City of Women – 1980 Fellini


City of Women is an admirable cocktail blend of La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. The first two make sense- this is twenty years after the first (of

City of Women – 1980 Fellini2021-08-27T11:08:56+00:00

Witness for the Prosecution – 1957 Wilder


Billy Wilder adapts Agatha Christie to great success in Witness for the Prosecution. Witness for the Prosecution appears often on lists of the best court room films. Wilder’s achievement is muted, this is a greater

Witness for the Prosecution – 1957 Wilder2021-09-21T13:22:13+00:00

Peeping Tom – 1960 Powell


Peeping Tom killed the career of the great auteur Michael Powell. The film was rediscovered, and its reputation was largely saved (or at least revived) by Martin Scorsese in the 1980s. But, I have enough

Peeping Tom – 1960 Powell2021-09-20T17:57:32+00:00

The Sand Pebbles – 1966 Wise


The Sand Pebbles is a well produced handsome film. It was made at a time when director Robert Wise and star Steve McQueen were at the height of their powers. Wise was coming off The

The Sand Pebbles – 1966 Wise2021-09-19T12:50:46+00:00

Walk a Crooked Mile – 1948 Douglas


Power past the absurd title if you admired Anthony Mann’s T-Men (1948) and are seeking out something similar (if admittedly a little lesser) and appreciate a good film noir. The production team from T-Men is

Walk a Crooked Mile – 1948 Douglas2021-08-19T03:46:09+00:00



  best film:  Heat from Michael Mann. Heat is both the summation of Michael Mann’s previous efforts, and an artist at his clear peak. After his biggest financial success in 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans, he


Bells are Ringing – 1960 Minnelli


With the wide canvas and beautiful pink titles in the opening credits—this feels like Minnelli from the very opening frames. After the titles, the film starts as an infomercial for Susanswerphone- an upscale answering service

Bells are Ringing – 1960 Minnelli2021-09-17T14:10:30+00:00

Jaws – 1975 Spielberg


Steven Spielberg (29 years old in 1975) went into Jaws as a promising young filmmaker and emerged as a wunderkind with a masterpiece under his belt. Jaws also smashed box office records and Spielberg became

Jaws – 1975 Spielberg2021-09-16T21:34:07+00:00

Black Jack – 1979 Loach


Black Jack is a decade after Ken Loach’s landmark Kes (1969). This has some connections to realism, but it is a period film (set in the mid-18th century) and shot on grainy 16mm (Kes is

Black Jack – 1979 Loach2021-09-15T12:54:54+00:00

Despair – 1978 Fassbinder


Fassbinder was moving so fast in the 1970s that some the projects can bleed into each other upon recollection-- but not Despair. This is auteur cinema: the inevitable self-destruction of the protagonist paired with the

Despair – 1978 Fassbinder2021-08-18T13:42:03+00:00

The Suicide Squad – 2021 Gunn


  Give it up to James Gunn- the action director (and comedian) has gone from Marvel to DC and has not lost his identity. This is a James Gunn film through and through and makes

The Suicide Squad – 2021 Gunn2021-08-15T13:08:19+00:00

Cruising – 1980 Friedkin


Cruising is a difficult film to remove the story surrounding the film: the controversy, the sensationalizing, the subject matter. Cruising marks the promising pairing of William Friedkin (who wasn’t riding quite as high in 1980

Cruising – 1980 Friedkin2021-09-12T13:05:58+00:00
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