by RONALD BERGAN Among the great might-have-beens of cinema are Greta Garbo as Dorian Gray, Ingmar Bergman directing Barbra Streisand in The Merry Widow, Orson Welles’s The Heart of Darkness, Sergei Eisenstein’s An American Tragedy, and the young Marlon Brando as Dean Moriarty in On the Road. It has been a long and winding road [...]
I was delighted toÂ hear of the premiere at this year’s Cannes film festival of aÂ 269-minute restored version of Sergio Leone’s final masterwork, Once Upon a Time in America (1984). I love this film for many reasons, not least, because of the way it successfully channels the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a writer notoriously difficult [...]
by RONALD BERGAN It is traditional in Cannes to open with a relatively mainstream film that would soon be shown at a multiplex near you. It is a ritual that I can’t see the point of. I’m not so naÃ¯ve to as expect the festival to open with a movie like Godard’s Film Socialism (although [...]
If you’re excited about the promos for the Ridley Scott science fiction movie coming out this summer, Prometheus… it might be a good time to visit some of the films that have been mentioned over the years as the inspirations for ALIEN, and it just so happens they’re all pretty short and all available on Netflix streaming – a perfect weekend triple bill.
FROM THE EDITOR Editorial: Of Devils and Runaway Trains, Anthony Mann and Jean-Claude Van Damme Gary Morris FEATURES Tragic Cinema: The Death of Subjectivities in JCVD Amir Khan Postlude to a Kiss: Will Smith’s Performances of Race and Sexuality in Fred Schepisi’s Six Degrees of Separation Willie Tolliver SIDEBAR: ANTHONY MANN Going Through the Devil’s [...]
Who wouldn’t love to go to L.A. from NYC via zeppelin? So what if it takes a week? Open air rear observation compartments! Farmers looking up, amazed, waving, scratching their heads in disbelief… rivers, lakes, Montana…
For a science fiction film francise to become truly successful, it helps not to be too original.Â The most successful of these franchisesÂ are based on ideas that have been floating around pop culture long enough for audiences to feel comfortable with them (see, e.g., Star Wars or Avatar), as opposed to films based on comparatively [...]
istaVision, it’s also what Hitch shot VERTIGO on… and now both those films too make more sense, VERTIGO especially always seemed too traveloguey for a supposed top ten of all time classic. Now, if it was on Blu-Ray I’d get it even though the DVD version I have is pretty damned good and I don’t even really love it… yet
Price’s florid hamminess fills in the sparse patches of Corman’s sometimes spare mise en scene, and the sparseness conversely gives Price lots of room to floridly ham. Add Les Baxter’s crazy scores, some good freaky psychedelic California painters to make the portraits of dead and evil
uncles and incestuous sisters and flowing red paint credits, and sharp scripts by Richard Matheson and pre-CHINATOWN Robert Towne, and viola!
Homicidal gang debs, tripping youth, murderous charismatic hippie cult leaders,German lesbian junkie spies, sexy German terrorists: 6 Rare, Strange, awesome films (all on Netflix Streaming) from or about the late 60s-early 70s.
From the Editor Editorial: Welcome to the Love-In Gary Morris FEATURES On the Road to the Ninth Circle of Hell: Easy Rider Merges Lanes with Dante’s Inferno and Faust J. D. Markel How Easy Rider laid the groundwork for Wild Hogs “You Know, Billy, We Blew It”: Historical Influences on the “Rough Rebels” and How [...]
Only white Hollywood would make a mainstream movie where toilets and shit are used as significant tropes to tell a story of black-white relations, as if the topic is right up black folks’ alley.
There’s nothing wrong with these films per se, they stir deep emotions; they move us, en masse; they spark enraptured conversation on the drive home from the mall-tiplex, are superb examples of craftsmanship, and most importantly, they make bourgeois Oscar voters feel good about themselves, and their profession; these films rub the voters’ shoulders and whisper in their wrinkly ears – “you, my darling Academy member, are the makers of our dreams.”
Now playing at the local Arthouse — Can’t you just see it on the marquee?
We recently heard, and verified, the shocking news that some of Bright Lights’ contributors actually have lives and activities outside their work on the once-humming BL assembly line. Apparently some of them (and you know who you are) have been busy writing books and making art! After we recovered from our initial dismay that BL [...]
In darker shadowy lairs, Myrna Loy meets with her devoted astrologer, Swami Yogadaci (the ever villainous C. Henry Gordon) to figure out how and when the constellations want her to assassinate her former sorority snubbers. Loy’s the villain, ostensibly, but you’ll be rooting for her all the way (unless you’ve never felt the sting of a snubbing yourself).
Unseen for years thanks to its “dangerously progressive” attitudes towards sexual relationships outside wedlock, tomorrow, Tuesday 12/6/12! Criterion has released it in the stand-alone glory it deserves, replete with extras and an essay by the great Kim Morgan.
William is one of the great re-discovered icons of the pre-code era, exhumed by TCM like a King Tut of badass Satanic bravado and good humor, a cross between the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes.
“The thumb isn’t good enough for you. You have to use your whole body.”Â Naked underneath her trenchcoat, frightened hitchhiker Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman)Â gets private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker)Â to stop his car by standing in the middle of the highway with her arms outstretched in an X pattern.Â This is the first time we [...]
November 2011 | Issue 74 From the Editor “#Occupy Bright Lights?” Gary Morris FEATURES Religious Allegory and Cultural Discomfort in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky: And Why Larry Crowne Is One of the Best Films of 2011 J. D. Markel “You can laugh while Rome is burning, but believe you me, Poppy, it is burning, and if [...]
Murders are talked over via close-ups of cat statues, and a very dirty fella named Blackie gets offed by Guy Kibee (as you’ve never seen him before!).
For the Halloween devouring Other in you: Here’s a small sampling of films for inciting you or your other to an orgy of castration and Kali-esque bloodletting…
Walt Disney’s masterpiece, Fantasia, may seem at first like a random collection of animated shorts whose only common factor is that each was inspired by a well-known piece of classical music.Â However, consciously or not, the film has a deeper unifying principle.Â Each of the film’s episodes touches in one way or another upon the [...]
A documentary on the weird world of Ohioans keeping dangerous wild animals as pets (it’s legal there), this film couldn’t be more timely in the light of recent events
[Editor's note: Wham! Bam! Islam! plays on PBS on Thursday, Oct. 13 as part of its estimable Independent Lens series. Check local listings for time.] In July 2010, Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa presented a lecture as part of the nonprofit TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) “Ideas Worth Spreading” series, entitled “Superheroes Inspired by Islam.” In April of [...]