One of the best things I’ve watched in recent months is the British mini-series THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE airing on PBS. This engrossing post-war drama focuses on the lives of a handful of women who served together during WW2 as codebreakers at Bletchley Park, which housed the Government Code and Cypher School. This British intelligence agency was responsible for … Continue reading MYSTERY & MELODRAMA: THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE (2012-2014)


On September 19 TCM is airing a Tab Hunter double feature. More info about programming can be found at the end of my post. Everyone loves a Hollywood tragedy. The violent murders of Sharon Tate and Sal Mineo generate more press and web articles than the body of work they left behind while the estates … Continue reading OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

“Without people, a forest of cherries in full bloom is not pretty, just something to be afraid of.” - Ango Sakaguchi Although typically described as a horror film, Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) defies simple categorization. This grisly adult fairy tale, currently streaming on FilmStruck, is a strange amalgam of traditional Japanese theater, folktales, ghost stories, social … Continue reading Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

Celebrating Father’s Day

Steve McQueen in THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963) Me and my dad (1972) From my latest at the Movie Morlocks: "I recently became an aunt again so I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately and with Father’s Day right around the corner I thought I’d share some thoughts about my own dad and how the … Continue reading Celebrating Father’s Day

Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949)

Stray Dog (1949) was the ninth film made by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and I think it's one of his very best. Like many of my favorite Kurosawa films, Stray Dog features no rogue samurai or mad emperors and it's set in modern Japan instead of feudal Japan, but it does contain many of the … Continue reading Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949)

The Terrorists Are Coming, the Terrorists Are Coming!

I recently had the opportunity to revisit Norman Jewison's extremely silly and very smart 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming for the first time in 20 years. When I was a kid it was one of my favorite comedies for reasons I can't fully explain. But it seemed to portray adults … Continue reading The Terrorists Are Coming, the Terrorists Are Coming!

“Dead man coming through!”

Seijun Suzuki on the set of Gate of Flesh (a.k.a. Nikutai no mon), 1964 To put things simply, Gate of Flesh is one of Seijun Suzuki's greatest films and without a doubt one of the best films produced in Japan in 1964. Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter, Youth of the Beast, etc.) shot … Continue reading “Dead man coming through!”