Call Him a Red: Remembering Albert Finney 1936-2019

I'm going to miss Albert Finney. I've spent a good deal of my time watching the films he made and writing about them. As a result, Finney has become one of my favorite actors and my appreciation for his body of work grows deeper with each passing year. The films he appeared in influenced my … Continue reading Call Him a Red: Remembering Albert Finney 1936-2019

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

ANGRY CINEMA: THE BRITISH NEW WAVE

In the late 1950s, Britain was a country in transition. The destruction caused by two world wars remained evident but the economy was booming and unemployment was at an all-time low. Popular music was bringing diverse groups of individuals together and creating a sense of unity among the youth. Despite the overall prosperity, the stark … Continue reading ANGRY CINEMA: THE BRITISH NEW WAVE

Remembering Alan Sillitoe: “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down!”

On Saturday, Nov. 19th (and Jan. 17th) TCM will be airing Karel Reisz’ SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (1961). This bleak but beautifully shot kitchen-sink drama features Albert Finney in his screen debut as one of Britain’s original angry young men. The film is based on a novel by the British author Alan Sillitoe who also wrote the screenplay. Alan … Continue reading Remembering Alan Sillitoe: “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down!”

THE MANY ROLES OF MICK JAGGER

“The only performance that makes it…that really makes it…that makes it all the way…is the one that achieves madness.” - Turner aka Mick Jagger in Performance (1970) If someone asked me the proverbial question: “The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?” I’d pledge my allegiance to the bad boys of rock and roll in an instant. The first concert … Continue reading THE MANY ROLES OF MICK JAGGER

The Children Are Watching: Ruminations on The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

The term ‘auteur’ is rarely associated with Jack Clayton. When critics and film scholars refer to the British director by name they usually describe him as being a “talented craftsman” or “skilled technician.” Credit for the extraordinary look and feel of Clayton’s best films is typically attributed to the skilled cinematographers (Freddie Francis, Oswald Morris, … Continue reading The Children Are Watching: Ruminations on The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

Remembering Oliver Reed @ 80

Today should have been Oliver Reed's 80th birthday but he left this world in 1999 at age 61. To celebrate the occasion I decided to compile a collection of links to various things I've written about the man and his work. Some are just bits and bobs while others are more thoughtful considerations of films … Continue reading Remembering Oliver Reed @ 80

Reassessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)

When you mention PEEPING TOM (’60) to classic film fans the response is typically “That’s the movie that ended Michael Powell’s career!” and a quick Google search will unearth countless critics and film historians repeating a similar refrain. While it is true that PEEPING TOM received a brutal lashing from the British critical establishment that … Continue reading Reassessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)

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

Culture Clash: RUDE BOY (1980)

“We felt that the whole machine was teetering on the brink of collapse. Some amazing things went down in Britain during the ’70s—the government decided they could disempower the unions by having a three-day week, for instance. Can you imagine that? … There were garbage strikes, train strikes, power strikes, the lights were going out—everything … Continue reading Culture Clash: RUDE BOY (1980)

BORIS KARLOFF IS THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)

Director Robert Wise is widely regarded as a journeyman filmmaker with no defining traits or distinct talents. In The American Cinema: Directors And Directions 1929-1968 critic Andrew Sarris famously labeled Wise’s output as “strained seriousness” asserting that the director’s “stylistic signature . . . is indistinct to the point of invisibility.” David Thompson parroted these claims in … Continue reading BORIS KARLOFF IS THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)

CRIME & PASSION: POOL OF LONDON (1951)

I, along with some of my fellow StreamLine colleagues, have been modestly building a case for the reassessment of Basil Dearden’s career during the past year by spotlighting many of his films including Sapphire (1959), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Victim (1961), All Night Long (1963), Frieda(1947), The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) and The Captive Heart (1946). Despite the fact that the British director has been the … Continue reading CRIME & PASSION: POOL OF LONDON (1951)