Tunes & Tomes: Favorite 2020 Albums & Books

Some favorite albums from 2020 Tami Nelison – Chickaboom! Tami Nelison is a Canadian powerhouse of talent. Stumbled on a track from this album last year while scrolling through Youtube and was hooked. A combination of golden-age country, rockabilly raunch & sweet soul. Neilson writes and performs all her own songs with a band that includes her brother, guitarist Jay Neilson. Every track on the … Continue reading Tunes & Tomes: Favorite 2020 Albums & Books

Vampires & Gangsters: Four Favorite 2020 TV Premieres

I don’t watch much TV but when I do the stuff I enjoy can typically be found on PBS or FX. Fargo Season 4 – FX The finale felt rushed and didn’t exactly live up to the promise of the previous episodes but that doesn’t matter because what came before it was some of the best TV I’ve seen. Fargo Season 4 was better directed, … Continue reading Vampires & Gangsters: Four Favorite 2020 TV Premieres

World on Fire: Four Favorite 2020 Film Releases

For whatever reason (Pandemic fatigue? Regurgitated film plot fatigue?) I wasn’t very impressed with most of the new releases I watched this year. Halfway through screener season I just gave up and stopped watching new movies because I was bored. Despite my misgivings about the year in general there were a handful of films released in 2020 that I really appreciated. Here are my Top … Continue reading World on Fire: Four Favorite 2020 Film Releases

Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

“This world is the nurse of all we know, This world is the mother of all we feel, And the coming of death is a fearful blow To a brain unencompass’d by nerves of steel: When all that we know, or feel, or see, Shall pass like an unreal mystery.” – Percy Shelley, ‘On Death’ (1816) I was deeply saddened to learn that my favorite … Continue reading Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

SPY GAMES: The Looking Glass War (1969)

One of the best films I saw last year was Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY (2011) based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. It stars Gary Oldman in a career defining performance that’s earned him an Oscar nomination. I hope Oldman takes home the award but I’m not here to talk about TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY. I’m here to discuss another spy film … Continue reading SPY GAMES: The Looking Glass War (1969)


“This is America quaking, this movie, seen the way only a gifted artist can possibly draw his photographic attention to these events . . . the roots and fruit of social turmoil, and the media pervading and even anticipating the event. The media’s involvement in the motion picture, its place in the movie, is more important than the relationship that exists between the girl and … Continue reading THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING: MEDIUM COOL (1969)


Stuart Hagmann’s THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT (1970) is often dismissed today as a dated relic of the early 1970s. During its initial release, it was singled out for being exploitive and failing to be a straightforward adaptation of the book it was based on. Many critics claimed that Hagmann’s direction was erratic and too creative for its own good, which supposedly diminished the film’s political message. When I … Continue reading POLITICS, PROTEST & PROGRESS IN THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT


Susan Denberg (aka Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner) was blond, beautiful, and unapologetically curvaceous. A German-Austrian Kim Novak look-alike with strong sex appeal and an endearing screen presence. Like Novak, Denberg dated Sammy Davis Jr. while some of her other romantic conquests included Stuart Whitman, Sidney Poitier, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and director Roman Polanski. Following a few television appearances and a role in the Oscar-nominated film AN … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

Remembering Sean Connery (1930-2020)

I’m taking a break from my month-long Halloween programming to remember Sean Connery who died today at age 90. If you’ve been following my writing adventures over the last 15-years or so you will know that I’m a longtime Connery fan and enjoyed writing about the man and his films when time and opportunity allowed. The James Bond films hold a special place in my … Continue reading Remembering Sean Connery (1930-2020)


Film buffs tend to have obsessions. We fuss and fawn over particular actors and directors while attempting to see everything they ever appeared in or produced. One of my own personal obsessions isn’t an actor or a director but it’s a tale I enjoy seeing reimagined over and over again in different languages and in various settings. That tale is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)