The Strange Door (1951)

The Strange Door (1951) Wildly departing from Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story about a count who kidnaps a man to marry his niece, this Universal return to horror was assigned to director Joseph Pevney to rescue. Not even Charles Laughton could take it seriously, giving a performance that, according to his biographer, was “a nightmarish … More The Strange Door (1951)

The River (1951)

The River (1951) In the aftermath of Edward Said’s “Orientalism” and Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern Speak?” what can be said of Jean Renoir’s first Technicolor film, shot in documentary fashion on location in Bengal, with a mix of actors and local nonprofessionals? The emphasis on British colonial life through the eyes of Harriet, a … More The River (1951)

Peppermint Soda (1977)

Peppermint Soda (1977) “For my sister, who still hasn’t returned my orange sweater.” Diane Kurys wrote and directed this twist on The 400 Blows, which follows the lives of 13-year-old Anne [Eléonore Klarwein] and 15-year-old Frederique [Odile Michel], sisters whose parents are separated. And yet, despite the political chaos of the time, Kurys focuses on … More Peppermint Soda (1977)

The Image Book (2018)

The Image Book (2018) “Man’s true condition is to compose with his hands,” Jean-Luc Godard announced from his editing table at the very start of this collage-narrative. The first half explores Western cinema; the second half explores neglected Arabian cinema. Film clips from famous and obscure movies are spliced together, bleached and washed, while a … More The Image Book (2018)

Calamity Jane (1953)

Calamity Jane (1953) Doris Day once claimed that this movie was the closest to who she really was, and certainly her performance expresses wild exuberance and delight. Sammy Fain (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) scored Billboard and Academy Award success with “Secret Love,” which, coupled with “The Dead Wood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away),” adds a lesbian … More Calamity Jane (1953)

The Peanut Butter Solution (1985)

The Peanut Butter Solution (1985) Second in a series of fantasy tales for children, undoubtedly written by a precocious 3-year-old at the kitchen table, what begins as a conventional ghost tale reveals how important hair is to adolescents. Somehow this hair as paintbrushes automatically create pictures anyone can crawl inside, a magical alternative reality. I … More The Peanut Butter Solution (1985)

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE: Franz Waxman (1967)

Franz Waxman (1967) 20 Min BONUS FEATURE. A memorial for the famous composer of such movies as “The Bride of Frankenstein” (1935), “Magnificent Obsession” (1935), “Captains Courageous” (1937), “Rebecca” (1940), “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1941), and “Sunset Boulevard” (1950), among many others. His oratorio “Das Leid von Terezin’ (1955) premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony … More HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE: Franz Waxman (1967)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie] Lon Chaney transforms into Quasimodo as if one of the gargoyles along the church walls had come to life. Patsy Ruth Miller plays the innocent beauty Esmeralda in this classic romance. Produced by Carl Laemmle, overseen by Irving Thalberg, and directed by craftsman Wallace Worsley, this movie … More The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie]