Category Archives: cinema

The Look of Love: “Stolen Face” (1952)

    Given the fixation the studios had in manipulating audiences, is it any wonder that the “Golden Age” age cinema is awash in overly produced symphonic assaults on the soundtrack, designed to emphasize to the audience the desired way in … Continue reading

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Changing Times: “There Was a Crooked Man…” (1970)

    If there were ever a film which demonstrates the confusion of veteran Hollywood studio directors in adapting to the then-newly found freedom afforded filmmakers with the abolition of the Production Code, it’s Joesph L. Mankiewicz’ 1970 serio-comic western, “There Was … Continue reading

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Unfair Play: “The Cheat” (1915)

    Cecil B. DeMille’s 1915 “The Cheat” is a morality play that manages the hypocritical feat of allowing the guilty embezzler, the shallow socialite Edith Hardy, to escape punishment from both the law and her particular social class, but excoriate … Continue reading

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Saving Ciphers: “Argo” (2012)

    There has been so much hoopla constructed around Ben Affleck’s “Argo”. most of it concentrated on the meaningless and continuously distasteful circus that is the Hollywood Awards Season- the seemingly year-round orgy of masturbatory, unmerited self-congratulation -with much of … Continue reading

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Mixed Messages: “Halls of Anger” (1970)

    Paul Bogart’s “Halls of Anger” finds a barely perceptible niche in the often inflammatory tradition of Hollywood films that claim to expose the volatile underbelly of modern urban education, with all appropriate delinquencies bubbling forth in a gladiatorial arena … Continue reading

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Shooting Blanks: “Death Wish” (1974)

    “Death Wish” is a genuine curiosity; a  terrible movie which prompted a great deal of useful, spirited and intelligent sociopolitical discussion. The theme of the film is justice, or rather the lack of it, and the rise of vigilantism … Continue reading

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Sex, Drugs and TV: “The Groove Tube” (1974)

   Ken Shapiro’s “The Groove Tube” is a raggedy collection of skits satirizing television ads and programs, a not especially challenging target that is met with a lack of conceptual focus and a wildly variant acuity of wit. In fact, … Continue reading

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Shoot. Load. Repeat.: “The Enforcer” (1976)

   It begins as a Squeaky Fromme wannabe is picked up by two gas company employees who are swiftly dispatched in rather gruesome fashion by blonde haired, blue-eyed psychopath Bobby Maxwell (DeVeren Bookwalter in full drooling grimace mode). These are … Continue reading

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Shapeless: “The Blob” (1958)

    Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.’s “The Blob” is a film with an impressive cult legacy, but one that yields few actual rewards upon viewing. This small-town teen versus space monster picture does distinguish itself from many of the grade-B (or … Continue reading

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The Brice isn’t Right: “Funny Girl” (1968)

    Film biographies have always been a tricky business. Subject to less than scrupulous adherence to the factual as opposed to an almost shameless gravitational pull toward the predictable formulaic Hollywood elements of high melodrama and low soap opera, the … Continue reading

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The Stuff of Dreams: “Trollhunter” (2010)

    The sub-genre of the “found film” mockumentary hit the financial jackpot with the tiresome “The Blair Witch Project”, a film which benefited from a wealth of carefully manipulated anticipation by way of Internet hype, but emerged without an … Continue reading

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The Big and the Small of It: “Dr. Cyclops” (1940)

   With 1940’s “Dr. Cyclops”, director Ernest B. Schoedsack returns to familiar territory, with a story about a group encountering a menacing leviathan, only instead of the simian origins of “King Kong”, and to a lesser extent “Son of Kong”, the … Continue reading

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Baby Steps: “The Mind of Mr. Soames” (1970)

John Soames is a thirty year old man who has lived in a coma since birth,  until a team of doctors, including an eminent surgeon, believe they have the answer to his perpetual stasis and proceed to awaken him mindful … Continue reading

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Beauty of the Requited Heart: “Elvira Madigan” (1967)

      Bo Widerberg’s “Elvira Madigan” is often recalled as the “most beautiful” film ever made. If one is limiting the observation to it’s visual elements alone, there is much merit to such ethereal claims, as the cinematography of Jörgen Persson … Continue reading

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The Shadow of Her Smile: “La doppia ora” (2009)

   A guest at a hotel leaps from the balcony to her death. A woman attends a speed dating ritual. A pair of budding lovers is accosted during an art heist. A woman begins seeing the phantom images of a … Continue reading

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Russian Roue: “Love and Death” (1975)

   Woody Allen’s first overt dive into the realm of the serious (though not approached seriously) is an interesting amalgam of 19th Century Russian literature, the cinema of Eisenstein and Bergman  all seen through the eyes of his sarcastic horndog … Continue reading

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