photographer who once worked in Hollywood … Continue reading WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

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)

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

Celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month with Cinema

This an update to my original LGBT+ Pride Month post first published in 2015 that you can find here. As a film journalist, I have often tried to focus my attention on underappreciated films, unsung actors and lesser-known directors. Unsurprisingly, this has led me to write about a number of LGBT+ films and television programs … Continue reading Celebrate LGBT+ Pride Month with Cinema

VINCENT PRICE & GENE TIERNEY: A DOOMED ROMANCE

This post was part of my month-long celebration of Vincent Price–TCM’s October Star of the Month in 2013. Throughout the course of Vincent Price’s long career, he worked with some of my favorite actresses such as Barbara Steele, Diana Rigg, Jennifer Jones and Linda Hayden. But if I had to single out Price’s most important … Continue reading VINCENT PRICE & GENE TIERNEY: A DOOMED ROMANCE

SPY GAMES: Frank Tashlin & Doris Day Go Undercover

In the late 1960s Doris Day starred in two spy spoofs directed by Frank Tashlin; THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT(1967) and CAPRICE (1968). At the time Day was 43-years-old and one of Hollywood’s biggest stars but her career was in sharp decline. Critics seemed to relish taking potshots at the movies she appeared in while launching full-blown attacks on … Continue reading SPY GAMES: Frank Tashlin & Doris Day Go Undercover

BARBIE GOES HOLLYWOOD

I have a confession to make. I like dolls. A lot. I’ve been a casual collector for many years and I’ve also written about dolls for a few publications. I usually keep my fascination with classic films and dolls separate but it’s not easy trying to compartmentalize your interests. The film fans I’ve met often … Continue reading BARBIE GOES HOLLYWOOD

TELEFILM TIME MACHINE: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1972)

Eleanor Parker in 1972 The holidays can be a very difficult time for some. I know from firsthand experience that when you don’t have any family to rely on or any kind of financial security to speak of Christmas can feel like a national nightmare inhabited by drunken revelers, crazed shoppers, and merciless merchants. This … Continue reading TELEFILM TIME MACHINE: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1972)