The Friday 5/21/2021

Ida Lupino: Road House

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

Shrek 2/Shrek the Third/Shrek Forever After. “Never really warmed up to the franchise in the first place.”

If you will, pull up a barstool and listen to my new episode of “The Music and the Movies,” in which I host an hour called “The Film Noir Lounge,” a collection of songs performed in the piano bars and road houses and nightclubs of film noir. I had fun with this one; it’ll be online until 5/30 or so.

And still a couple of days to hear “Coen Brothers Jukebox,” my curation of songs from the films of those guys. A new episode of “M&M” plays Sunday night at 7.

Three vintage reviews posted this week at my other website, What a Feeling! Here we have ’80s reviews for: Rick King’s Hotshot, a soccer movie with Pele; Diane Keaton’s Heaven, a super-quirky documentary about the afterlife (does anybody even remember this exists?); and David Anspaugh’s Hoosiers, a beloved sport picture about which I had reservations.

The Friday (2/26/2021)

Bakary Kone: Night of the Kings (courtesy NEON)

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

Night of the Kings. “The dizzying atmosphere that emerges is haunting.”

Tomorrow, Saturday February 27th, we’ll have another Zoom meeting in the ongoing semester of Scarecrow Academy, “The Art in Noir: Film Noir and the Director,” presented by the nonprofit Scarecrow Video in Seattle. Our subject is the B-movie classic Detour (1945), directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Our discussion begins at 2 p.m. Pacific Time, and you can sign up at Scarecrow’s Academy page. Also, here I am introducing the movie.

At my other blog, What a Feeling!, we tally more vintage reviews of 1980s films. To wit: John Sayles’ Matewan, a classic labor film (and quasi-Western) that introduced Chris Cooper; Amy Holden Jones’ Maid to Order, a fantasy-comedy with Ally Sheedy; Fons Rademakers’ The Assault, a Dutch film that took the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of 1986; Paul Bogart’s Oh God! You Devil, the third in the series with George Burns as the Almighty; and Savage Steve Holland’s One Crazy Summer, a follow-up to Better Off Dead, with John Cusack and Demi Moore.

The Friday (2/12/2021)

Yeri Han, Steven Yeun: Minari (Josh Ethan Johnson/A24)

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

Minari. “Its approach seems literary more than cinematic, which may be why I’m resisting its charms a little bit.”

We’re starting up another semester of Scarecrow Academy, this time devoted to “The Art in Noir: Film Noir and the Director.” The online Zoom sessions begin Saturday, February 13th, and continue on Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. Pacific Time for 10 weeks. On 2/13 we begin with a discussion of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. See more information and register here. Below, I talk a little about this week’s movie.

We’ve got more 1980s reviews at my other website, What a Feeling! Consider these vintage reviews of Wayne Wang’s Slam Dance, an arty neo-noir with Tom Hulce and a very intriguing cast; Michael Moore’s groundbreaking documentary Roger & Me; Jovan Acin’s Hey Babu Riba, a fondly-recalled Yugoslavian memory film; Gregory Nava’s A Time of Destiny, a supremely weird melodrama with William Hurt and Timothy Hutton; Mel Brooks’s To Be or Not to Be, an ill-advised Lubitsch remake starring Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

The Friday (1/29/2021)

Yulia Visotskaya, Dear Comrades! (photo by Sasha Gusov, courtesy NEON)

My piece for the Scarecrow blog this week, and etc.

Dear Comrades! “The feeling of being absolutely at sea in the midst of political chaos is piercing.”

We’re reconvening Scarecrow Academy, an online discussion series via Zoom. This time it’s ten weeks of “The Art in Noir: Film Noir and the Director,” which goes on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Pacific Time, launching February 13 with Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. You register online and we send you the Zoom link, and then we have a robust conversation; check out the info here. And the poster:

After a holiday break, What a Feeling! started up again, with vintage 1980s reviews of five foreign films: Claire Denis’ debut feature Chocolat; Federico Fellini’s Ginger and Fred, starring Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni; Bruno Nuytten’s Camille Claudel, an Oscar-nominated showcase for Isabelle Adjani; Giuseppe Tornatore’s Oscar-winning smash Cinema Paradiso; and Bertrand Tavernier’s Beatrice, a Middle Ages story with an early role for Julie Delpy.