Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The book-length interview Hitchcock/Truffaut (one of the greatest texts about how filmmakers make films that you will ever read), was first published in 1966, at which point Alfred Hitchcock’s newest film was Torn Curtain, from that summer. He didn’t have very much to say about it to François Truffaut, skimming over a few sequences, point […]

Screened at the 20th Wisconsin Film Festival. Be forewarned: I don’t think it’s possible to discuss this film without sounding like a pretentious ass, and anyway, I wasn’t trying not to. Both in person and online, I have encountered the criticism-or-maybe-it’s-just-an-observation that if you don’t know what The Green Fog is doing before you see […]

A review requested by Hunter Allen, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. No less an expert on the films of Alfred Hitchcock than Alfred Hitchcock himself once described his 1948 feature Rope as “an experiment that didn’t work out”, and who am I to disagree with Alfred Hitchcock? […]

A review requested by Matthew Blackwell, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. One doesn’t get too many chances to write about the reigning Best Movie Ever Made, as 1958’s Vertigo was anointed by the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll, the closest thing we have to the official […]

The first wave of 3-D did not last very long. The first film to showcase the new Natural Vision technology, Bwana Devil, was released in November, 1952; in 1955, only one movie, Revenge of the Creature, was released in the United States in 3-D. In between those two points was a flurry of activity that […]

Alfred Hitchcock is probably the closest thing to a consensus pick for the greatest film director of all time, between critics, historians, general audience, and hardcore film buffs, but even he was a mortal, and could not do every thing he applied himself to. Notably, and predictably for a man promoted as “the Master of […]

Customarily, it is the done thing to refer to 1940’s Rebecca as the only Alfred Hitchcock movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, because even among those who are able to airily deride the whole eight decades and change of the Academy’s existence as a whole lot of trivial nonsense, Hitch’s failure to […]

Be sure to check out the companion review of the 1998 remake! Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the handful of most important films ever made. That is hyperbole, but the film invites hyperbole. And just because it’s hyperbole, doesn’t mean it’s not also accurate: we need to divide classic from modern cinema somewhere, and […]

Here’s a subgenre I bet none of us expected: movies about Helen Mirren playing the wife of a famous artist, who treats her rather shabbily, that focus far more on her character and their difficult marriage than it does on his creation of the famous works that are, after all, the only reason we care […]

Toby Jones has, seriously, the worst agent. In 2005, his take on the cartoony Truman Capote in a not-quite-a-biopic Infamous ended up getting pushed back a year when all the attention was gobbled up by Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the same part in a film with a virtually identical story, Capote, which announced right from […]