Over ten years ago, I started blogging. Not about movies, but about politics. I got linked to in more than one post at the burgeoning Huffington Post, a blog so new no one had yet thought to give it a nickname, and found my own posts getting not only increased readership but increased vitriol. It wasn’t what I wanted to spend my time doing, arguing with hostile, belligerent anons screaming at me for writing opinions that differed from their own. I decided movies and music would be much better, even though I had avoided doing so. Why? Because I was already known for movies and music and had jobs here and there writing them up. I wanted to delve into the world of political journalism but quickly found I didn’t have the stomach for it. More importantly, I realized the arts beckoned far too strongly.
Continue reading “Out with the Old… or Not.”
This is a reposting of a piece that originally appeared on http://streamline.filmstruck.com
The credits are Saul Bass lite. Different red shapes, blobby outlines, move forward on the screen while one of the great movie theme songs plays behind them. The song, “Beware the Blob,” performed by The Five Blobs (lead singer Bernie Knee) and written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David, is instantly singable upon one hearing. Finally, the title of the movie, in black surrounded by a glowing red outline, appears. And so begins the 1958 classic, The Blob, starring Steve McQueen in his first major film role (often credited as his debut when in fact he had done both movies and plenty of TV before). The Blob is often pigeonholed into the same category as any other low-budget sci-fi film from the 1950s that most people would now call “cult classics” but it’s actually a lot more than that and deserves better. Better treatment and better direction. It’s a frustrating mixture of all the right ingredients producing a less than optimal outcome but still showing enough promise that it’s a fascinating journey.
Continue reading “Beware the Blob!”
I wasn’t alive when the movie theater pictured above was showing Howard Hawks’ Land of the Pharoahs in 1955 but it still looks familiar. That’s because the architectural look of cinemas in the fifties carried through well into the seventies and eighties. Maybe I wasn’t around in 1955 but I was around still visiting those old fifties cinemas well into the nineties before they were forced to make way for the megaplexes that replaced them.
Continue reading “There Are Places I Remember”