May 2010 | Issue 68
From the Editor
By Gregory Stephens
"The films analyzed here explore the (crude) question: what are the individual and social consequences of eating shit?"
By Mervyn Nicholson
"By treating the style of the original series as integral to the show — and not as a kind of regrettable defect — we can get a better grasp on the Star Trek phenomenon itself."
"My God! — cried out a querulous voice within me — is it possible that we, artists of the stage, are doomed by the materiality of our bodies to eternal servitude and the representation of crude reality?" ~ Stanislavsky
An Occasional Series on the Life and Work of Charlie Chaplin
"At a moment when the most feeble signs of self-actualization are seen as a resurgence of feminism, Whedon shows us the melancholy and troubling side of 'girl power.'"
By Maximilian Werner
"We do not realize that 'normal' behavior needs to be explained at all." ~ Laura Cosmides
By Peter Forster
"The filmmaker, having scrupulously established the world of film noir, queers it by shattering the categories — both narrative and cinematic — of the world itself."
By Joseph Natoli
"We are but older children, dear, / Who fret to find our bedtime near." ~ Lewis Carroll, "Child of the Pure Unclouded Brow"
By Madison Brookshire
"In a powerful and precise encomium, Andersen extols the virtues of what he deems to be a kind of homegrown neo-realism."
Or Advanced Guide to Cinematic Survival?
By Sara Villa
"The transvestite's camp humor is here used to stress the unsustainability of the military discourses on which the justification of IRA terrorism is based."
By Mark Chapman
"We are no longer in an era of vampire stories." ~ Jean-Luc Nancy"
By Bruno Mikanowski
Cowboy Bebop
"When you come at the king, you best not miss."
By Henry William Francis Rownd
"Less than a month after premiering for an 'indefinite time' at the Selwyn, the Teleview was pulled."
"Art, entertainment, and genuine fear and tragedy rarely all filter down into a deceptively 'normal American family film' with such quiet desperation."
By Ilan Kapoor
"To twist Gayatri Spivak's famous phrase, it's a case of (mostly) 'white men saving cute dolphins from yellow men.'"
By Cullen Gallagher
"I have always contended that in addition to talent, success depends on a little bit of luck, and my luck seemed to have run out, professionally at least." ~ Preston Sturges, on the making of The French, They Are a Funny Race
"Superheroes live best in their own world." ~ David Mazzucchelli
"The very idea of losing is hateful to Americans."
By Mark Chapman
Take your seats for a "dark-hearted, midnight fantasia of ecstatic sadism, voyeurism and psychosis"!
Shutter Island might be the only psychological thriller abetted by a lack of interest in the psyche.
"The pain is my only reminder that he [Edward] was real." ~ Bella (Kristen Stewart)
By Amy Stotz
"Traditional gender roles seem to be in no danger of evolving."
By Dorian Fox
"I'll eat you up. I love you so."
"Like any old-style modernist, Haneke likes to make the audience work."
"He is Aladdin and the camera is his lamp." ~ James R. Quirk
"He could be suave or awkward, likable or pesky, average or eccentric, a winner or a loser, a fussy nerd or the life of the party, all the while remaining Charley Chase."
By Eric G. Wilson
Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett
"If we take Grant seriously, we must contend with an extreme difficulty: what appears to be fake, an actor portraying a character, might be real; what we normally think of as real, a person gesturing in the everyday world, might well be artificial."
"Life isn't short enough . . ." ~ Laurel in Sons of the Desert (1934)
"Lawrence had become a movie star for many reasons — gentleness, grace, that silky hair, and what Laemmle assessed as 'sensational bubbies.'"
Movie Art
"I'm using the computer (Photoshop) a bit more than I like to admit, but I still love traditional illustration, watercolor and oils."
"[My film] is stylized and theatrical because the story is so telescoped — we have a life-and-death outcome played out over 20 actual minutes."
By Zsolt Gyori
"I had to allow time to let experience ferment inside me, and by then you forget whether what you went through was useful or not!"
"Vestiges of French customs and family life remain throughout these films, yet their concerns testify to a rapidly shifting society."
America's Film Legacy, by Daniel Eagan
Reviewed by Matthew Kennedy
Reviewed by Matthew Kennedy
Reviewed by Ian Johnston
Recent Posts

Margaret Lockwood in The Man in GreyOne of the great Gainsborough melodramas, in the longer UK cut, on the always accommodating (if sometimes only temporarily) YouTube. Margaret Lockwood is as "wicked" here as she is in Wicked Lady. Watch it before the copyright police come a-callin'!

Watch on Youtube »

Gordon Thomas, and other BL staff, check out the eye- popping pleasures of Blu-Ray.

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I'm sick of movies, Mr. Webmaster. Take me away!

Gazillions of free books, audio, and video. Grab 'em before the copyright police come knocking!

» Glenn Greenwald
The indomitable civil liberties champion takes exception to American exceptionalism. You will too when you read his blistering analyses.

» Project Gutenberg

» Creative Commons
"All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. Every license helps creators retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work — at least non-commercially."

» The Ivy Compton-Burnett home page
A Bright Lights side project created by George Brown devoted to the greatest novelist of the 20th century. There, we said it.

» Raw Vision
The leading online site (and print publication) devoted to those zany untrained artists who channel personality quirks, neuroses, idées fixes, and downright craziness into Art.

An endlessly fascinating clearinghouse for "the greatest hand-picked collection of bizarre, strange and unusual websites on the internet today." Highlights include the enchanting "Prison Bitch Name Generator" and "Life Gem" – how to "turn your deceased loved one into a diamond."

» Clark Ashton Smith
The premier fantasy poet and short-story writer (and sculptor and artist) gets a detailed blog that's a model for intelligent fan-ism. Watch out for falling curmudgeons in the forum.

» Classic Arcade Games
Miss Asteroids? Centipede? Frogger? Miss that you missed them? Here's your chance to enjoy the state of the art circa 1980s.

» Jack Vance
Wikipedia's gateway to our favorite writer in and of science fiction and fantasy. A national treasure.

» Electronic Frontier Foundation
"EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations." Go EFF!

» The Canonical List of Weird Band Names: The Peculiar and the Profane
Another Bright Lights side project from the inimitable George Brown. You probably know the Meat Puppets but how about Lyin' Bitch and the Restraining Orders?

» James Purdy
A good introduction to a criminally neglected postwar literary master. Be 21 or be gone for his gorgeous, harrowing works, kids.

» The Radical Ant Farm
This page answers that nagging question: "What's up with the Russian criminal tattoos?" The rest of the site offers further fun.

» Spectro-Pop
Monumental site devoted to '60s pop music – you know, that stuff playing in the background during the orgy.

» The Left Business Observer
Doug Henwood's long-running economics newsletter, called "invaluable" by Noam Chomsky. Need we say more?

» Jane Bowles
Go to Wikipedia and improve this "stub" on the writer Tennessee Williams looked up to and James Purdy called "the eagle-woman of American letters."

The best online radio station for our money. A deep archive and no-music-turned-away policy will keep you rollin' and tumblin' till the apocalypse.

» Henry Green
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» Ronald Firbank
He called the president of Haiti "a perfect dear" and was known to eat a single pea at dinner. Oh, and he ranks with Joyce and Woolf (see Edmund Wilson) as a groundbreaking literary modernist.

» Essential Vermeer
Everything you need to know about the Dutch master of light and mysterious figures.

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@brightlightsfilm - stills, photos, and images from classic and contemporary films from around the world.