4 items from 2013
The Dresden Files, as you may know, is a series about the wizard Harry Dresden, and follows his adventures and investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago, which he recounts through a first person narrative. It’s also, oh-by-the-way, a ton of fun, and weaves a lot of lore, myth, and legend from all cultures into modern adventure stories with a wizard who’s more gunfighter than Gandalf (even if he fights with a staff much of the time). As the series has progressed, it’s also gotten more complex and nuanced, with some great plot twists and character developments along the way. I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t yet read it. »
- Emily S. Whitten
Directed by Sydney Pollack
The Western, at its creative and commercial peak – the late 1960s-early 1970s – proved itself an astoundingly pliable genre. It could be molded to deal with topical subject matter like racism (Skin Game, 1971), feminism (The Ballad of Josie, 1967), the excesses of capitalism (Oklahoma Crude, 1973). It could be bent into religious allegories (High Plains Drifter, 1973), or an equally allegorical address of the country’s most controversial war (Ulzana’s Raid, 1972). Westerns could be used to deconstruct America’s most self-congratulatory myths (Doc, 1971), and address historical slights and omissions (Little Big Man, 1970). They could provide heady social commentary (Hombre, 1967), or simple adventure and excitement (The Professionals, 1966). They could be funny (The Hallelujah Trail, 1965), unremittingly grim (Hour of the Gun, 1967), surreal (Greaser’s Palace, 1972), even be stretched into the shape of rock musical (Zachariah, 1971) or monster movie (Valley of Gwangi, 1969).
- Bill Mesce
December was Tarantino Month here at Sos, and since January is dedicated to westerns, I thought it would be best to whip up some articles spotlighting films that influenced Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Since I began my list back in December, I’ve noticed similar lists popping up online – all of which are somewhat suspect, since they recommend some terrible films. For my money, all of the movies listed below are essential viewing for fans of Django Unchained, and come highly recommended.
Note: This is the third of a three part article.
Directed by Tonino Valerii
In just barely over a week since its Christmas release, Quentin Tarantino’s eighth feature film, Django Unchained, has exhaustively become a source of public controversy for its setting amongst southern, pre-Civil War plantations where the height of the black man’s plight in the United States was the accepted norm. Not the least of the film’s detractors, the also ever-increasingly controversial auteur Spike Lee has openly refused to patronize his notorious rival’s latest, fairly stating he cannot comment much further due to this position but adding that the piece appears to be a disgrace to his ancestors.
As talked to death as the subject already feels, my own leanings would leave me remiss not to weigh in after what feels like much more than seven days digesting and discussing the new work of one of my – and just about everyone else’s – favorite filmmakers, and the decidedly preemptive reaction to it from, »
- Tom Stoup
4 items from 2013
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