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Glenn Kenny
Brooklyn
Film writer, formerly of Premiere magazine and .com. Reach me at glennkenny@mac.com.
Recent Activity
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Ryan Gosling's "Seb" meets John Legend's "Rockit"-era Herbie Hancock as jazz convert Emma Stone looks on. The largely buoyant movie La La Land was enjoyable enough that I wasn't compelled to go all Jazz Police on it, as I was for writer-director Damien Chazelle's prior effort, the ridiculous Whiplash. But this disinclination is not shared by many in The Discourse, as my friend Tom Carson addresses here, and others address elsewhere that I'm too lazy... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2017 at Some Came Running
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Glory arranged the day to her father’s specifications, and after lunch she helped him down the stairs and into the car. There was a ringing loneliness in the house with Jack always away somewhere, and it felt good to her to leave it for a while, to take her father away from it. She drove him past the church and past the war memorial to let him admire the gardens and the trees, and then... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Some Came Running
1) Lost in the Funhouse, John Barth The second half; I started it right after Christmas 2015. I liked the Ambrose stories way better than the mythology stories. 2) Ezra Pound: Poet, Vol. I, A. David Moody Detailed, a little stodgy, very partisan, which aspect I infer will get more interesting as Our Hero's behavior worsens in subsequent years. Worthwhile. 3) The Fugitives, Christopher Sorrentino I'm friendly with Christopher and I'll still say I can... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Victória Guerra in Cosmos Let’s start with the ten best of the year, as I submitted to RogerEbert.com. In preferential order, I will admit. The stuff I reviewed is linked to; the stuff I didn't is commented on, mostly. 1) Cosmos (Andrzej Zulawzki) Not reviewed by me, although I did do the booklet essay for the Kino Lorber home video release. Which I obviously recommend that you buy. But as I do not want to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at Some Came Running
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"I'm The Jewish Question, by Jean-Paul Sartre. Delighted to meet you." Yvonne Blake (who was also the assistant art director on the film) in François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451, 1966 In October of 1944, a few months after the liberation of France, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote short book called Réflexions sur la Question Juive. Its first English translations were titled The Jewish Question—it is one of the living books that announce themselves at the end of Truffaut’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Tadashi Okuno and Rin Takanishi (in mirror), Like Someone In Love, 2014, directed by Abbas Kiarostami Songs are a form of storytelling, so it stands to reason that most great or even good songs have at-least-good stories attached to them. One of the most popular songs by composer Jimmy Van Heusen and lyricist Johnny Burke, was, for instance, inspired by an argument that the songwriting team overheard their friend and collaborator Bing Crosby having with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2016 at Some Came Running
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This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to be shutting down the blog maybe, not writing for no money ever again definitely, and all sorts of stuff like that. And yet. Here it is. Some things refuse to be killed, and/or die a natural death. Equipment: Playstation 3 for domestic discs, OPPO BDP 83 for import discs, Panasonic Viera TCP50S30 plasma display, Pioneer Elite VSX-817 AV amplifier/receiver. Recommended without comment (because I got to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at Some Came Running
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My review of The Legend of Tarzan for RogerEbert.com has excited some folks. For the Times: The excellent Private Property, the not-excellent Marauders. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2016 at Some Came Running
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"Roses? How trite. I prefer the gift of auteurist film." Elle Fanning in The Neon Demon. "If you're an Andy Milligan fan there's no hope for you."—The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, Michael Weldon, Ballantine, 1983 I can't say I was entirely surprised to be accused of Bosley Crowtherism for my pan of Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon in today's New York Times. The young people today, they want a David Lynch of their own... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2016 at Some Came Running
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For RogerEbert.com, Tickled. For The New York Times, Parched, and the highly unfortunate Clown. For your viewing pleasure, an episode of Camera Three taped at the 1969 New York Film Festival. Camera Three: Interview with Susan Sontag and Agnès Varda from Antonio Ferah on Vimeo. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2016 at Some Came Running
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For the New York Times, reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows, which is not good; The Final Master, which is pretty good; and The Wailing, which is possibly excellent. For RogerEbert.com, reviews of Approaching the Unknown, which is okay, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which is a little better than okay. And yet both are awarded two-and-a-half-stars each by me, which only goes to show about the lack of nuance... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2016 at Some Came Running
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A comment in some post below—I'm trying to get out of the house, so I'm disinclined to make the effort to be more specific—infers that since I haven't posted in a while, the blog may be defunct. It is not, especially given I just re-upped my fee to keep posting for another year. But yeah, it has been dormant. I've been busy. Don't make me quote Team America: World Police again. And it's likely I... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2016 at Some Came Running
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"Look on my works, ye mighty, and desp—oh who the fuck am I kidding" Warning: Contains spoilers, or "spoilers" 1) That, had Bruce Wayne’s parents not been viciously murdered by a dusky-looking assailant, Bruce could have seen John Boorman’s Excalibur the very next week, and who knows what effect that (along with his parents not being dead) might have had on his character. 2) That if anyone ever gets around to making a biopic of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale in Knight Of Cups. "At the foot of the last page of the text [Philip Larkin] had written in pencil in his unmistakable, beautiful, spacious hand: 'First I thought Troilus and Criseyde was the most boring poem in English. Then I thought Beowulf was. Then I thought Paradise Lost was. Now I know that The Faerie Queene is the dullest thing out. Blast it.' (When I queried the uncharacteristically non-alcoholic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Sophie Marceau and Tchéky Karo, L'amour braque, 1985 When a great artist dies, among the (sincere) bromides offered in tribute is "He/she will be missed." With the Polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski, that idea doesn't automatically apply, only because the films he made were so relentlessly singular and extreme and unlike anything else that it's still difficult to actually believe they exist. So never mind missing him—as it happens, Cosmos, his first movie after a fifteen-year... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at Some Came Running
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HERTHA VON WALTHER as "Lady Leslane" GERDA MAURUS as "Sonya Baranilkowa" LIEN DEYERS as "Kitty" Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Brett Smiley in London, circa 1974. Photograph by Gered Mankowitz. ©BOWSTIR Ltd. 2016/Mankowitz.com. Brett Smiley in Brooklyn, August 2013. At Brett Smiley's wake on the evening of January 13, a week after he died in his Carroll Gardens apartment (thank God), his people had set up a small TV display, and were playing DVD-Rs of some of his performances in the early aughts, backed by a band that featured his childhood pal Errol Bulut on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2016 at Some Came Running
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For Jaime Grijalba 1 In the last scene of Bigger Than Life, the 1956 film directed by Nicholas Ray and produced by its star, James Mason, Ed Avery, the middle-class teacher played by Mason, is lying in a hospital bed after a psychotic episode brought on, ostensibly, by cortisone abuse. That episode was previously depicted in a scene much beloved of cinephiles, a scene in which Avery enacts the Biblical passage in which God demands... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2016 at Some Came Running
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Susannah York and Cathryn Harrison in Images, directed by Robert Altman, 1972 One of the many limitations of an early education in auteurist-based cinephilia is that you tend to look exclusively for directorial signatures. Or you tend to look at just about everything noteworthy in a given film as an indication of the directorial signature. Yes, the art is collaborative, and yes, Orson Welles put cinematographer Gregg Toland on the same title card as his... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2016 at Some Came Running
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A couple of notes: this year the movies I loved and the movies I actually got to review did not overlap as much as they might have, as you'll see particularly in the uppermost twenty. You will see more documentaries than I normally put on such lists, and this is because I'm seeing more documentaries, a surprisingly pleasant side benefit, it turns out, of freelancing at The New York Times. Hard To Be A God... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2015 at Some Came Running
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So. A couple of months, or weeks, or something, ago—my sense of time grows simultaneously more compressed and expanded as I grow older—someone on social media asked me where I ranked Bond movie X, and it reminded me that a few years back I labored somewhat mightily for my then-freelance-client, an entity called MSN Movies, on a lengthy piece in which I ranked the Bond pictures. That piece, published in annoying multi-click "gallery" form, has... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2015 at Some Came Running
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Below, the opening and closing passages of "Art And The Spirit," the eleventh chapter of Robert Coover's 1991 Pinocchio In Venice. This elaborate, highly profane philosophical fantasy is a direct sequel to Carlo Collodi's original serial fable and also, Coover being Coover, refers extensively to Disney's version, and any reader looking to look further into this book would be well advised to become conversant again with both of those works (NYRB put out a good... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2015 at Some Came Running
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With Tyrone Power in The Long Gray Line, John Ford, 1955 The memorial encomiums for Maureen O'Hara have tended to stress the same bunch of movies—Hunchback Of Notre Dame, How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man. Which is all well and good, except, you know, they're not the only pictures O'Hara made that are of cinephile or even general interest. Jamaica Inn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1939) O'Hara's more-or-less debut film (her... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at Some Came Running
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Left, Beverly Charpentier; with pen, Catherine Robbe-Grillet, Wednesday, October 7; photograph by Michael George. By the way, when we visited Robbe-Grillet, his petite, pretty wife, a young actress, had dressed herself a la gamine in my honor, pretending to be Lolita, and she continued the performance the next day, when we met again at a publisher’s luncheon in a restaurant. After pouring wine for everyone but her, the waiter asked, “Voulez-vous un Coca-Cola, Mademoiselle?” It... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2015 at Some Came Running
Q: Do you like Bellochio? BUÑUEL: I've seen Fists in the Pockets—I don't find it the slightest bit interesting; it's repulsive and far too facile. It's really completely overdone—the blind mother, the retarded brother...the son putting his feet on the mother's coffin—it's too easy...While he was at it, why not show him shitting on his mother's head? It's the only thing he spared us. —From "Two Interviews With Luis Buñuel," translated from a Cahiers du... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2015 at Some Came Running