Category Film

Gone With the Wind (1939)

Before venturing on a discussion about Gone with the Wind, it’s important to remember a few things. Classic Hollywood was great cinema, but terrible history. Michael Curtiz in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Cecil B. DeMille in The Crusades had as much concern for historical accuracy as Quentin Tarantino did in Inglourious Basterds and […]

Mike Luckovich, Russiagate, and Liberal Xenophobia

When I saw this cartoon by Mike Luckovich I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of a name “Luckovich” is. It sounds vaguely Eastern European, and yet here he is not only accusing Russians of colluding with Nazis but also of being Slavic subhumans. Note the tiny skull. Phrenology lives. I couldn’t help but think […]

The Irishman (2019)

One of the most criticized aspects of Martin Scorese’s critically acclaimed, three and a half hour epic The Irishman is its lack of a female character with a significant speaking role. In an otherwise rapturous review, for example, Matt Zoller Seitz notes that  “Scorsese’s two greatest Mafia pictures, carve out substantial space for wives, girlfriends, […]

Skate Kitchen (2018)

When the teenage skate boarder Nina Moran talks about the first time she got on a skateboard, I instantly recognized how she felt, that sense of freedom, of independence, of confidence that comes with moving under your own power. Taking up cycling in my late-30s after a decade’s hiatus almost cured me almost instantly of […]

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1978 film The Marriage of Maria Braun has a plot that, if not exactly a cliche, has long been part of the vocabulary of American and European film and literature. A hot young piece of ass, think Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind or Barbara Stanwyck’s Lily Powers in the Pre-Code […]

The Molly Maguires (1970)

If you want to know how the world would look if libertarians got their way you don’t have to go very far. Northeastern Pennsylvania in the 1860s and 1870s put few restrictions on the “liberty” of the millionaires who owned the anthracite coal mines. There was no Federal Reserve. Each big mine had its own […]

Keanu Reeves dates women over 40 but he doesn’t date women under 6 feet

Feminists are praising Keanu for dating a woman *only* a decade younger than he is but looking at photos you’d have to conclude that since he’s 6’1″ she must be exceptionally tall. In any event, everybody’s ignoring the real issue. Reeves was in some pretty innovative films in the 1990s. Personally I found “My […]

The Current War (2017)

Without the events in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s film The Current War, you would have no idea who I am. Think about it. You’ve never seen me. You’ve never heard my voice. You’ve never looked into my eyes or shaken my hand, and you will probably never meet in me person. Yet because of the work of Thomas […]

Huntress (2018)

Riding a bicycle in NYC is a challenging sport. The first time I ever tried, I gave up before I even started. I was at the end of my ride from New Jersey through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. A week earlier I had ridden 100 miles in steady rain from Springfield through Worcester to […]

Joker (2019)

(Spoiler for one scene) As most critics have noted, Todd Phillips’s Joker is a loose reboot of Martin Scorsese’s underrated 1983 film King of Comedy. The similarities, right down to the cameo by Robert De Niro, are hard to miss. For me, however, the film’s most revealing moment evokes, not Scorsese, or other “gritty” 1970s […]