Abraham Lincoln, “a natural born piggy-backer”: Why “It Happened One Night” is a classic.

I recently learned that a pun I came up with was already well established in the puniverse. You see, my pun went something like Frank Capricorn; it was going to involve a film director, someone born between December 21st and January 20th, a hot dog, and candy corn. But to my chagrin, the term capricorn has been around quite a while, and it refers to … Continue reading Abraham Lincoln, “a natural born piggy-backer”: Why “It Happened One Night” is a classic.

Parasite: Aristotle and Arthur Miller, Tartuffe and Montgomery Cliff, and the Genre of the Ingénue Climber

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!!!!!! The 2019 film Parasite, directed by South Korean filmmaker, Bong Joon Ho, has provoked awe in audiences, both for it’s aesthetic construction and for its treatments of the themes of social inequality, fate, and chance. These two layers of the film–it’s artful construction and it’s provocative meaning–work in tandem to tell the story of the nearly destitute Kim family, … Continue reading Parasite: Aristotle and Arthur Miller, Tartuffe and Montgomery Cliff, and the Genre of the Ingénue Climber

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.

The 39 Steps: Style, The Mandela Effect, and Don’t Forget the Trains . . . never forget the trains.

Warning: Spoilers!!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!!! Warning: Spoilers!!! When I was a kid I found it fascinating how I could tell what decade a tv show was made within seconds of watching it. I didn’t need to know the plot or who the actors were, though that certainly helped. Costuming, hair, props, and things like cars and decor certainly factored in, but those weren’t necessary either. It … Continue reading The 39 Steps: Style, The Mandela Effect, and Don’t Forget the Trains . . . never forget the trains.

Zombieland, Double Tap: It’s basically Oceans 12, but actually good this time.

Warning: Spoilers!!!!!! I remember watching the film, Oceans 12 (2004). I don’t mean to say I remember the plot, because I don’t except for the laser dance guy scene. (Btw, the laser dance guy scene is just as cool as it ever was. It’s basically the one redeeming part of the film.) But what I do remember is being disappointed after watching the film. I … Continue reading Zombieland, Double Tap: It’s basically Oceans 12, but actually good this time.