IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

For decades screaming was often the weapon of choice for women in action, science fiction, and horror films. We were expected to shriek, shout, yelp, whimper, squeal and squawk in the face of serious danger and (hopefully) a man would eventually come to our aide. So you can imagine how frightened I was when I … Continue reading IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

Plucking the Petals of Masahiro Shinoda’s Pale Flower (1964)

“Tokyo… After three long years. It makes my head spin. Just look at it. Why so many people crammed into tiny cage-like boxes? People… Such strange animals. What keeps them all going? They look like they’re half dead. Making a frantic pretense of being alive. What was so wrong about killing one of these stupid … Continue reading Plucking the Petals of Masahiro Shinoda’s Pale Flower (1964)

JOAN BENNETT: FRITZ LANG’S MUSE

Joan Bennett got her start in Hollywood as a lovely, demure, fair-haired ingénue but made her mark as a sexy, feisty, dark-haired femme fatale. Her transformation was atypical in Tinseltown where many natural brunettes such as Carole Lombard, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, and Jayne Mansfield, found success after becoming bottle blonds. Bennett’s makeover happened during … Continue reading JOAN BENNETT: FRITZ LANG’S MUSE

UNDER THE VOLCANO (1984) WITH ALBERT FINNEY

One of my favorite actors is presently getting the red-carpet treatment at FilmStruck; “Starring Albert Finney” is a new theme that presents a batch of Finney’s films for your enjoyment including Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Tom Jones (1963) and A Man of No Importance (1994). If you’re new to Finney it is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with one of Britain’s finest exports … Continue reading UNDER THE VOLCANO (1984) WITH ALBERT FINNEY

A TALE OF TWO FILMS: THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969)

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso Few films come with a pedigree as spotted as THE PICASSO SUMMER. Some names that were directly or indirectly associated with the movie include artist Pablo Picasso, author Ray Bradbury, French directors Francois Truffaut and Serge Bourguignon, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as well … Continue reading A TALE OF TWO FILMS: THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969)

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: L’ECLISSE (1962)

While recently rewatching Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse (aka The Eclipse, 1962) I received the sad news that George Romero had died. The celebrated Italian art-house auteur and the American director behind the hugely popular Living Dead franchise aren’t typically associated with one another but I suspect that Antonioni’s work may have inspired Romero early in his career. In The Cinema of George … Continue reading THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: L’ECLISSE (1962)

DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968), which is streaming on The Criterion Channel at FilmStruck throughout the month of March (2017), is rightly hailed as one of the best American horror films of the 1960s. It begins and ends with a mother’s lullaby but the unsettling story of Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse is anything but soothing. Mia Farrow and John … Continue reading DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

Donald Ogden Stewart: Katharine Hepburn’s Secret Weapon in KEEPER OF THE FLAME (1943)

You may not recognize Donald Ogden Stewart’s name but if you are a classic film fan you’re probably familiar with his work. Stewart’s ability to write snappy dialogue and adapt popular plays for the screen made him one of the highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. And throughout his career, Stewart … Continue reading Donald Ogden Stewart: Katharine Hepburn’s Secret Weapon in KEEPER OF THE FLAME (1943)

Surrealist Cinema: PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951)

“There was more surrealism rampant in Hollywood than all the surrealists could invent in a lifetime.” – Man Ray   In 1940, Man Ray fled war-torn France and arrived in Hollywood. The acclaimed surrealist, who was born in the United States but relocated to Paris in 1921, spent the next eleven years in California making … Continue reading Surrealist Cinema: PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (1951)

My Favorite Films of 2017

I contributed a list of my 20 Favorite Films seen in 2017 to the annual Senses of Cinema World Poll in the form of an illustration scanned & cleaned up in Photoshop. I wanted to have fun with the process this year and didn't feel much like writing about all the films on my list … Continue reading My Favorite Films of 2017

Noir-Horror: THE LEOPARD MAN (‘43)

“The real horror is to show that we all live unconsciously in fear. Many people suffer today from a fear that they don’t begin to analyze and which is constant. When the audience is in the dark and recognizes its own insecurity in that of the characters of the film, then you can show unbelievable … Continue reading Noir-Horror: THE LEOPARD MAN (‘43)