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The One Year Switch Halftime Report

content discovered on Wednesday, July 01, 2015 in wsw

HALFTIME REPORTIT'S INTERMISSION! So we're halfway done with the great experiment and it's gone better than I expected so far, and I don't just mean in terms of numbers. The pageview numbers are fairly consistent compared to those from last year, but at this point I'm no longer interested in comparisons between this year and last. This year has become its own thing, and I'm convinced that my audience is still here, and that I haven't put anybody off with the change of format - which is good to know. So...

New release roundup for June '15

content discovered on Monday, June 29, 2015 in animation, drama

Love and Mercy. I knew that Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson had issues, but I never knew the full extent of them until watching this fine biopic chronicling two crucial periods of his life: as a younger man, putting together the seminal album Pet Sounds, and as an older man, fighting mental illness. John Cusack and Paul Dano both play Wilson, and both are quite good. One unusual aspect of this movie is the use of sound: in addition to all the great Beach Boys music, Wilson claims to hear voices in his h...

Double Indemnity in one scene

content discovered on Friday, June 26, 2015 in acting, classic cinema, filmmaking techniques, writing

The "...And Scene!" Blogathon involves close analysis of a single scene from an Old Hollywood film, hosted by Sister Celluloid. For a complete list of participating blogs, visit the link at the site.I've talked about Double Indemnity before, and I think we all agree that it's a terrific movie. (Did you know that it was inspired by a real-life murder that took place here in Queens?) For this blogathon, we're gonna try something different, namely, taking a closer look at one scene in that movie. The scene ...

Edith Head

content discovered on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in fashion, lists and compilations, movie makers

Okay, so wasthat character in The Incrediblesactually based on Edith Heador not? According to the Pixar Wiki, Incredibles director Brad Bird denied it on Twitter. Whether or not you believe him is another story, although why would he lie about it? I don't know. (The Wiki cites several other possible inspirations for the character.)In the coming-up-on-five years I've written this blog, I've rarely, if ever, talked about fashion in movies, so what better way to do so than to talk about the industry's most ...

Stalag 17

content discovered on Monday, June 22, 2015 in blog a thons, comedy, movie makers, movie stars, television

The Billy Wilder Blogathon is an event celebrating the life and career of one of Hollywood's greatest writer-directors, hosted byOnce Upon a ScreenandOutspoken Freckled. For a complete list of participating bloggers, visit the links at either site.Stalag 17YouTube viewingAccording to the book Hogan's Heroes: Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13, in 1967, Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, the playwrights of the original play Stalag 17(and both former World War 2 prisoners-of-war themselves), filed a lawsuit a...

Broken Blossoms

content discovered on Friday, June 19, 2015 in classic cinema, movie makers, race, romance, silent films

Broken Blossoms, or The Yellow Man and the GirlYouTube viewingHow do I talk about D.W. Griffith? How do I talk about the guy whose innovative directorial techniques revolutionized film, yet left an indelible stain on that medium with a movie so toxic in its racism? (I don't need to invoke its name, do I? We know which film I'm talking about.) It so happens that 2015 marks the centennial of That Movie, and Time wrote a piece earlier this year to commemorate the occasion.I have written here before, when ta...

A Liebster hat trick

content discovered on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in lol, wsw

Thank you, Paddy, for this latest incarnation of the beloved and well-traveled Liebster Award (my third), and let me take this moment to say how much you and your blog have meant to me in the almost-five years I've been doing this. I consider you an inspiration as well as a friend, and I'm deeply grateful for all you do, so thanks for just being around.Okay, enough of that sappy stuff! Let's answer Paddy's questions...1. What is your favourite book?I can't pick one. But if I had to pick one, today I'll g...

Cinematic World Tour: Black Orpheus

content discovered on Monday, June 15, 2015 in classic cinema, fantasy, foreign cinema, friends, lol

Black Orpheus YouTube viewing Greetings from Rio!I had gotten an invite from my pal Le to a party to celebrate her new book. So my pilot re-fueled the jet, loaded up the bar, and we flew down to her neck of the woods in Brazil! The party was great! I was really excited to meet Le in person for the first time. But then she told me that Carnaval was about to go down in Rio in a couple of days.* I said, well, hey, as long as I'm already down here - let's go! Incredible city, Rio. As bustling and full...

Tod Browning

content discovered on Friday, June 12, 2015 in bloggers and critics, movie makers, movie stars, silent films, sociology and politics

Maybe I should have waited until Halloween to write about Tod Browning. Though I didn't know much about the director prior to writing this post, I associate him with films dealing with the macabre and the weird. He spent most of his career in the silent era, when the medium was still very much in its incubation period, but it's his talkies that he may be best remembered for - in particular, two films that may not be as shocking now as they were in his day, but remain memorable and influential over eighty...

The Endless Summer

content discovered on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 in childhood, classic cinema, documentary, neighborhoods, race, sports drama, world events

The Beach Party Blogathon is devoted to the grooviest and swingingest beach-related movies around, hosted by Speakeasy and Silver Screenings. For a complete list of participating bloggers, visit the link at Speakeasy.The Endless SummerNetflix stream viewingI've never had any great interest in surfing. When I think of the beach, I'm reminded of my days in summer camp as a child, and we did a whole lot more splashing around and dunking each other than we did surfing. I vaguely recall experimenting with a b...


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