Archive for category: Essays

Orson Welles Has a Daughter Named Rebecca

25 May, 2015 (05:40) | Alfred Hitchcock, by Robert C. Cumbow, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Editor

[Originally published in Movietone News 38, January 1975] What do Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) and Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941) have in common? Quite a lot, it seems to me. And yet, in all my reading on film, I have run across only one brief speculation on the subject: Andrew Sarris’s, in the context of his rebuttals […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Meet the Seattle Techie Who Pulls the Strings Behind Stephen Tobolowsky

13 May, 2015 (08:26) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

You may know him as Sandy Ryerson on Glee or Stu Beggs on Californication or Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day—the overly ingratiating insurance salesman Bill Murray punches. Face come to mind now? Bing! But thanks to his popular podcast and subsequent PRI radio show The Tobolowsky Files, Stephen Tobolowsky has become almost as well-known a […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

How It Is

11 May, 2015 (04:32) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Howard Hawks | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 40, April 1975] Only Angels Have Wings is one of Hawks’s “male adventurer” films, but it is also one of his comedies—and is perhaps best understood as such. It’s comedy in the sense that it has its share of wisecracks and a hint of slapstick—but also, and more importantly, in […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Mr. Arkadin

7 May, 2015 (17:11) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

[This is a program note written for “The Cinema of Orson Welles,” the Autumn 1971 film series of the University of Washington Office of Lectures & Concerts, and distributed at the November 9, 1971, showing of the film.] Mr. Arkadin is another of Welles’s European productions. The soundtrack is consequently erratic, and this, plus the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

The Trial

6 May, 2015 (19:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

“[I]t’s my own picture, unspoiled in the cutting or anything else…. The producers were heroic and got it made, and there isn’t anything I had to compromise—except no sets, and I was happy with the other solution, as it turned out, even though I was kind of in love with all the work I’d done. […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Orson Welles goes ‘Around the World’

6 May, 2015 (08:26) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles, Television | By: Editor

When handed the raw materials from an unfinished documentary about Elmyr de Hory, an art forger whose life was being written up by biographer Clifford Irving, Orson Welles took the opportunity to make something far beyond the concept of the traditional documentary. F for Fake has been called the Orson Welles’ first essay film, a […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

The Magnificent Ambersons

4 May, 2015 (04:02) | by Robert Horton, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Robert Horton

[Originally published on The Crop Duster] This piece dates to a program note written for a Welles series in 1986. I was a co-founder, with Tom Keogh, of a nonprofit called Seattle Filmhouse, and we brought a few notable critics (Jonathan Rosenbaum and David Thomson among them), as well as Welles’ hard-working latterday cinematographer, Gary […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Aftereffects: Joshua Oppenheimer’s Shorts

3 May, 2015 (07:28) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

“I’ve never thought of myself as an activist. I do think, though, that the purpose of art is to force us to confront the most painful and important aspects of who we are.” —Joshua Oppenheimer, interviewed by Jessica Kiang at Indiewire American-born filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer is a 1997 Marshall Scholar, a 2014 recipient of the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

A Neglected Western: ‘Colorado Territory’

29 April, 2015 (05:38) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh, Westerns | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] Colorado Territory, a remake of the High Sierra plot, is an early masterpiece of the pessimistic Western. It retains the High Sierra story and works variations on most of that film’s characters. But some significant changes are also made and the result, on the whole, is much […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

‘He’s from back home': Man and Myth in ‘High Sierra’

27 April, 2015 (05:26) | by Rick Hermann, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh, Westerns | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] One of the most memorable scenes in High Sierra takes place when Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) is driving towards Camp Shaw high in the mountains of California after being released from prison. The camera sweeps the Sierra peaks and pans down to Earle’s car as he pauses […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Orson Welles: The Enigmatic Independent

22 April, 2015 (15:48) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

The legend of Orson Welles looms so large it overtakes the man, a legend partly engineered by Welles himself from his beginnings in the theater. Welles was the enfant terrible of Broadway, the Depression-era hope of American Theater, the radical genius of radio. He came to Hollywood in grand style and on his own terms, a […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

“That’s the kind of hairpin I am”: ‘Gentleman Jim’ and ‘The Strawberry Blonde’

22 April, 2015 (05:16) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Raoul Walsh | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] In Gentleman Jim a basic premise of the humor is that a good face-to-face brawl is one of the things that make life worth living. Here the physical and the sensual are a good deal less destructive than in White Heat and a good deal more pervasive […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Boys at Work: ‘They Drive by Night’ and ‘Manpower’

20 April, 2015 (05:35) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh | By: Editor

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] They Drive by Night and Manpower gave Walsh some contact with another Warners specialty, the workingman picture. Both films tell us something about the conditions under which their respective kinds of work, commercial trucking and powerline repair, are conducted. Walsh, characteristically, puts greater emphasis on comedy than […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Big Shots: ‘The Roaring Twenties,’ ‘High Sierra,’ ‘White Heat’

15 April, 2015 (05:07) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] While The Roaring Twenties is hardly a definitive history of an era, its chronicle of the intersecting careers of Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) and two buddies from the Great War has a sharp bite socially and more than a touch of tragic vision. Here as elsewhere, the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email

Jimmy the Gent

15 April, 2015 (05:00) | Actors, by Peter Hogue, Essays | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 31, April 1974] The American Film Institute tribute to James Cagney (CBS-TV, March 18) was enjoyable almost in spite of itself. Through a barrage of film clips and above all through the poise and presence of Cagney himself, the event somehow managed to keep the man’s best qualities in the […]

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Digg Stumbleupon Email