Finite Focus: A little bit of seduction in Children Of Paradise

. In a beautiful poetic film of many diverse and wonderful characters, my favourite moment comes down to pure carnal desire. It’s a simple look and casual statement made by a sleepy-eyed woman to a man. Contrary to what he may think as she stands near a bed, she’s not tired in the least. Her gaze is direct and her smile is anything but coy.  ...

Read More

Finite Focus: The Pool Party in Boogie Nights

. Whether you want to call it homage or straight up borrowing, P.T. Anderson’s great Boogie Nights certainly shows off its influences. Altman and Scorsese figure prominently, but another inspiration is Mikhail Kalatozov and his film I Am Cuba (which also happens to be a big Scorsese favourite too). Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous and a remarkably...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Thirteen

This is the story of the end of an era. For 100 years, movies had been shot on this – celluloid. Paper-thin, shiny, perforated. A medium so sensitive it could capture the subtle colors in snow. But in the ’90s, the digital image and Terminator 2 came and reality got less real. In these last days before that happened, as if to stave off the moment...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Eleven

[Turner Classic Movies is airing Mark Cousins' epic documentary The Story of Film, playing one episode a week accompanied by films discussed in that week's episode. I'm writing up my thoughts on each episode. I got behind four weeks ago, but rather than give up, I'm going to just post catch-up posts over the next few days, and I should be up to date for this...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Ten

[Turner Classic Movies is airing Mark Cousins' epic documentary The Story of Film, playing one episode a week accompanied by films discussed in that week's episode. I'm writing up my thoughts on each episode. I got behind four weeks ago, but rather than give up, I'm going to just post catch-up posts over the next few days, and I should be up to date for next...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Nine

[Turner Classic Movies is airing Mark Cousins' epic documentary The Story of Film, playing one episode a week accompanied by films discussed in that week's episode. I'm writing up my thoughts on each episode. I got behind four weeks ago, but rather than give up, I'm going to just post catch-up posts over the next four days, and I should be up to date for next...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Eight

Film wasn’t just a window through which you saw characters and stories, it was a language and a way of thinking in itself. Just about every episode, I’ve lamented that Cousins had to rush through some things or wished that there had been a whole episode devoted to something he covered well, but briefly. Holy cannoli, this one is the ultimate example...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Seven

Cinema didn’t tell the story, it was the story. Two episodes back I said how much I enjoyed the 1940s episode, especially since I love film noir so much. Well, my second favorite movement or faux genre might just be the French New Wave, so I’m definitely biased to enjoy Chapter 7 as well. If the 1950s were a cinematic pressure cooker bursting at the...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Five

Movies had to get this raw because life had become this raw. I’m running behind, as Chapter Six aired last night on TCM. I’m hoping to get caught up tomorrow. The world changed in the 1940s, a world war casting its presence over half the decade and its shadow over the rest. Nothing would ever be the same, and neither would cinema. In his intro...

Read More

The Story of Film on TCM: Chapter Four

It’s a common understanding among silent film fans that something beautiful and inherently cinematic was lost when sound took over at the end of the 1920s. Silent film had reached great heights of visual splendor, highly complex ways of conveying story, psychology, and mood by visual means, and innovative ways to use the camera, editing, and actors within...

Read More