…AND WIPE YOUR FEET. THIS ISN’T A BARN!
Welcome to Chandler Swain Reviews, a film site where one may express their opinion openly without fear of intimidation, backstabbing, eye rolling, subcutaneous eruptions, hysterical paralysis, Congressional subpoenas, acid reflux, spontaneous combustion or recalcitrant quips.
JONATHAN WINTERS (NOV. 11, 1925 – APRIL 11, 2013)
THIS SITE PRESENTED IN THE MODERN MIRACLE PROCESS
STILL AT POPULAR PRICES WITHOUT WAITING IN INCONVENIENT TICKET LINES. THE MOST SPECTACULAR EPIC EVER SEEN BY THE CURIOUS EYES OF CIVILIZED MAN, AND YOU ARE THERE TO EXPERIENCE ALL OF THE ANCIENT WONDERS AND FUTURISTIC SENSATIONS THAT COULD ONLY BE REVEALED TO YOU IN THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME ADVENTURE THAT IS: CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS
UPON ENTERING, BE PREPARED TO SURRENDER YOUR FREE WILL TO THE UNCANNY INTELLECT, THE UNSHAKEABLE FORCE OF CEREBRAL OMNIPOTENCE THAT IS CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS. KISS OLD NOTIONS OF WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW GOODBYE AND EMBRACE THE REALITY THAT YOU ARE DOOMED FROM THIS DAY FORWARD TO A LIFE OF UNENDING MINDLESS AGREEMENT WITH WHATEVER YOU READ ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, AS YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A REALM OF UNPARALLELED ARTISTIC ENLIGHTENMENT, CULTURAL DEPRAVITY AND A LIKING FOR SKITTLES, THE ALL-AMERICAN BREAKFAST CANDY.
MAY MOVIE OF THE MONTH
DAN DURYEA in JUNE VINCENT
Roy William Neill’s 1946 production of
“BLACK ANGEL” _____________________________________
DON’T BE SHY, SAY “HI!”
Whether or not you enjoy your stay here at CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS, drop us a line. Let us know what’s on your mind, the good the bad and the ugly. (Just keep it clean please.) Here we are an equal opportunity, open minded forum of film thought and all perspectives are welcome and encouraged. (Except Ebertism, but there’s a vaccine for that now, isn’t there?) So, if you happen to drop in, leave a trace of your carbon footprint behind and make your ideas count. And even if you choose not to leave a comment: welcome to our little corner of the World of Cinema.
“Women make wonderful pets.”- Lloyd Nolan in “Michael Shayne, Private Detective”
Before we proceed any further, perhaps it might help if we asked an obvious question: Just who is Chandler Swain anyway (see right) and what is his ultimate goal with this movie site? It might be important while perusing the pages of this site to keep in mind that the mindset on these pages is a fairly “old school” one, following the traditions of the Critical Mind as opposed to the easy methodology of film thought brought forth by the wave of Populism which has swept the country, and has been instrumental in bringing the American version of this most modern of art forms to its lowest creative level ever. The twofold purpose of this site is to both celebrate and excoriate (see below) the cinema form; in that the most primal entertainment values of film may be identified and encouraged, but also pursue a path of illumination on the more artistic aspects of the form. All films, regardless of commercial or artistic permutations should be given equal attention, as every single film, no matter how obscure or seemingly insignificant, contributes to the whole of the form. Since film, aside from the significant aspirations to Art, is also a commercial enterprise, an industry, it stands to reason that the commercial viability of a offensively crass and distastefully banal production may have subsequent negative influences on seemingly unrelated independent or artistically inclined enterprises. As much independence as some filmmakers would like to claim, the form- in the most commercial sense- has evolved (or devolved as some would have it) into a completely synergistic industry. Or something like that. Readers are invited to peruse and comment to their heart’s content. Contrary views are welcome as there is very little that is less stimulating than someone who always agrees with you. Original thought is encouraged, but please… no quoting of that antithesis of lucid film thought- Roger Ebert.
The usefulness of Internet film sites cannot be underestimated, but it is a fatal mistake to think they are a substitution for published critical thought found in either book form or in the still numerous serious film journals available from around the globe. Film sites are merely another resource not an end to themselves. Similar to the incontrovertible concept of actually seeing film in an intended large screen format (regardless of the film’s vintage), it is imperative that the serious cinephiles avail themselves with as much legitimately valuable information and viewpoints on the cinematic as possible. Much of what exists on the Net, in regard to film is fan-based in origin (as is much of the existing newsstand magazine output), and while some are endearingly enthusiastic in nature, it is important for the serious cinephile to not be led by the short leash of sentimental favoritism as opposed to solid philosophic views on the Art of Cinema, based on legitimate avenues of Critical Thought and not merely the winds of nostalgic romanticism.
Much of what is written on blog sites comes from a younger generation of writers, to whom the Internet is the most natural arena of expression; and while opening the field for a more immediate arena of public communication, this extended atmosphere of filmspeak does not necessarily advance the field of criticism in its purest form, but in fact may retard it’s evolution. First of all, there is far too much regressive film experience expressed, in which the same basic films are looked at ad infinitum; usually expressing the same viewpoints which have been studied sometimes for decades. This is where inexperience rears its ugly head; in that the novice enthusiast may make critical overtures that are already well-worn but the writer is unaware of this due to a lack of comprehensive scholarly experience in the field. It is as if, instead of the professor leading the course, each student is standing in a queue for their own opportunity to express the exact same views. This, unfortunately puts critical thought at a moribund standstill.
For film criticism to retain relevance, it is imperative to move beyond the current critical stasis, to elevate the class of film criticism beyond the reductive decades long trend toward reviewing as opposed to critical enlightenment, and to discard the crutches of fatal pollutants of open critical appraisal, such as the Auteur Theory which inevitably lead to a weakened Populist viewpoint rather than the more independent, forward thinking standards of analysis characteristic of The Critical Establishment. _______________________________________________________________
CARE AND FEEDING OF CHANDLER SWAIN REVIEWS, or:
How to Succeed in Negotiating This Site Without Really Trying
The first thing one must remember while visiting Chandler Swain Reviews is that it is set up more as a website rather than a blog site, therefore things are run more inefficiently and with a greater disdain for personal comfort. However, if one remembers that the lifeblood of this site is the main menu at the top of each page, one can easily negotiate the site without encountering too many highway tolls or pesky speed traps. One may notice on page sidebars, both a listing for new features (most are not “posted” as such and will have to be discovered by clever navigating of the site itself) and a list of current feature films playing on these pages. Simply travel to the pages indicated for the movie you wish to view, burn some popcorn and have a great time. All films reviewed on these pages are listed alphabetically on The Film Vault page along with the appropriate location. If there are suggestions about the site, comments or criticisms you’d like to express, feel free. It may be a global internet, but the First Amendment still applies here, and your voice has value. Ciao.
A NAME BY ANY OTHER FACE: MAY CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ
May being the month of Memorial Day, let us expand the concept of remembrance and include all biographical films in comprising this month’s film photo quiz in which you are once again asked to identify the following twelve stills, only this time, in keeping with our inflationary times, there are three parts to the puzzle. All willing are expected to (1) name the film, (2) name the subject character of the film and (3) name the actor who plays that subject. As usual, all correct entries will be scrutinized by our crack staff of scholars from the hallowed halls of the Smarterin U. Film School. Anyone who correctly identifies all thirty six portions of the puzzle will achieve fame, fortune and a sense of superiority to all Mankind, though somewhere else. Here, if you’re lucky, you might get a shrug and an almost sincere “well done, I suppose.”
LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW!: JANUARY CLASSIC FILM IMAGES/ THE SOLUTIONS
With Winter nipping at the heels there seems no better time to recall those great films in which snow, ice and snugglin’ with a spiked mug of cocoa inspired holiday cheer and depressed fourth quarter retail sales numbers. (Sorry Jordan Marsh, but no one really wanted the exclusive set of macrame luggage.) Your goal is to get out of that pesky nor’easter, dust off the frostbite and join Al Gore’s “no I wasn’t wrong about global warming- that’s a warm blizzard out there” cult by identifying all twelve of the following cinema images; films that take place in or feature important sequences in snow and ice. Good luck, and remember…when throwing a snowball at the landlord, don’t forget the cue ball in the center, for balance and a more accurate toss.
#1 DOWNHILL RACER
#2 LETTER NEVER SENT
#3 THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
#5 THE WHITE HELL OF PITZ PALU
#6 SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW
#7 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
#8 THE SHINING
#9 ALEXANDER NEVSKY
#10 A SIMPLE PLAN
#11 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
#12 WHERE EAGLES DARE
OCTOBER CLASSIC FILM IMAGES: FOR GUYS AND GHOULS OF ALL AGES/THE SOLUTIONS
October, bringing the annual season of Halloween, witches, warlocks and nausea inducing candy corn, is a perfect time to slide down the secret staircase bannister to the bubbling cauldron of Memory Lame and relive the glorious moments which terrified and made you watch a film from underneath a blanket or eye covering fingers. You assignment is to identify all 13 of the spooky films from which the following hallucinations emanate. As always, the winners of such an enterprise will receive boxes of raisins, cans of mushroom pieces, a soggy bag of coffee grounds and anything else we here at CSR can extract from the depths of our cupboards to fill your Halloween bags with the rich aroma of an off season room at our favorite Cornwall castle equipped with ghostly apparitions and decaying nests of vole.
Have a comment about this site, a film reviewed or just want to chat? Don’t hesitate to write. We may be slow to respond here but everyone’s views are important. Let’s hear from you.