Ernst Lubitsch’s last completed film was a riff on the British class system in the period before World War II. The estate of Sir Henry Carmel is turned upside down by two outsiders: Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), a Czechoslovakian writer forced from his country by the Nazis, and Cluny Brown (Jennifer Jones), the orphaned niece of a Cockney plumber who is hired as the new maid but who secrets desires to pursue her uncle’s profession. Continue reading →
This year, Fantasia International Film Festival is screening a nice collection of vintage titles and anniversary screenings. One of these is The Crow coming up on the 30th of July at 7pm and it’s one screening I hate to miss.
The Crow turned 25 this year and it has been just about as long since it became my favorite film, hence why this is one of the hardest films for me to write about. There is no being objective, this film is entwined in my teen years and my adulthood. It’s one of those films that had such a big impact, it’s almost impossible to separate the emotional from the reality of the film. So, as it’s playing, I wanted to write a deeply personal piece, a piece that it nowhere near objective, a piece that is about my history with The Crow.
On July 22nd, the 60th anniversary of “Plan 9 from Outer Space” will be celebrated by horror fans and movie buffs alike, and it’s a celebration I hope you partake in. Ed Wood’s science fiction horror film is notorious for being branded “the worst film ever made,” but through and through it’s proven to be a film that’s so bad it’s quite great. With the Ed Wood classic hitting its 60th, I recommend five ways you can celebrate the anniversary and honor the auteur we once knew we Edward Wood Jr.
It is difficult to view the 1961 version of “King of Kings” without wondering whether the creative talent involved in the production had any familiarity with the inspiration for their work. Although it was not unusual for Biblical epics to take some fanciful liberties with the subject matter, rarely has the sacred text been so wildly rewritten. Continue reading →
By 1968, the sons o’ fun at Toho were running out of ideas on what to do with their monster movie franchise. In “Destroy All Monsters,” the studio assembled nearly all of their beloved Tokyo-stomping monsters and recycled earlier movie plots regarding extra-terrestrials using the monsters to conquer the Earth. The result was a noisy, raucous mess that will appall the serious cinephile and delight the inner 10-year-old cocooned within the most seriously cynical of adults. Continue reading →
During the mid-1980s, there was a brief output of productions that focused on what life would be like in the aftermath of a nuclear war. These films were fueled by anxiety from the left that President Ronald Reagan was recklessly pointing the world into an apocalyptic arms race. Of course, that didn’t happen, but the legacy of that fear did create some provocative works of art. Continue reading →
The most strident denunciation of Jesus’ divinity in cinema history came with the 1976 drama The Passover Plot. The film was based on a controversial 1965 book by British Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield that argued Jesus was a man who schemed to take advantage of ancient prophecies by creating a following that would recognize Him as the long-awaited Messiah, at which point He would lead a rebellion by the Jewish people against the Roman occupation force in the Holy Land. Continue reading →
In 1973, movie audiences were assaulted by three very strange musicals based on the life of Jesus. All three films offered an unusual consideration of Jesus’ mission and ministry, albeit with varying degrees of success. Continue reading →