When You Get Really Close to a Movie Screen, Film Emulsion Looks like…
Boiling Sand
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In the book Intermission, Anne Baxter’s memoirs of leaving Hollywood — running away with her new husband to live on a ranch in the Australian bush — the first chapter finds Baxter in a pink bikini, relaxing on the sandy bank of a river near Sydney after completing her work on the movie SUMMER OF […]

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I was talking with a teller at my bank where I was withdrawing money to go on a getaway.  “Where to?” she asked.  “San Francisco.”  “Oh!” she replied, “Something very interesting happened to me in San Francisco.  I was on a subway train that made an unexpected stop, and then it started moving backwards.”  I […]

I saw BRÜNO last month. The film’s duality of performance and cultural observation, documentary and manipulation, agent provocateur and farcical comedy led me to think about its relationship to certain aspects of the Warhol / Morrissey output in the late 1960s such as BIKE BOY. The camera of 1967’s BIKE BOY recorded the codes of […]

Over 50 people were killed in the Leftist Riots of Hong Kong, which exploded on its streets in the Spring of 1967.  Fueled by the fervor of the mainland’s Cultural Revolution, pro-Communist demonstrations and bombing attacks destabilized the city’s social and economic fabric.  In order to restore the status quo, a concerted effort by the […]

On a British site, I read that the mid-sixties surf film RIDE THE WILD SURF had a Gay following. That was news to me, so I gave it a look. The film is more naturalistic (if you can call a movie that is 50% rear-projection ‘realistic’) than the cartoony Frankie-and-Annette beach party films cranked out […]

The Harry Ransom Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin is an Elysian Fields for film lovers.  Among its treasures are the David O. Selznick Archives, the Robert De Niro Archives and the Gloria Swanson Archives.  While doing some volunteer research work amidst their film holdings, I unearthed an artifact that […]

A few years before Hollywood’s most celebrated movie on racism and personal identity was filmed, Douglas Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE, M-G-M sent a stellar cast and crew to Pakistan to bring John Masters’ 1952 best-selling novel of identity politics, Bhowani Junction, to the screen. Ava Gardner plays Victoria Jones, a half-caste woman serving in the […]

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