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A Trilogy of Pre-Code Hollywood

So, over the last year my movie-watching habits have changed a bit, school got hard and heavy (as it always does), I canceled my Netflix DVD service, I discovered the joys of the streaming service FilmStruck, and I found out you can rent movies from the library.  That last one has ended up being the … Continue reading

For the Love of Star Wars

I’ll start off by saying that somewhere in here is a review of Rogue One. That was the point when I began writing anyway, but it somehow grew into something more. I hope you enjoy this rambling on all things Star Wars as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ve written in the past about the influence of Star … Continue reading

The Films of Christopher Nolan: “Doodlebug” (1997) and “Following” (1999)

Christopher Nolan, the British-American filmmaker mostly known for his Batman trilogy, is a filmmaker of spectacle and practicality. His films are associated with huge action sequences, IMAX theaters and film, and the limits of the human mind. Yesterday the teaser trailer trailer for his new film, Dunkirk (July 2017), hit the internet. This got me to thinking … Continue reading

“Badlands” (1973, dir. Terrence Malick)

There are enigmatic directors out there: names like Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch might be counted as two of the, for instance. But no one, and I mean no one, holds a candle to Terrence Malick. This man has rarely been photographed in the 43 years since his career began and, to my knowledge, has … Continue reading

“Dont Look Back” (1967, dir. D.A. Pennebaker)

Bob Dylan is a name practically synonymous with American music. He is also deeply connected to the counter-culture movement of the 60s and the “protest songs” which defined the era. But in Pennebaker’s film Dont Look Now (properly spelled without the apostrophe!), we get the impression that Bob Dylan neither cares about his reputation or even … Continue reading

“Bondathon, pt. 2: Daniel Craig” (2006-2015)

When I last wrote about the “Bondathon,” I admitted a deeply held cinematic shame: that I had never seen a single Bond movie before. Well, admittedly, it’s time a reveal my new cinematic shame: I’m just not a huge fan of the franchise. Beyond From Russia With Love (1963, dir. Terence Young) and Goldfinger (1964, dir. Guy Hamilton), … Continue reading

The Problem With Talking Heads

Today I sat down and watched a favorite movie of mine: M (1931, dir. Fritz Lang). It reminded me of an issue prevalent in today’s cinema: the oversimplification of photography and image. That sounds weird since movies are by definition moving images, but they are so often not even that. What I mean by that is this: … Continue reading

“Macbeth” (2015, dir. Justin Kurzel)

I’ll admit to having not seen many Shakespearean film adaptations, but two films which I have seen number among my favorites. Those two films are Akira Kurosawa’s Ran and Throne of Blood, which are not only magnificent renditions of their respective plays (“King Lear” and “Macbeth”) but are just superlative examples of filmmaking. Justin Kurzel’s 2016 adaptation … Continue reading

“Bondathon, pt. 1: Sean Connery” (1962-1971)

Before last week I had never seen a single James Bond movie before. Not a one. I knew the cliches of the series (one-liners, Bond sleeping with everything that wears a skirt, goofy spy plots) and even had some iconic moments in my mind (the woman who died of being painted gold, for instance), but … Continue reading

Noir, Dirt Cheap: “Following” (1998, dir. Christopher Nolan)

Christopher Nolan’s first feature-film, Following, serves as proof of what one can achieve during the making of a “no-budget” film. Cobbled together on weekends when actors were available, Following has the rough-around-the-edge look of a French New-Wave film, but manages to be just as menacing and elaborately structured as Nolan’s more well-known films Memento and The Prestige. Bill is a writer … Continue reading

“The Prestige” (2006, dir. Christopher Nolan)

Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is an interesting film in that I could tell  you how it ends and yet in the act of watching it you would still have no idea what was going on. The first time I watched the film I was left decidedly baffled as to what I had just seen. Was … Continue reading

The “Young and Innocent” and “The Wrong Man” Syndrome

Let me begin by describing a Hitchcock film in sparse detail: The film begins with a murder, a cheery-eyed fellow is wrongfully blamed for the crime, the fellow goes on the run, meets a young blonde woman, gets her wrapped up in the deal, spends the rest of the movie trying to convince the girl … Continue reading

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