Archive for category: Essays

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 […]

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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 […]

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Roughhouse Comedy: ‘The Cock-eyed World,’ ‘Me and My Gal,’ ‘The Bowery’

13 April, 2015 (05:01) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] The Cock-eyed World is a plodding, heavyhanded and rather entertaining sequel, with sound, to What Price Glory?. The Flagg-Quirt stuff is less than thrilling, partly because of Edmund Lowe’s mismatched assets and liabilities, partly because the repartee keeps reverting to the “Aw—sez you” tack. But there’s a […]

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Two Raucous Silents: ‘What Price Glory?,’ ‘Sadie Thompson’

8 April, 2015 (08:14) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Raoul Walsh, Silent Cinema | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] What Price Glory?, like the successful play from which it is drawn, works with some of the era’s anger is directed less toward war itself than toward some of the era’s topical themes—in particular, as the title implies, the disillusionment that had befallen many of the youthful […]

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Raoul Walsh by Peter Hogue: Revisiting Raoul (Walsh)

6 April, 2015 (10:00) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Raoul Walsh | By: Peter Hogue

My contributions to MTN#45 (the “Raoul Walsh issue”) were riding the crest of what was, at the time, my freshly discovered enthusiasm for Warner Brothers films of the Thirties and Forties, including especially William A. Wellman’s pictures from the pre-Code era, Raoul Walsh’s films from some of the best years of his career (1939-1949), and almost anything with James […]

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Raoul Walsh by Peter Hogue (1974)

6 April, 2015 (09:52) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Raoul Walsh | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] Interviewer: One critic, Andrew Sarris, has said, “The Walshian hero is less interested in the why or the how than in the what. He is always plunging into the unknown, and he is never too sure what he will find there.” Do you feel that’s too precious […]

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No Hiding: Mohammad Rasoulof

4 April, 2015 (10:59) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Mohammad Rasoulof is the very model of the filmmaker as defiant activist, an Iranian artist who confronts injustice and repression through his cinema knowing full well the consequences of such an act. In the 1990s, when Iranian cinema first broke out of film festivals and museum programs and started appearing in arthouses, filmmakers like Abbas […]

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The Top Ten Films of the Next Decade

1 April, 2015 (10:03) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

[In 2010, I penned this whimsical piece as an April Fool’s Day feature for a site—which shall remain nameless—that no longer preserves the legacy of its contributors. Five years later I revive it for another run for the April Fools. I present it as written with no adjustments to subsequent history, which means the Dennis […]

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Luchino Visconti’s Activist Cinema

25 March, 2015 (15:09) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

Luchino Visconti is one of the most fascinating artists of Italian cinema. The child of Italian aristocracy, born in a Milan palazzo with a family title that went back centuries and a family fortune built on landholdings and industry, he embraced Marxism with the zeal of a revolutionary but channeled his activism into theater and […]

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The bars on the window: Antonioni’s ‘The Passenger’ makes an overdue return voyage

23 March, 2015 (05:10) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Queen Anne News, Nov. 16, 2005] [The Passenger screens at the Seattle Art Museum on Tuesday, March 24; details here] My wife and I saw Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger at a matinee in 1975 and went straight to the studios of KRAB-FM to talk about it. There we discovered—on the air—that one […]

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Rene Clair’s Hat Trick

15 March, 2015 (13:53) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

A triumvirate of early sound comedies—Under the Roofs of Paris (1930), Le Million (1931), and À Nous la Liberté (1931)—made René Clair’s reputation as France’s master of modern screen comedy. They explored the possibilities of the new audio dimension as an expressive element without sacrificing the fluid style and creative imagery of the height of […]

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Morricone Encomium

2 March, 2015 (06:00) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Essays, Film music, Westerns | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 40, April 1975] Foreword I don’t read a note of music, so the language of this article is necessarily interpretive rather than technical. Also, the here-today-gone-tomorrow Duck, You Sucker has thus far eluded my company, so I have recourse only to the first four westerns that Morricone scored for Leone. […]

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Oscar Predictions

20 February, 2015 (09:05) | by Robert Horton, Essays | By: Robert Horton

Last year it seemed so easy: 12 Years a Slave was the pre-ordained Best Picture winner, Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett had acting awards locked up, and nobody was going to deny Frozen in the animation category. Well, the 87th annual Oscar race has been a little more fun. Even though certain movies have been […]

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Oscar Upsets

18 February, 2015 (08:30) | by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary, Essays | By: Richard T. Jameson

Set out to write about Academy Award upsets and right away the ground starts shifting under your feet. Oh, some neck-snappers we all remember—like Jack Nicholson coming out to present the award for best picture of 2005, opening the envelope, and saying, “Whoa.” Moments when the title of the movie everybody figured to win suddenly […]

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“The Citizen Kane of the digital era. . .”

11 February, 2015 (08:23) | by Sheila Benson, Essays | By: Sheila Benson

That’s not me talking. That’s what the great editor (great friend) Dov Hoenig said about  Birdman the other day, as his wife Zoe and I were trying to shorten the distance between London and Seattle over the phone. My enthusiasms you can take with a giant grain of salt. Dov’s you should take very very […]

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