When You Get Really Close to a Movie Screen, Film Emulsion Looks like…
Boiling Sand

How can it be?? BELLS ARE RINGING:  a butt-ugly, proscenium-bound, stand-and-deliver musical film directed by that most polished, chic, and painterly of all studio-era filmmakers, Vincente Minnelli??? In this delish-ly digital DVD, the glaringly phony sets and the consciously theatrical performances almost kill the pleasure of viewing this film.  I say almost because despite its […]

[Posted as part of the EARLY HAWKS BLOG-A-THON.] It says it right up there at the beginning: A Howard Hawks Production. So, not only did Hawks direct TODAY WE LIVE (1933), but he ‘produced’ it also. But I put the word produced in quotes because the film is a 1933 product of M-G-M, so above […]

It’s December, when I celebrate the birthdays of two divae:  Maria Callas and Deanna Durbin. Callas — the Prima Donna Assolutissima — reignited the tradition of diva worship in the arts, and due to the cult-like following she engendered, she created a generation of crossover between film directors and opera directors.  The first of the […]

ELECTION NIGHT — Around the time the polls started closing, I decided to watch the stunning, powerful Criterion Collection DVD of Fritz Lang’s THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE. Good choice. Mabuse was a criminal genius (Lang had made a film about Mabuse in the 1920s and his last film in the 1960s was also about […]

I currently live in a city that has no Major League Baseball, which (next to grand opera) is my favorite spectator event. So while the World Series has been underway, I’ve sublimated my baseball hunger by purchasing a DVD of PRIDE OF THE YANKEES for three dollars at BigLots! and giving it a look. Despite […]

I rented a VHS tape of ONE MILLION B.C. recently.  This is NOT the Raquel Welch movie from the 1960s; that’s ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. This is a 1940 movie starring Victor Mature, Carole Landis and Lon Chaney Jr. (in his first role with horror make-up) with direction by Hal Roach (!) and D. W. […]

I’ve been on a Brain Food Diet that has kept my thinking processes in overdrive this week.  Even when my body would scream “No more!!” my brain would keep barreling down the highway with a cinder block on the accelerator. In order to chill, I spent Columbus Day morning sipping red wine and watching CIMARRON […]

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