3 items from 2017
The United States is “my country, right or wrong,” of course, and I consider myself a patriotic person, but I’ve never felt that patriotism meant blind fealty to the idea of America’s rightful dominance over global politics or culture, and certainly not to its alleged preferred status on God’s short list of favored nations, or that allegiance to said country was a license to justify or rationalize every instance of misguided, foolish, narrow-minded domestic or foreign policy.
In 2012, when this piece was first posted, it seemed like a good moment to throw the country’s history and contradictions into some sort of quick relief, and the most expedient way of doing that for me was to look at the way the United States (and the philosophies at its core) were reflected in the movies, and not just the ones which approached the country head-on as a subject. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Never mind the holidays; dealing with family can be stressful any time of year. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or just a mandatory visit to a forgotten aunt you haven’t seen in 15 years can all hold their share of tension and misery. But at least be thankful you’re not part of the Merrye clan, the family at the center of Jack Hill’s Spider Baby (1967), a quirky yet clever examination of the prototypical horror tribe that influenced the likes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977).
Filmed in 1964 but not given a limited release by American General Pictures until late ’67, it languished in general obscurity until a video restoration in the mid ‘90s shone a light on its peculiar charms. Filmed in 12 days on a budget of $55,000, Spider Baby, or The Maddest Story Ever Told (full title) is like watching The Addams Family shake the family tree and having incest, »
- Scott Drebit
“He was an icon of his craft of motion picture sound re-recording, recognized with the highest honors of his field,” his daughter Jennifer Portman wrote on her Facebook page. “He was eccentric, irreverent, and real.”
Portman received two Oscar sound nominations in 1973 for Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” and Michael Ritchie’s “The Candidate.” He was also double-nominated in 1974 for Peter Bogdanovich’s “Paper Moon” and Mike Nichols’ “The Day of the Dolphin.”
Portman received his first nom in 1971 for “Kotch,” directed by Jack Lemmon. He was also up for Oscars for Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” Herbert Ross’ “Funny Lady,” Michael Apted’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter, »
- Dave McNary
3 items from 2017
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