This category contains 13 posts

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

The Problem with Favorites: “La La Land” (2016, dir. Damien Chazelle)

There is a great issue with writing out a list of your favorites of any given thing. Whether it be your favorite meals, songs, books, or movies, you always work from a reservoir of knowledge limited by whatever exposure and understanding you have of that thing. When writing about your favorite Queen songs, you can … Continue reading

Favorite 2016 Movies

I didn’t get to see as many new movies in 2016 as I would have liked (there’s one movie I went to see but didn’t get to — I’ll save that story for here in a minute), but of the movies that I did see, five came forward in my mind as my favorites. There are … Continue reading

“Chimes at Midnight” (1965, dir. Orson Welles)

As I’ve written before, the career of Orson Welles was a difficult one at best. His filmmaking is a series of production starting and then funding falling through. He would weasel and scheme his way into making the films that he wanted to make, meanwhile promising to make the films his producers wanted to make. This back … Continue reading

“Bakumatsu Taiyoden” (1957, dir.Yûzô Kawashima)

When I purchased the Masters of Cinema blu-ray of this film, I had no idea what to expect from it. I knew that it was a highly regarded period comedy film, but I knew next-to-nothing of the story. The title (apparently) roughly translates to “A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era” and the setting is just prior … Continue reading

“Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013, dir. The Coen Brothers)

As I move through the films of the Coen Brothers I find myself falling deeper and deeper into a very strange world filled with odd people and bizarre situations. The characters in these films operate on a wavelength with which I am completely unfamiliar. It’s a joy and a pleasure to experience the world of the … Continue reading

“Hail, Caesar!” (2016, dir. The Coen Brothers)

In the realm of movies about movies there are great films like Singin’ in the Rain, Day For Night, The Artist, and The Aviator, and now there is a new film to number among them: Hail, Caesar! by the Brothers Coen. This might be the best, funniest, and most heartfelt of the lot. This film is a gut-wrenching and hilarious … Continue reading

Five Movies With No (or little) Sound

Lists are very difficult for me to write because there are just so many movies that I love and that are important to me. So, since I haven’t written anything in a few days, I wanted to take a moment to share some movies that are either completely silent or close enough to count. This list is … Continue reading

“Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro” (1979, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)

I’ve been familiar and aware of the films of Hayao Miyazaki for years. Movies like Spirited Away and Ponyo are some of my favorite animated movies, and while I have seen all of Miyazaki’s films at least once, I need to revisit his body of work and really look at him as an artist. Thus, my wife and … Continue reading

Samurai Played for Laughs: “Tange Sazen: The Million Ryo Pot” (1935, dir. Sadao Yamanaka)

In the course of seven years Sadao Yamanaka directed an astonishing amount of films: twenty-three. That’s over three feature-length films a year. Few directors reach 23 films in a lifetime, much less in seven years. As someone who wishes to make films, I can only stand and marvel at what Yamanaka was able to do; … Continue reading

103 years of Akira Kurosawa (March 23, 1910 – September 6, 1998)

No other filmmaker has had as quite the influence on me at a personal level as Akira Kurosawa. His films are deeply personal and have completely changed my perception of not only what cinema can be but what it is. Akira Kurosawa had a career spanning fifty years and covered not only a range of … Continue reading

Calvin and Hobbes on a boat? Not really? “Life of Pi” (2012, dir. Ang Lee)

Life of Pi is not the best movie I’ve seen in theaters this year, but watching it might be the best movie-going experience I’ve had this year in a theater. In years to come Life of Pi is going to be remembered as one of the most aesthetically beautiful films of this generation of filmmaking, and it’s possible … Continue reading

95 years of Buster Keaton

During the silent era there were three great “clowns” of silent comedy: Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton. Chaplin was the Tramp, a little guy down on his luck; Lloyd was the every-man, a stand in for ourselves; but Buster was something else, somewhere between the two. Life happened to Chaplin and Lloyd, but … Continue reading

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