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by Michael Barrett

4 Jan 2016

Are you in the mood to be retro-hip? Do you get the urge to be mod and pop, ‘60s style? Sure you do.

A batch of recent Blu-rays (and a couple of more digitally challenged items) offers a cross-section of the cinematic era when you couldn’t swing a hepcat without hitting something groovy. Here’s a guide to programming your own marathon. Only a few of these titles are certifiable “classics”, but they all exude distinctive flavors and aromas of that stylish decade. You can spot them at 100 paces.

by Michael Barrett

30 Dec 2015

David Golder (1930)

Julien Duvivier in the Thirties is perfect for Criterion’s Eclipse series because Duvivier epitomizes a once-celebrated filmmaker whose reputation and availability have gone into eclipse. The four films in this set show an artist whose command of the medium was such that even his earliest talkies display a visual and aural confidence beyond most of his contemporaries. Further, because they all star a versatile, balding, stocky character actor named Harry Baur, we incidentally rediscover his once-admired versatility as well, so that this might also have been named Harry Baur in the Thirties.

by Chris Barsanti

28 Dec 2015

In the final reckoning, people are never that creative. That’s true even when they think they’re changing history. The explorer who goes to the ends of the earth is usually after fame, money, or both. The investor will ignore every warning sign about a too-good-to-be-true opportunity until it’s too late and he’s lost everything. The genius inventor announcing that he’s creating an epochal advancement in technology will turn out to have some fairly mundane reasons for doing so.

by Michael Barrett

24 Dec 2015

Against the backdrop of the Florida Everglades, two mighty opposing forces brawl in rude, knotted, clotted, quasi-homo-erotic bondage for the meaning of freedom. Whether such was the intent of Oscar-winning writer-producer Budd Schulberg, fresh from On the Waterfront, when he and his brother Stuart produced this lush dramatic quagmire on location, that’s what they ended up with by the time they fired director Nicholas Ray and strung together this compromised, lurid, fascinating mess.

Wind Across the Everglades is probably the first modern movie on the theme of the environment and the protection of ecosystems. Set at the turn of the 20th Century, a narrator bluntly announces that feathered fashions in ladies’ hats (the rapacious consumption of femininity!) has had a deleterious effect on wildfowl populations, with poachers hunting in defiance of new laws intended to preserve the Everglades.

by Michael Barrett

23 Dec 2015

I was spending a hot day with a cold gin when she walked into my office and raised the temperature. The way her long blonde locks swung in front of her face, I thought she’d set her hair ablaze when she lit her cigarette, but she knew how to light a match.

“I’ve got a case, Shamus,” she said between smoke rings.

//Mixed media

Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 12 - "Don't You Forget About Me"

// Channel Surfing

"In another stand-alone episode, there's a lot of teen drama and some surprises, but not much potential.

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