February 2011 | Issue 71
From the Editor
The Cinematic Islands of Dr. Moreau

"Those denied redemption, obviously, cannot raise the ascending tower, and embrace their brokenness with a furious energy that smiles only in clumsy destruction."
"Nothing is more satisfying than the feeling that a show is about to perform a move in a new direction, something it has been conspiring to do all along."
By Sean Nortz
"Zugsmith's film, unusually, takes its literary antecedents seriously and tries to evoke the opiated fog of De Quincey's London, a literary environment that we would now call 'cinematic.'"
By Jesse Stommel
"We're drawn to and fascinated by horror because the genre reminds us that we have both outsides and insides, skin and guts, eyes and gray matter, ideas and appetites."
By Joseph Natoli
"For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being — the self-made man — the American industrialist." — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957
By Stephen Harris
"How entertaining do you find this?"
"In order to rectify her own misery with judgmental, shrewish wino Annette, Julianne Moore has to suffer the shame of being caught cheating, the way Dick Cheney had to suffer the blame for all the waterboarding we needed to squash terrorism."
By Mervyn Nicholson
Boredom never looked so good
Boring Psycho: Janet Leigh

"The resurrection of Fritz Lang's original cut has revealed how well this film functions with its associative network of image layered onto an adventure/SF thriller, but the reasons for its mysterious pull coalesce into an x-factor that resists analysis."
By Jacob Mikanowski
"Boonmee establishes Weerasethakul as our reigning master of the spiritual style: no one else moves across the lines that separate animals from humans and the living from the dead with greater ease or less fuss."
By Kelli Marshall
"There's kind of nowhere else [the movie] could go." — Steve Carrell
By Jacob Mikanowski
"At the moment of greatest peril, the monks respond by having a little soirée."
By Barbara Eckroad
"You weren't very nice, but I'm sorry you're dead"
"In between the idealized lover and the cantankerous old goat lay a handful of roles in which Howard managed to simultaneously embody and undermine the archetypal Englishman."
Trevor Howard

By Eloise Ross
"Like Tony Stark, who is saved by his symbolic birth into a superhero body, Robert Downey Jr. is saved by his rebirth into the movies with a superbody."
By Jake Wilson
"The truth is that humour and terror play an equal part in his vision, which takes shape at the point where the two extremes meet."
Blake Edwards throws a pie at Natalie Wood on the set of The Great Race

By Pat Kewley
"His insects lie, cheat, steal, get drunk, have affairs, and fight with each other, occupying a harsh reality where bad choices have bad consequences and dead things stay dead."
By Mark Dow
"The wonderful paradox of the Wiseman film is that what allows the layered complexities to unfold is the leveling of everything we are shown."
An ongoing column that looks at some of the most intriguing of recent, under-the-radar releases
#7: "A story starring a child is allowed to be bloodcurdlingly violent without softening it with hand-holding guilt or apathetic abstraction."
By Jacob Mikanowski
"#7: "A family drama about the dangers of beekeeping."
"Any director who shoots a grindhouse film without exquisite, triumphant, dangerous, and naked women is doing a disservice to the genre and should move into a different field."
Humphrey Bogart, by David Thomson
Reviewed by John Carvill
Reviewed by Ian Hetherington
Reviewed by Joseph Aisenberg
Asian Horror, by Andy Richards
Reviewed by Andryn Arithson
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.

» Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair)
» The General (Keaton)
» Sunrise (Murnau)
» 8-1/2 (Fellini)
» Playtime (Tati)
» Winstanley (Brownlow & Mollo)
» Permissive (Shonteff)
» Lola Montes (Ophuls)
» My Childhood, My Ain Folk ... (Bill Douglas)
» In the Realm of the Senses (Oshima)
» Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney)
» Repulsion (Polanski)
» Institute Benjamenta (Brothers Quay)
» Everlasting Moments (Troell)

BL Associate Editor Alan Vanneman and others watch (and review) television shows so you don't have to. Click if you dare.

» 30 Rock
» The American President
» Archer
» Batman: The Animated Series
» The Big Bang Theory
» Broadway Theatre Archive
» Car 54, Where Are You?
» Charlie’s Angels
» Cowboy Bebop
» Death of a Salesman
» Dollhouse
» Freaks and Geeks
» Have Gun Will Travel
» Mad Men
» Magnum P.I.
» Monk
» Pamela Anderson Roast
» Renegade
» Sex and the City
» Sports Night
» Star Trek

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

» Archive.org
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
See Archive.org.

» 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.

» Siklink.com
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
Must we create a detailed tribute page to this extraordinary British novelist championed by Auden, Updike, and Terry Southern? Or will you do it? Start with Concluding (1948).

» Women of Surrealism
They weren't all "muses" and maids – these women equaled or surpassed their more celebrated male counterparts in vision and technique.

» 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.