“Just Shut Up and Watch!” – Remembering Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017)

On February 13, 2017 we lost Seijun Suzuki. The Japanese director, screenwriter, actor and producer was 93-years-old at the time of his death and a titan in my own cinematic universe but I haven’t had the opportunity to properly mourn his passing. Today (May 24th) marks what would have been his 94th birthday so I thought I would devote some time to discussing the life … Continue reading “Just Shut Up and Watch!” – Remembering Seijun Suzuki (1923-2017)

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Celebrating Asian Film Artists

May is Asian Heritage Month or to be more exact, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate I decided to collect links to some of the Asian films, filmmakers and actors that I’ve written about. I’m particularly fond of Japanese cinema so my writing reflects this but I’ve also written about Hong Kong and Bollywood films as well. This is a master list … Continue reading Celebrating Asian Film Artists

MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

Since director Michael Reeves’s unfortunate death in 1969 at the age of 25 his life has become the stuff of cinematic legend. His reputation as a sort of Byronic hero who challenged the British film establishment was secured when he died much too young due to an accidental drug overdose leaving behind just a handful of low-budget horror films that attained cult status in subsequent … Continue reading MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

BOOK REVIEW – Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures

Robert Wise is one of my favorite American directors but (as I’ve noted in the past) he rarely receives the kind of critical attention that’s heaped on his peers. Wise was a proud product of the Hollywood studio system and a very private man. Throughout his career, he purposefully avoided the spotlight and regularly praised his colleagues. Producers, writers, set designers, and actors were encouraged … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW – Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures

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 output. THE BRUTAL TRUTH: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave … Continue reading Celebrating Black Film Artists

THE BRUTAL TRUTH: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013)

On Sunday many will be glued to their television sets watching the annual Oscar ceremony unfold. At this time of year I tend to contemplate all the new releases I’ve seen in the past 12 months and linger over the films that have captured my imagination, awed me, inspired me, or just made me think about old ideas and tired truths in new ways. When … Continue reading THE BRUTAL TRUTH: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (2013)

GORDON PARKS: FILMMAKER, PHOTOGRAPHER & RENAISSANCE MAN

“Something mighty there is inside a man that takes him from being the youngest of 15 children raised in Kansas poverty, something that lets him clear the cruel hurdles implanted by a racist society, something that permits not merely survival but mastery of all that he embraced. A poet, and a pianist, a classical music composer, and one very at home with the blues, which … Continue reading GORDON PARKS: FILMMAKER, PHOTOGRAPHER & RENAISSANCE MAN

“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

Got a Library Card? You Should Be Watching Kanopy!

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!

Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)

Ettore Scola might not be as renowned as his lifelong friend and fellow filmmaker Federico Fellini but before he died in 2016, Scola’s work had earned him ample critical acclaim and numerous Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. Four of Scola’s films are currently streaming on FilmStruck including UGLY, DIRTY AND BAD (’76), A SPECIAL DAY (’77), LA NUIT DE VARENNES (‘82) and … Continue reading Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)