Latest Blog Posts

by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick

18 Feb 2016

Steve Leftridge: Okay, this one strikes me as different from the other films we’ve discussed here at Double Take. Sure, it’s easy to see why it made our Great 500 list, as the film’s accolades are a mile long, including the Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay. Critics dug it, for the most part, and it’s one of the most commercially popular films of all time.

So why do you dislike it, Mr. Pick? Are you one of those who has trouble fully embracing art that is too ubiquitously gargantuan in popularity? Are you offended by the play-it-for-laughs depiction of someone with cognitive delays? Are the historical rewrites too hokey? Or is the movie just too darn sentimental? What is it that bugs you the most about Forrest Gump?


by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick

11 Feb 2016

Steve Leftridge: Okay, I have a lot of questions about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. First of all, why are you rooting for Butch and Sundance since they are criminals who hurt or kill, and steal from people? Specifically, would you be rooting for them if Paul Newman and Robert Redford weren’t such handsome sumbitches?

Steve Pick: I don’t know if I was rooting for them exactly, but I was enjoying their company. I guess that counts for something. I assume the real Butch and Sundance were nasty pieces of work, and nowhere near as pretty as early ‘70s male gods: Newman and Redford. But, despite being based on real people who actually robbed trains and moved to Bolivia, the film is a work of fiction, not fact.

by Michael Barrett

3 Feb 2016

Home movies become primal shimmers in Walden

“I live, therefore I make films. I make films, therefore I live.” So sings the ragged, unmusical, heavily Lithuanian accented Jonas Mekas—one of the prime movers of American avant-garde cinema in the second half of the 20th Century—as he accompanies himself with an accordion on the soundtrack of Walden (1969): his three-hour “diary film”. Later he says, “They tell me I should be searching, but I just celebrate what I see.” Still later: “The images go, no tragedy, no drama, no suspense, just images for myself and a few others”; and he adds that cinema is light, movement, the sun, the heart beating.

This monument to the world around him—mainly New York in the ‘60s—is in one sense as accessible as any home movie: clips of weddings, the park, friends, children, street activities. True, his friends are luminaries of avant-garde film, such as Stan Brakhage and Shirley Clarke, and along the way we glimpse even more famous guests: Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Bed-In.

by Michael Barrett

22 Jan 2016

Many people are nostalgic for ‘70s cinema, even those who didn’t live through it the first time. Contrary to popular wisdom, every ‘70s movie isn’t a classic, but some ‘70s movies are more ‘70s than others. It’s something about the sweat, the grain, the cynical tone, the sense of exploring new narrative by-ways and styles for kicks, or with the idea that this might somehow be important.

Then, of course, you have the lapels, the aftershave, the sideburns, and the discovery of nudity. Here’s a handy guide to a baker’s dozen of the increasing flood of Blu-ray releases from that era.

by Michael Barrett

22 Jan 2016

Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas is a landmark silent epic about the adventures of a diabolical criminal played by René Navarre. This shadowy yet elegant figure, a master of disguise, engages in an endless game of cat and mouse with a police inspector (Edmund Bréon) who can never catch him. When Kino released the five-film serial on DVD in 2010,


reviewed it here with analysis so insightful and informative that we can add nothing to it except our praise of the reviewer’s brilliance.

This new Blu-ray upgrade contains exactly the same program, including the critical commentary, the two excellent bonus shorts and the profile of Feuillade’s career. The only new feature is a gallery of the stylish, colorful, sometimes gory covers of the Fantomas novels in various editions. It stands to reason that people who haven’t seen the previous edition should benefit from the Blu-ray, but will those who already own the DVD derive anything in particular from this reissue?

//Mixed media

Cage the Elephant Ignite Central Park with Kickoff for Summerstage Season

// Notes from the Road

"Cage the Elephant rocked two sold-out nights at Summerstage and return to NYC for a free show May 29th. Info on that and a preview of the full Summerstage schedule is here.

READ the article