4 items from 2015
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
This month's film Book Club choice is a study of director William Friedkin that spends as much time on the failures as the successes...
Some films catch your attention for reasons other than being good. Cruising (1980) has stuck in my memory for years. It’s very weird. Al Pacino plays a cop who works undercover in New York’s gay club scene, tracking down a serial killer. Or possibly more than one serial killer; it's difficult to tell in the darkness, the double bluffs, and the uncomfortable and unclear nature of the action. Few critics liked it, even less people went to see it, and William Friedkin wrote and directed it. When I think of Friedkin's work I think of Cruising as much as I think of The Exorcist, or The French Connection. How could the same person have made these films?
Clagett's book embraces the failures as much as the successes, »
The new comedy "Get Hard" stars Kevin Hart as an unlikely coach who trains Will Ferrell for a stint in prison. In one scene, Hart insists that Ferrell go to a top La brunch spot and give oral sex to a random patron in the bathroom to learn -- I guess? -- the mechanics of prison rape. Yes, this movie equates consensual gay sexual activity with actual rape. Cut to Will Ferrell in a restaurant bathroom gagging at the sight of a penis for the amusement of a multiplex audience. Could it be the most homophobic scene in a comedy of the past ten years? It's certainly a candidate. To commemorate this weirdly ignorant movie, we've compiled a list: movies with homophobic scenes so blatant, they made us shudder. Sometimes a movie reeks of homophobia (See: that ol' heart-warmer "Cruising") and sometimes it's just a couple of moments in a »
- Louis Virtel
My First R-rated Movie Or…
How I Became The 007 Of Covert Forbidden Film Viewing
By Alex Simon
For those of us who grew up in the suburbs in the pre-home video, pre-cable TV and pre-Netflix coupons 1970s and early ‘80s, there were few dangerous pleasures as heady as sneaking into an R-rated movie at the local multiplex. The multiplex cinema was a ‘70s phenomenon that made regulating children’s viewing habits infinitely more difficult than the old days of stand-alone, single screen theaters. Ironically, the new freedom that filmmakers enjoyed with the advent of the MPAA rating system in late 1968 was almost in perfect synch with the rise of multi-screen cinemas. Some things do happen for a reason.
You never forget your first...
My first R-rated film was during Thanksgiving of 1976. We were visiting my dad’s family in Birmingham, Alabama and the men adjourned after dinner to go see Two Minute Warning, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
4 items from 2015
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