Arthur Penn (1922-2010)

Posted by · 9:23 am · September 29th, 2010

I had a bad feeling that after Gloria Stuart and Sally Menke we were bound to get a third (as it always happens), and so we have.  Arthur Penn has passed away a day after his 88th birthday.  He’s obviously best known for helming 1968’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” which changed the face of American cinema […]

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1976: the last hurrah of the American western

Posted by · 10:14 am · July 17th, 2009

The western was not yet dead in 1976 when  four high-profile installments were released to varying degrees of success. Four years later, of course, Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” would kill the genre for several years (and United Artists for longer), and though it has seen ups and downs in the years since, for the most […]

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The under-appreciated

Posted by · 9:52 am · September 21st, 2008

We all know that there are brilliant films that sometimes never find an audience, slipping out of theatres long before they should and often disappearing into the void of the home market. In fairness, the advent of VHS and now DVD has allowed for such films to be re-discovered by future generations, and VHS was […]

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What does early (and excessive) Oscar hype do to a film’s chances?

Posted by · 3:31 pm · September 20th, 2008

In 1996, a fall movie preview of Entertainment Weekly arrived in my mailbox, the cast of “The Crucible” staring back at me on the cover, making clear to me this was going to be THE film of the fall. There were rumors floating within the industry that the film, based on the Arthur Miller play, […]

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