After the Ball / Après le Bal (1897)

Youtube really has become a treasure trove when it comes to finding relatively obscure public domain silent films made in the late 19th century. It’s a niché interest, I admit.  But anyway, case in point, without Youtube I probably never would have seen Georges Méliès‘ After the Ball, starring Jehanne d’Alcy, the future wife of […]

Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

No, that is not a typo in the release year, this is indeed a 129 years old film. In fact the film is considered to be the oldest surviving film known to man. The catch? It’s scarcely two seconds long. Which begs to question: Is there any point to write about a silent film that […]

Henry Fool (1997)

It feels both sad and good to have finally finished the Henry Fool Trilogy, even if it meant watching them slightly out of order, starting with Fay Grim (not knowing it was a sequel), then moving on to it’s follow-up and trilogy concluding Ned Rifle, and now completing the set with the very first installment, […]

The Grass Is Greener (1960)

Funny, I hadn’t realized until just now that this was chronologically the very next project Grant did after Operation Petticoat, of which I had just written about. I suppose this is what you’d call synchronicity? Now that we’re entering the 60s we’re starting to get dangerously near the end of Cary Grant’s acting career and […]

Operation Petticoat (1959 )

There are numerous reasons as to why Operation Petticoat is such a misfire as a military farce but by far the biggest reason for its failure to amuse and provide laughter is easily its central comedic premise: a submarine crew during World War II is forced to house a group of evacuated female nurses, and […]

The Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Starring Kitty Winn as Helen and Al Pacino as Bobby, the Panic in Needle Park is a sad and unusual love story of two addicts whose codependency on narcotics and each other drives them towards the  road of pain, abuse and betrayal. Although we do not reach Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream levels of soul […]

The Wiz (1978)

From the very beginning, I knew this was either going to be a complete train wreck or something really special. On a conceptual level alone the idea of an urban retelling of the Wizard of Oz with an entirely black cast in the late 70s had plenty of merit and potential in it. When you […]

Live by Night (2016)

Let’s just get this out of the way, shall we: While it’s true that Live by Night does lack the right type of dramatic weight to allow it to become part of the greater canon of gangster epics, that doesn’t mean it’s a particularly bad movie by any measure. I walked out of Live by […]

Spartacus (1960)

This is one of those “fill the hole in my pop culture score card” films. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by the famous blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and starring none of other than Kirk Douglas, who recently just turned a round one years old, Spartacus is cinema classic and a throwback to an era […]

Halloween (1978)

It sort of blows my mind that this is nearly forty years old film already. That means Jamie Lee Curtis is nearly sixty! I mean, sure, she’s been gray for some years now, but geez, where does the time go? I wasn’t even born when this was made and it still makes me feel old […]