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)

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)

REIMAGINING A CLASSIC: WERNER HERZOG’S NOSFERATU

We live in the age of remakes and prequels. Every month Hollywood rolls out an easily recognizable title that’s been repackaged and recast with a plot that’s all too familiar. The horror and science fiction genre has been hit the hardest by these reimagined movies that all too often fall extremely short of the original … Continue reading REIMAGINING A CLASSIC: WERNER HERZOG’S NOSFERATU

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)

RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was originally published in 1818. Shelley was just 19 years old when she first conceived of this classic piece of Gothic fiction, and since the book’s release it has been adapted for the large and small screen many times. One of the most unusual … Continue reading RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

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

Favorite Film Books of 2017

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

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)

10 Fun Facts About Barbara Steele

Barbara Steele became a cult film icon thanks to her memorable roles in a number of low-budget horror movies but her filmography also includes critically acclaimed art films and interesting British dramas. FilmStruck and Criterion Channel subscribers can currently stream four of Steele’s best movies and when viewed together they become a wonderful, rowdy and … Continue reading 10 Fun Facts About Barbara Steele

Ghost Girls & Bouncing Balls: KILL, BABY KILL! (1966)

Film historians and critics generally agree that the golden age of Italian horror cinema occurred between 1957-1966. The timeframe suggests that as the Swinging Sixties came to a sobering end film audience’s lost interest in baroque Gothic thrillers. This was undoubtedly due to several factors including increasing familiarity with repetitive genre devices as well as … Continue reading Ghost Girls & Bouncing Balls: KILL, BABY KILL! (1966)

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)