Four Icons of Early Cinema – Part 2: Lillian Gish

This is a short excursion into the film careers of four extraordinary female actors of early cinema. All four women set new standards in dramatic performance, all came to fame as outstanding beauties of their time, and yet all brushed away vanity to portray diverse roles, impaired personalities and to smash down stereotypes. Lillian Gish … Continue reading Four Icons of Early Cinema – Part 2: Lillian Gish

The Western Story – Part 2: Beyond the Frontier

Over time, the Western films of Hollywood expanded outwards. Many were made in Europe by Italian and Spanish directors (Spaghetti Westerns). Some were adaptations of Japanese Samurai films (The Magnificent Seven). Some were set in Mexico and required drugs to understand (El Topo). Even Communist Eastern Europeans were fond of making their own Westerns that … Continue reading The Western Story – Part 2: Beyond the Frontier

Four Icons of Early Cinema – Part 1: Asta Nielsen

This is a short excursion into the film careers of four extraordinary female actors of early cinema. All four women set new standards in dramatic performance, all came to fame as outstanding beauties of their time, and yet all brushed away vanity to portray diverse roles, impaired personalities and to smash down stereotypes. Asta Nielsen … Continue reading Four Icons of Early Cinema – Part 1: Asta Nielsen

Midnight Movies, Part 3 – Warren Oates as the Cockfighter

Okay, first things first: cockfighting, as with any blood sport that encourages cruelty towards animals, is disgusting and inhumane. For those who don’t know (and are expecting something euphemistic here), a cockfight involves two specifically bred roosters, sometimes strapped with razor blades to their feet, placed in a ring to brawl, often to the death, … Continue reading Midnight Movies, Part 3 – Warren Oates as the Cockfighter

Saturday Afternoon Movies, Part 7 – Hell and High Water (1954 Samuel Fuller)

As Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) reminded us, America in the 1950s could be an uncomfortable and unpleasant time. Not yet fully recovered from the physical horrors of World War II and deep into the psychological terror that was spread about Communism and the threat of nuclear war, this was … Continue reading Saturday Afternoon Movies, Part 7 – Hell and High Water (1954 Samuel Fuller)