“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 Cocteau a critic because it’s a term I’m not particularly … 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 snapping glamorous and exotic portraits of actors on movie sets … 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 and I’ve spent a considerable amount of my time researching … 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 There are many reasons why you should turn into TCM … 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 sets the tone for the entire movie. This leisurely paced … 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 as well as LGBT+ filmmakers and actors. So in celebration … 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 costar I would point to the incomparable Gene Tierney. Tierney appeared … 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 her squeaky-clean image. Day was commonly referred to as “the … Continue reading SPY GAMES: Frank Tashlin & Doris Day Go Undercover

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DORIS!

She can sing, she can dance, she can act and she can make us laugh. She’s been directed by many recognizable talents including Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Curtiz, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, Delbert Mann, Norman Jewison, George Seaton, and Frank Tashlin. And some of her most notable costars include famous names Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, David … Continue reading HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DORIS!

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 find dolls childish, trivial or just plain creepy. And the … Continue reading BARBIE GOES HOLLYWOOD