What is a masterwork? It’s like, a really good film, right? I started to debate the meaning of masterworks at university. In the essays titles to choose from, one was, “The Greatest Masterworks are also some of the most immoral.” Something like that. I didn’t necessarily agree with the films chosen in “Masterworks of the […]
Walter Murch, yes the Walter Murch, travelled all the way to Aberystwyth to take questions on his film, Apocalypse Now. Okay, so Murch was only the sound stylist, right? An editor, not a director, star, screenwriter or even a producer. Producers take home the best picture award, directors get to be thought of the auteur, […]
Not everyone agrees with the academy results. Rather than predicting who would win the big awards, we’ve decided to wait for the elites to pick their winners and then list the films that we enjoyed the most.
At Ptara, I directed two microbudget feature films. Make that nanobudget. One had a crew of two (excluding the three actors, who also crewed, and a few kids who helped out on sound one day), the other was basically me editing a large variety of footage to make it coherent. There were challenges in both, […]
I hate to start a review with a spoiler, but knowing your history is always a spoiler. And, if you don’t know your history, historical films often lack interest. Spain was backward during Franco’s dictatorship, just as fundamentalists in the middle east are making their own countries backward. Much of Europe only truly emerged from […]
I purposely avoided Moliere, Shakespeare in Love, and almost every other movie about a playwright. I do this because I respect writers like Shakespeare, and I find their period fascinating. I likewise avoid most movies about Thomas Jefferson. I prefer the Jefferson that I read in his letters, or from his contemporaries, to the cartoon […]
Like many of today’s historical films, Mysteries of Lisbon is long (very long). Before investing four and a half hours in a movie, it might be an idea to read a review or two. After I invested my four and a half hours, ideas for reviews kept invading my head. But there are so many […]
John Michael Priest is a well respected author of the American civil war, especially the battle of Antietam. Notice we didn’t say War Between the States or Sharpsburg. Some of you might accuse us of bias. Well, that’s nothing new.
A mystery, filled with red herrings, deceptions and hilarious false leads, but at the end, when it’s all solved, it seems so obvious. The entire plot falls into place. How can anyone claim to forget who the murderer is? Roger Ebert claimed in his review that “I’ve seen the movie seven times, and the murderer […]
Today, I heard the sad news that Nora Ephron, screenwriter for Sleepless in Seattle passed away. I thought a fitting tribute would be to list our favorite American romantic comedies from each decade.