The legendary B-movie writer-director Samuel Fuller once told me about a script he had written called The Bag Man. The title character is a bag man for the mob, a functionary whose job is to deliver packages but never to look inside them. One day he makes the fatal mistake of looking inside. He takesRead more..
Posts Tagged ‘film forum’
Hyping up Wilde in Earnest won’t win Parker and Oscars. ℘℘℘ “Life is too important to be taken seriously,” Oscar Wilde observed. He demonstrated that principle most dazzlingly in The Importance of Being Earnest, his 1895 play satirizing, among other things, the uselessness of British upper-class twits, the hypocrisy of would-be moral arbiters, the shallowness ofRead more..
For many years, the conventional wisdom about Nora Barnacle, James Joyce’s longtime companion and eventually his wife, was that she was an ignorant but “country cute” peasant from Galway with an unaccountable hold on the great writer, whose work she disdained. How could Joyce have lived all those years with a woman who refused toRead more..
Once the most popular form of American filmmaking, the Western has not fully recovered from the commercial and critical debacle of Michael Cimino’s 1980 epic Heaven’s Gate. Although a far better film than conventional wisdom would indicate, Heaven’s Gate provoked widespread derision because Cimino dared to use the disreputable Western form for a serious purpose,Read more..
The first original screenplay by Irish novelist Roddy Doyle is automatically a cinematic and literary event. When Brendan Met Trudy offers many quirky delights, but it is an uneven and ultimately disappointing film. Doyle’s oddball yarn about a movie-obsessed Dublin schoolteacher (Peter McDonald) who falls in love with a thief (Flora Montgomery) is dragged downRead more..
On the morning of Saturday, October 20, 1962, I was in a station wagon with my family en route to Milwaukee’s Billy Mitchell Field to hear President John F. Kennedy make a campaign speech for Democratic congressional candidates. As we moved slowly in a long line of cars to the airport, the radio reported thatRead more..
Titanic Town, the fictional story of a Northern Ireland woman who mounts crusade for peace in 1972, is not the first movie to attempt to trade on James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster Titanic. The European film The Chambermaid on the Titanic barely managed to beat Cameron to the screen but had its title changed to TheRead more..
Ethnic casting issues in movies. ℘℘℘ Our moviegoing experience would be much diminished if we had never had the chance to see Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia, Greer Garson as Mrs. Miniver, Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, or Kenneth Branagh as Henry V. We would have been equally impoverishedRead more..
Round two of Mel Gibson’s war with the British. ℘℘℘ Jack L. Warner once said he hated the kind of movie in which the hero “writes with a feather.” Hollywood’s aversion to the quaint details of a distant historical period helps account for the scarcity of films dealing with the American Revolutionary War. But reluctanceRead more..