The Brady Bunch Movie: Those Were The Days Then and Now, and Jan Finally Gets Her Due

The television show, The Brady Bunch seems anachronistic even for its time. Even in the late 60s, the type of wholesome American family of shows like Make Room for Daddy or Father Knows Best seemed passé. The Brady Bunch debuted in 1969, and consider some of the other programs that were on that year that were far edgier. The most popular show was Rowan & … Continue reading The Brady Bunch Movie: Those Were The Days Then and Now, and Jan Finally Gets Her Due

The Genre of Calvinball: American Hustle and the Art of Improvisation

In this sense, one of the key skills of Calvinball–perhaps, the central skill–is persuasion. Can you get others to accept your form of reality, and if so, for how long? Finally, there’s what you might call the Kipling rule, “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.” This sentiment is most clearly expressed in … Continue reading The Genre of Calvinball: American Hustle and the Art of Improvisation

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Metadrama, Spaghetti Westerns, and don’t forget about the flamethrower.

Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! Everybody who’s heard of acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino knows about his signature style. Let’s play a game of word association. When I say Tarantino, what comes to mind?  I bet violence comes to mind. Practically all of his films include flamboyant portrayals of fight scenes, murders, stabbings, shootings, and people doing disturbing things with other people’s ears, to name … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Metadrama, Spaghetti Westerns, and don’t forget about the flamethrower.

Mimesis, The Mission, and the World We Have Made

A period film is mysticism masquerading as empiricism–it’s sorcery posing as a telescope and a microscope. It’s the sublime adorned in the devious costume of verisimilitude. A period film is like a hall of mirrors, reflecting back reality so many times that the viewer doesn’t necessarily know what is mirroring what. The further the viewer dives into the film, the more dizzy that viewer might … Continue reading Mimesis, The Mission, and the World We Have Made