The strong weak man

in-dog-day-afternoon

There’s just something in that face that takes you into an area that’s very dark, personally dark, and heartbroken. —Sidney Lumet (director, Dog Day Afternoon) I’ve had a crush on John Cazale since I first saw him in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) when I was 15. He’s the kind of man you want to protect … Continue reading

Certified Bad-ass

If they gave certificates for such things, Lee Marvin would most certainly be a “Certified Bad-ass”. Though he died at age 63 in 1987, Marvin is one of those guys who had always looked old, and made it work for him. Not unlike his contemporary, Charles Bronson, Marvin was a true man’s man. Tough when … Continue reading

Of emperors and prophetic chickens

Ashamed as I am to admit this, I feel compelled to tell you: I saw the 1976 I, Claudius BBC television serial before I ever read Robert Graves staggering, breathtaking books, I, Claudius and Claudius the God. I know; it would’ve been so easy for me to just lie. But I first watched the miniseries … Continue reading

What beavery is this?

I’m in a group called the Crafty Beavers.

Beaver—a large, amphibious rodent of the genus Castor, having sharp incisors, webbed hind feet, and a flattened tail, noted for its ability to dam streams with trees, branches, etc.

How can I describe these beavers who craft? This has proven difficult for me in the past few days. So many halted starts and I can’t do the beavers justice.

How do I love the beavers? Let me count the ways.

A beaver by any other name would smell as . . wait, no. Dammit.

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Panic in the 70s

Films are time capsules. They reflect the trends of the era: The fashion, the cars, and the political climate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the films of the 70s. Just as film was evolving, we were evolving as a nation. Presidential scandals are fairly commonplace now but in 1972 the nation was rocked by Watergate. That, coupled with the growing dissatisfaction with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, created a climate of unrest and mistrust with the government and it wasn’t long before those feelings translated to film. Thus, a niche genre was created in 1974 that had a healthy life throughout the decade: The paranoid thriller.

In a paranoid thriller you don’t know who to trust. You don’t trust your friends, you don’t trust your government and you certainly don’t trust your lover. Your home isn’t safe. Maybe it’s been bugged. You don’t go to the police. Maybe they’re in on it.

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