“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)
With the holidays fast approaching I thought I would recommend an eclectic selection of my favorite film books released in 2017 in case you’re looking for gifts to please the cinephiles in your life. My picks include a variety of reading material for all budgets and tastes including many titles that are closely linked to … Continue reading Favorite Film Books of 2017
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), … Continue reading Looking for Fellini: HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO (2013)
Heartbroken to learn that Ted V. Mikels has died. I loved his work, warts and all, and have written about my appreciation for the man in the past. He was an incredibly colorful character and one of Hollywood's last real showmen. I had the opportunity to exchange brief notes with him once and he was … Continue reading RIP Ted V. Mikels 1929-2016
As a film journalist I have often tried to focus my attention on underappreciated films, actors and directors. Unsurprisingly, this has led me to write about a number of gay/LGBT films as well as gay/LGBT filmmakers and actors. So in celebration of Gay Pride weekend and the Supreme Court decision that now makes gay-marriage a … Continue reading Celebrating Gay Pride
The last couple of months have been extremely difficult. In between doctor's appointments while dealing with some eye problems I suffered a major shake up in the Napa earthquake, which did a lot of damage to my home & neighborhood. Naturally this impaired my writing but I still managed to compile a few articles for … Continue reading August & September at the Movie Morlocks
I haven't been online much the last few months for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I've been having some medical problems with my left eye and spending lots of time on my computer reading, watching vids and writing can often be problematic. My eyes get easily irritated and I'm prone to headaches, etc. … Continue reading June & July at the Movie Morlocks
“When men die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture.” - (STATUES ALSO DIE; 1953) I was deeply saddened to wake up to the news that director Alain Resnais has died at age 91. Resnais has continued to make movies into his 90s and … Continue reading Alain Resnais 1922-2014
“Oh dear! What can the matter be? Dear! Dear! What can the matter be? Oh Dear! What can the matter be? Johnny’s so long at the fair.” – Author unknown, 1793 British director Terence Fisher is best known for his work with Hammer Films but before he started making movies for the studio that dripped … Continue reading Oh dear! What can the matter be?
The news about Ken Russell’s death hit me hard. Just last week the great man actually took the time to befriend me on Twitter (I’d been following him there for a year or more). I exchanged a brief note with him and got the opportunity to tell him I was honored that he had taken the time to follow me. And I hope that he knew he was one of my favorite directors.
Controversial film director Ken Russell passed away suddenly this week at the age of 84. Russell has long been considered the bad boy of British cinema or the original ‘enfant terrible’ of the empire, but for almost as long as I can remember he’s been one of my favorite filmmakers. I was introduced to his … Continue reading KEN RUSSELL: IN HIS OWN WORDS
One of the most fascinating and overlooked aspects of Derek Jarman’s impressive filmmaking career is his collaborative work with musical artists. These projects materialized as experimental short films as well as music promo videos that regularly aired on MTV throughout the 1980s. Jarman appreciated the money he made directing videos but he wasn’t particularly happy … Continue reading A Light that Never Went Out: The MTV Legacy of Derek Jarman
The Tempest (1979) was Derek Jarman’s third feature-length film and it’s arguably one of his most accessible. In some ways it’s a rather traditional retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play about an aging magician named Prospero (Heathcote Williams) who is imprisoned on an island with his beautiful daughter Miranda (Toyah Willcox) and a beast called Caliban … Continue reading Radical Shakespeare: The Alchemy of Derek Jarman’s “The Tempest”
As a teenager growing up in the '80s it was impossible to overlook Derek Jarman's work. He was all over MTV. He was part of a group of British filmmakers that included Julien Temple and Alex Cox who made music videos or music inspired films that seemed particularly in-sync with their times. Jarman's work was interesting, experimental and demanding of its audience but I appreciated the challenges he presented.
Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet in The Party (1968) I recently wrote a piece about The Party (1968) for the newest issue of Screening the Past that you can read online. Issue #30 of Screening the Past is a tribute to the late director Blake Edwards and The Party is my favorite Edwards' film. I … Continue reading Blake Edwards and THE PARTY (1968)